Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, a public beach and city park, is where you can literally “do it all!” Hiking, biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, bird watching, swimming, shelling, surfing, picnicking, disc golfing, geocaching…the list goes on! The 450-acre park includes 1.5 miles of Atlantic shoreline, an extensive ancient dune system and a mature coastal hammock with majestic live oaks (a rarity to find along Florida’s heavily-developed coastline). Wildlife includes shorebirds, wading birds, alligators, foxes and more; sea turtle nesting occurs May through October.
The park is named after Dr. Kathryn Abbey Hanna, a prominent author, educator and historian, who had settled in Florida from Chicago and was the chair of the History Department at the Florida State University for 15 years.
One of the park’s biggest attractions is the 1.5-mile white sandy beach, which is excellent for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, surfing and shelling. “The Poles” at the north end of Hanna Park is a premier surfing spot in northeast Florida.Hanna Park has over 20 miles of scenic trails for hiking and biking. The separate off-road single-track mountain bike trails are well known in the biking community and range from easy and wide to difficult and steep. In addition, bike paths on the roads parallel the oceanfront.
The 60-acre freshwater lake near the center of the park is perfect for fishing, kayaking, or canoeing. Amenities include lakeside picnic tables and grills, and trails surround the lake. An adjacent playground and a kids’ splash park for small children is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
|Great Blue Heron at the lake in Hanna Park
|Geocaching at Hanna Park|
Picnic areas and facilities abound for cookouts, reunions, retreats, and other group activities. Dolphin Plaza, a 2000-square-foot indoor facility on the oceanfront with capacity for 125 people, is a popular venue for family reunions, wedding receptions, and corporate outings. (Reservations are required.)
The park also features a quiet, family-friendly campground that includes 300 campsites in a wooded area easily accessed by paved roads. RV, tent and rustic cabin camping are available. There is also a separate “primitive” campground for larger groups (Scouts, etc.).
Location: 500 Wonderwood Drive, Jacksonville, Florida, 32233
Hours: April-October: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. M – F; 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekends.
November-March: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. M – F; 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends.
Last entry allowed 30 minutes prior to park closing time. Early bird and annual passes accepted from 6 to 8 a.m.
Entrance fee: $3 per pedestrian and bicyclist 8 a.m. to close; $5 per car (up to six people) 8 a.m. to close. Bus entry fee: $50. Annual pass fee: $90 plus tax. All entry fees are nonrefundable; cash only; re-entry fee is required unless you’re camping.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is managed by the City of Jacksonville, Parks & Recreation Department, Preservation Project.