"Jacksonville's Fort George Island" Fort George Island by HSC123
Fort George Island Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 34 photos
Across the St. Johns River from MAYPORT, Fort George Island fronts both the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Johns River. While accessible via Heckscher Drive from the more inland parts of JACKSONVILLE, Fort George is best approached via the Mayport Ferry, which crosses the river from Mayport Village. Affiliated with both the expansive Timucaun Preserve which stretches over wetland areas to the west, and with the neighboring TALBOT ISLANDS STATE PARKS to the north, Fort George Island is mainly a destination for ecotourism, cultural history, and, of course, beaches.
Operated by the City of Jacksonville, Hugenot Park Beach fronts both the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the St. Johns River opposite Mayport N.A.S. Free of development, Hugenot's beach boasts a backdrop of some of the highest dunes in Jacksonville and a chain of rocky jetties that stretch out to sea marking the entrance to the river's busy shipping channel. Visitors should be advised that water activities are better enjoyed at one of Jacksonville's other beaches as, due to Hugenot's location, the shape and size of its sandy stretches can vary drastically with the tides and the strong currents where the St. Johns meets the Atlantic can be too treacherous for swimmers. Beachgoers do, however, get an awesome view of the gigantic military ships in port across the river.
Aside from a couple of isolated spots in AMELIA ISLAND , where parking on the sand is permitted, Hugenot Park is the only one of Jacksonville's beaches where automobiles are allowed to drive on the sand. For me, that alone makes Hugenot Park less appealing than the city's other beaches; however, many people prefer it for this same reason. Regardless of your opinion, you have to admit that the towering dunes, rocky jetties and skyscraping military ships certainly make Hugenot unique.
The island’s chief cultural attraction, Kingsley Plantation is a historic old plantation house left over from the era of slavery. Its grounds include the plantation house itself along with remnants of old coquina slave huts and Indian mounds, as well as scenic marshland vistas. Kingsley Plantation is part of Northeast Florida's Black Heritage Trail and serves as one of two visitor centers for the the Timucaun Preserve (the other being Fort Caroline, across the river). Further nature exploration can also be enjoyed via kayaks and, interestingly enough, Segways.
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