About Fort Clinch State Park
Hear ye, hear ye! Though Fort Clinch--perhaps the main attraction at Fort Clinch State Park--hasn’t been in use for, oh, one hundred years or so, you can still get a glimpse of its life in the glory days. Plan your visit for the first of the month to see the most esteemed park personnel reenacting life from 1864, and the rest is history! (Pun intended.) There’s so much else to do in this park located near the northernmost point of Amelia Island, and along the Amelia River. Take to the trails to hike, the beach for long walks, the fort to explore, the waters to fish, and the re-enactors to learn from. You can also see dolphins, and manatees and alligators (rarely, phew!) near the premises. Swing by soon and mark the next chapter in Fort Clinch State Park’s history, featuring you!
Campgrounds in Fort Clinch
Take yer pick! Which body of water-named-campsite will you choose? If you plan on checking out Fort Clinch, stay here. Amelia River Campground is...
Long walks on the beach, pier fishing, singing sweet songs by the campfire with the ocean mist in your hair. No, we’re not talking about a fancy...
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History of Fort Clinch State Park
Named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a prominent figure of the Second Seminole War, construction of Fort Clinch began in 1847. It is one of a series of masonry forts constructed between 1816 and 1867 known as the Third System Fortifications. The fort was built at the mouth of the St. Mary’s River to protect the natural deep-water port of Fernandina— the eastern link of Florida’s only cross-state railroad. Never fully completed, the fort still served as a military post during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War II.
Fort Clinch became one of the state’s first parks in 1935. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began restoring the buildings at the fort in 1936. In 1937 the CCC began building roads and campgrounds. Today, visitors can tour the fort and see how it may have looked in 1864 as it was being built by Army Engineers.