We love historical sites, especially when they are in sunny Florida and on the beach. When you visit a fort of any type, it really makes you wonder how it was built way back when without modern technology. This particular forts location can be made a day trip (if camping at Jekyll Island) to get a glimpse into the past and pick through plenty of sea shells on the beach. It's also a Florida State Park, so if you collect state park stickers make sure you pick one up at the gift shop.
Accessing the Fort
It was a little odd because the surrounding area on the street is completely built up, gas stations, etc. so we originally passed the main entrance in error, but was easy to turn around but could take more planning if towing a large camper. The entry or gate fee is currently $6.00 a person (free under 13 I believe), and once you get in, you can drive around to everything including the two different camp sites they have if you want to check it out.
Once you pull up, there is a building you go into to pay $2.50 a person to get into the fort, and you can also get a cool sticker (we collect them at all the places that sell them). You can walk down the path and follow it to the fort. It's nice because the "welcome center" has information about the fort, snack machines, and bathrooms. We came prepared with our wagon and snacks which were allowed and the wagon was fine in most places. For the most part, since we brought our wagon, I can say a good portion of the fort could be considered wheelchair accessible, although there are some areas that we had to carry the wagon or get the girls to walk and return later for the wheels, but they do try to make the fort accessible to all and I agree that it is.
History of Fort Clinch State Park
This state park is 1,400 acres located on Amelia Island, and it pretty much offers everything in one visit:
- camping at two different campgrounds
- day trips & hiking
- swimming & shell collecting
- bicycling under the oak trees
- visiting the old fort
- probably more so check out their website!
The fort itself was built between 1847-1869 and is made of almost 5 million bricks - these forts always blow my mind, but our visit to the Dry Tortugas National Park still blows my mind on how they built that fort in the middle of the ocean! Both confederate and federal troops occupied this fort, was abandoned multiple times, and was actually used as a communication post during World War II. In 1972 the fort became registered as a national historic place and is now volunteers work year round to complete upkeep and preserve it for others to experience this piece of history.
Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine horses and soldiers walking all of the corridors. Some of the walkways were very narrow, and some of the spiraling stairwells were so narrow that you had to climb single file! We had a lot of fun with the girls but we had to keep a close eye on them due to all of the potential hazards.
We always try to and visit interesting or historical places, especially when we are out traveling and camping away from home. I'm happy to say this adventure was a success and the girls loved exploring (regardless if they understand where we were and the history behind it!) but it make me happy that we have the ability to go exploring as a family.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES VISITING FORT CLINCH STATE PARK? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!