Florida’s Fort Clinch State Park

As some of you know, I’m originally from the Sunshine State. Which means I have lots of extended family strewn about the peninsula. So this year I met my parents and my brother’s family in Amelia Island for Thanksgiving as sort of a mid-way rendezvous between our respective hometowns.

Because it was a family holiday, not necessarily an adventure trip, I wasn’t planning to be on “blogger” duty. Except that on an outing the day before Thanksgiving, I discovered Fort Clinch State Park and I knew it deserved some Val in Real Life love. Call it an impromptu experiential education adventure…

Fort Clinch State Park…

Tucked in the extreme northeast corner of Florida, just across St. Marys River from Cumberland Island National Seashore in my adopted home state of Georgia, Fort Clinch features beaches, moss-covered live oaks, and a Civil War-era fort.

While it did not ever see the action of war, the fort was garrisoned during the Civil War as well as the Spanish-American War. In addition to the fort, there’s a small museum and a short film to acquaint you with it’s role in history. It’s an interesting contrast to one of my favorite Civil War sites, near Savannah that did see battle, Fort Pulaski.

With that short intro, here’s a pictoral look at Fort Clinch State Park:

fort clinch - val in real life
The fort entrance with a surprise appearance by my big brother… see him walking right into my shot? Ahem!
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Fort Clinch State Park is tucked in the northeast corner of Florida, just across the St. Marys River from Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Low sun over a building at the fort.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
The details at Fort Clinch make the Civil War seem very real even 150 years later.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Civil War era uniforms.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
A step back in time to the Civil War.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Cousins and a cannon… family time at Fort Clinch State Park.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Fort life comes alive with the help of colorful characters.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
The textures and colors are worth taking the time to notice and enjoy.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Fred and George heading into the fort. Unfortunately we were there near closing time. Fred wanted to stay much longer.

The pier…

fort clinch pier - val in real life
At the pier with my Thanksgiving crew casting long shadows in the setting sun.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
The Fort Clinch beach.
fort clinch state park - val in real life
Cousins on the pier… a great place to get outside for some pre-Thanksgiving Vitamin N.
fort clinch pier - val in real life
A peaceful evening on the pier.

Fort Clinch was a great little discovery for us. The boys have always enjoyed forts and it was a great blend of outdoors and history. I particularly enjoyed the re-enactor we met who did a fabulous job of staying in character to answer questions. It was great fun to talk with him.

If you find yourself in the area, do check it out. Even better if you have the time to camp and/or walk the nature trails there. This little park has a lot of variety to offer.

And now for your moment of green…

fort clinch pier - val in real life
I’m not much of one for beaches but the sunset on the pier set a nice tone for our Thanksgiving holiday.


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