Fort Clinch State Park has plenty going for it. It’s a destination with a little something for any type of camper. You’ve got a place rich in Civil War-era history, sunny beaches with a temperate climate all year round, challenging rapids for a bit of adventure, and the surrounding beauty of nature through it all.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll teach you all about the park, bring you to a perfect place to stay in your RV, show you when to book, and suggest fun things to do in this Florida gem. We also offer some information if you want the Fort Clinch State Park RV camping experience.
Read on for all you need to know!
Fort Clinch State Park Facts
This Civil War-era fort by the Atlantic is full of things to do, has pristine scenery, and is rich in history. Learn a bit more about this destination with these Fort Clinch State Park facts.
- Fort Clinch was one of the “Third System Fortifications” meant to defend America’s coastlines from foreign invasion.
- After changing hands from Confederate to Union forces, the U.S. Army controlled the fort until 1898.
- By 1935, Fort Clinch was designated a state park. The Civilian Conservation Corps soon got to work restoring the fort to the park we enjoy today.
- Its location beside the Atlantic and St. Mary’s Inlet makes this a great spot for anglers and kayakers.
- St. Mary’s is renowned for its extremely challenging paddling activities through strong, unpredictable currents.
- The park is home to diverse wildlife, offering great chances to see creatures of land, sea, and air.
Best Fort Clinch State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Below is a curated list of the best Fort Clinch State Park RV parks and campgrounds. There are many parks in the area, so we chose the most well-reviewed sites. Make choosing a base a breeze with this handy guide on RV parks near Fort Clinch State Park.
Amelia River Campground
: Amelia River is one of the two RV campgrounds in Fort Clinch State Park. Of the two, Amelia River offers more privacy and shade, thanks to the surrounding trees. It’s got all the amenities you’ll need, including full hookups, well-maintained restrooms, and a dumping station nearby. There’s not much in the way of extras, but this is the most convenient spot in the park to access anything you’d like to do.
: 35 RV sites
: Amelia River Campground
Atlantic Beach Campground
: Atlantic Beach has the best views of the two RV campgrounds in Fort Clinch State Park. You’ll be sleeping to the sounds of crashing waves and waking to the sun coming over the horizon. You can enjoy the same great amenities as Amelia River while being just a few strides away from the ocean. Keep in mind that you’ll be parking in the open, so there’s no shade to speak of.
: 20 RV sites
: Atlantic Beach Campground
Pecan Park RV Resort
: Pecan Park makes a good alternative to the RV sites in Fort Clinch State Park. It’s a short drive away and is loaded with a ton of activities, facilities, and amenities for a comfortable stay. Full hookups are available at all sites. You can enjoy a rec room packed with parlor games, a swimming pool, and a ton of space on the large grounds. If size limits are a concern, Pecan Park can be an excellent option.
: 183 RV sites
: Pecan Park RV Resort
Jacksonville North / St. Mary’s KOA
: KOA campgrounds are consistently listed as one of the best for vacationing families
. This RV campground near Fort Clinch State Park is no exception. You’ll find a friendly atmosphere with plenty of things to do on the grounds. Full hookups, restrooms with showers, and a huge list of perks come with your stay. Adults can enjoy access to a pool, a fully-stocked community kitchen, and a fitness center with a sauna. You’ve got sports and games galore for the kids too!
: 120 RV sites
: Jacksonville North / St. Mary’s KOA
Country Oaks RV Park & Campground
: For a more quaint and cozy stay, check out this homey RV campground near Fort Clinch State Park. You’ll get personal and accommodating service at this family-owned spot. Even though it’s small, you’ll get all the amenities you’d expect from a larger RV park: full hookups, clean restrooms and showers, and a laundry room. Bring a rod and tackle if you’re an angler; they’ve got a fully-stocked fishing hole!
: 44 RV sites
: Country Oaks RV Park & Campground
Best Time to Visit Fort Clinch State Park
Let’s figure out the best time to visit Fort Clinch State Park for your next adventure. Florida’s subtropical climate makes for a unique feel in each season. Our guide below will help you choose what’s best.
Winter is mild in Fort Clinch. Temperatures stay at a comfortable 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit on average throughout the day and night. Head out after November, and you’ll also be dodging Florida’s hurricane season. If you’re not interested in the wild rapids of St. Mary’s inlet, winter is a perfect time for RV camping in Fort Clinch State Park!
Spring is one of the best times for RV camping in Fort Clinch State Park. Temperatures are a lovely 55 to 75 degrees on average, with humidity much lower than the summer months. You’ll spot wildflowers blooming along the park’s trails too. And you’ll be visiting just shy of hurricane season and the heavy rains that come with it.
The dense humidity of Florida’s summers is infamous. That usually makes it tough to recommend a summer visit. But compared to the other areas of Florida, summer RV camping in Fort Clinch State Park isn’t too intense. The temperature tops out at 90 degrees at the hottest point in the season and dips to a comfy 75 at night. Just check if your visit will fall within hurricane season.
Fall is another nice off-season option for RV camping in Fort Clinch State Park. You’ll be within hurricane season until the end of November. But by October, the average rainfall drops to just five days a month on average. You’ll also get pleasant temperatures ranging from about 60 to 80 degrees throughout the whole season.
Things to Do in Fort Clinch State Park
Now it’s on to the fun! This list of things to do in Fort Clinch State Park will get your trip started with a bang.
Visit Fort Clinch.
The fort is the centerpiece of the park. It’s a living snapshot of Civil War-era life packed with historical artifacts. Check out a fully restored Gatling gun and a collection of photos from the fort’s early days.
Witness a glimpse of the past.
Try to plan a visit on the first weekend of any month. Every first weekend, you can watch a garrison of soldiers in union garb firing cannons and reenacting battlefield maneuvers.
Hike the Willow Pond Nature Trail.
Just beyond the dunes, this easy hike passes around a series of ponds, winds through forested areas, and offers the best chance to see wildflowers and local fauna. If you’d prefer a guided tour of the trail, you can join one for free every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Enjoy the water.
The park is home to a swimmable beach and some truly challenging kayaking activities in St. Mary’s Inlet. Do your research before you decide to tackle the rapids. This is discouraged for anyone but the most experienced kayakers to try!
There are plenty of fishing holes in the park. Try your hand at catching trout, mullet, flounder, redfish, and many more.
Tips on Visiting Fort Clinch State Park
We’re sure you’re eager to get your journey started. But before you go, make sure you have a great time with these final tips on visiting Fort Clinch State Park.
- Stay off the dunes! In the past, too much foot traffic caused rapid erosion.
- Do make a stop at the visitor’s center. The park has historical interpreters on-site to enrich your stay with tales of the park’s past.
- Grab a brochure while you’re at the visitors center too! You can read more about the Fort’s history and what daily life was like for Civil War-era soldiers.
- For a memorable souvenir, try to find shark teeth along the beach where waves hit the shore. They’re common along the beach, so keep an eye out for dark triangular shapes for a chance to snag one.
- The challenge of St. Mary’s cannot be overstated. Please do not attempt kayaking the rapids unless you’re very experienced. It might be a good idea to refresh your memory about spotting hazards in the water too.
RV Rental for Fort Clinch State Park
That does it for our ultimate guide to this historic destination. We hope you make some memories that last a lifetime. If you’re interested in a unique way to visit, check out Cruise America’s RV rentals for Fort Clinch State Park. Even if it’s your first time driving an RV
, Cruise America makes it easy with convenient locations across the country and plenty of guides
for new RV campers.
Check out their line of RVs, choose a type and size that’s right for you, reserve it, and hit the road. It’s that simple!
Enjoy the comforts of home anywhere you go. Reserve an RV rental
for Fort Clinch State Park today!