Come make memories on Amelia Island, a charming barrier island off Florida’s northeastern coast. Amelia Island is crowned on the north side and draped on the south by two stunning State Parks - with a small jewel of a natural greenway in between.
Amelia Island State Park
Set on the southernmost tip of Amelia Island, the views from this State Park are never anything short of striking. The park protects over 200 acres of beautiful beaches, salt marshes, and coastal maritime forests which provide visitors a glimpse of original Florida.
Whether you're a casual bird watcher or a virtual professional, Amelia offers some of the widest arrays of birds in the state of Florida. At Amelia Island State Park, the plethora of birds share time with other rare wildlife such as the rare Right Whale, but the park is also a very popular place for viewing shorebirds such as black skimmers, piping plovers, terns, brown pelicans, and many other birds who make their home in the park. Be on the lookout for bald eagles, which now make their home on the island year-round.
A paddle through Amelia Island's intercoastal waterways provides a unique view of the ecosystem and wildlife. Kayak Amelia offers basic rentals and guided kayak and canoe trips with special focuses for Amelia Island State Park visitors. Kayak Amelia's guided paddles include birding, tai-chi, sunset, and full-moon paddles.
Fishing is popular from the shore of Amelia Island State Park (AISP) as well as from the adjacent George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier that spans Nassau Sound. The pedestrian fishing pier offers a mile-long fishing opportunity. One of the reasons for the popularity of the bridge is the vast array of fish species. The species of fish include whiting, redfish, flounder, speckled sea trout, jacks, and tarpon.
Amelia Island is one of the few places in the United States when you can enjoy a horseback ride along the beach. Located by the AISP, Kelly Seahorse Ranch offers guided, beachfront horseback riding along the shore of Nassau Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Riders can enjoy Amelia’s beautiful beaches by taking a ride with Kelly's experienced staff, and gentle, well-trained horses. Riders regularly see playful dolphins, soaring great blue herons, wood storks, and ospreys.
Set on 1,400 acres, Fort Clinch State Park is one of the most well preserved 19th-century forts in the country. Although not a sight for any battles, it was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars. Daily tours with period re-enactors depicting garrison life bring the fort to life for visitors.
Fort Clinch offers visitors a state recreation area with picnic sites, shelling, saltwater fishing, hiking, nature study and a guided tour that lets you experience the history first-hand. With special events throughout the year, Fort Clinch offers visitors a myriad of opportunities to enjoy nature, history, and recreation with a sense of adventure of discovery.
Sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing are popular activities at the beach. Anglers can fish and take advantage of excellent surf fishing. Hikers and bicyclists can enjoy a six-mile trail through the park. Self-guided nature trails provide opportunities to learn about and observe native plants and wildlife. A full-facility campground and a youth camping area provide overnight accommodations.
Picnicking on the beach is an enjoyable event, yet one that can take place in only so many areas. Fort Clinch’s beach is certainly one of the best. Quiet, more private, and available for the smallest to the largest groups, the north end beaches on Amelia Island provide good shell collecting and shark tooth hunting for the avid collector, or just the beginning toddler. Fort Clinch also provides picnic tables in a designated area, which is located in a maritime hammock surrounded by relic dunes and oak trees. Freestanding grills and picnic tables are located there. A playground with swings, slide, and climbing bars available for children to play on adjoins the picnic area, which is adjacent to the fort's visitors center.
The Greenway is an environmentally sensitive nature preserve along Egans Creek between Atlantic Avenue and Sadler Road. It consists of over 300 acres of protected lands managed by the City of Fernandina Beach. The 2-mile loop with its grass-covered trails is ideal for hiking, biking, dog-walking, wildlife and nature observation, and photography. The northern trail, about 0.8 miles long, traverses the salt marsh while the southern trail, about 1.3 miles long, traverses the freshwater marsh. If you hike Egans Creek Greenway in the early or later part of the day, you may see a variety of wildlife including re-shouldered hawks, raccoons, marsh rabbits, otter, opossum, bobcats and a large array of birds including egret, herons, wood storks and more.
Join experienced naturalists from either of Amelia’s amazing resorts, Omni Amelia Island Resort or The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island on a bike, Segway, kayak, paddle board or pedalboard tour discovering birds, turtles, edible plants, night creatures, and crabs. Several tours are designed for children and include educational crafts. Youth summer camps are also available.