|Fort Clinch State Park, located in the Jacksonville area, was the first Florida park we visited on a tent camping trip from Illinois in 1962, and it still remains one of our favorite Florida parks. It consists of 1,153 acres on the North end of Amelia Island, with 62 campsites in two separate areas.|
|We left Ocala with our 2000 GTRV Westy and two E-bikes on a Tuesday morning, 139 miles to our site in the River area on Cumberland Sound. Because of mosquitoes, we used our pop-up screen room for our 2-night stay.|
|The park has 8,400 feet of shoreline along the sound, 4,000 feet on the Atlantic coast, and extensive estuarine marsh systems on the west. The waves on the pristine beaches, jetty, and fishing pier on the Atlantic provide an ever-changing panorama. You never know what you might discover next on the beach or on the dunes. The water was a cool 67 degrees.|
The town of Fernandina in the early 1800's was a thriving seaport town and has a very colorful and rich history. It was the first and only city in the United States to have served under eight flags. After being rebuilt several times due to several disasters, this enchanting Victorian seaport now offers the very best in unique shopping, antique stores, art galleries, and fine dining. It has the oldest hotel in Florida, the oldest saloon (the Palace), and was the eastern terminus of the first trans-Florida railroad.
On Thursday, we had breakfast at the historic Marina Seafood Restaurant. We then opted for the $18 (for seniors) two-hour Amelia River fully narrated tour from the Main Street Marina and along the state park and the shoreline of beautiful Cumberland Island National Seashore. We had twelve people on the Ryan-K, 13 including the Captain.
As the boat proceeded along the shores, the Captain told stories of the people and families that have inhabited this enchanting barrier island over the centuries. We were close enough to Cumberland Island to catch glimpses of several magnificent mansions built by the Carnegie family at the turn of the century when Cumberland was inhabited by some of America's most prominant families.
After the boat ride, we returned to the Marina Restaurant where I had a fried soft-crab sandwich and John had fried shrimp. We learned more about the Duryee Building (Marina Restaurant) which was also home of the oldest newspaper in the State of Florida. In the early 1900's a restaurant was established in the building becoming the "First Landmark for Find Foods and Excellent Dining", now the Marina Restaurant, which is decorated to retain the flavor of the sea in atmosphere as well as food.
While we were camping, we E-biked 10 miles just on the park roads the first day - my total mileage was 28.25 miles. When I checked the instruction manual, I found out that the bike gets about 22 miles per charge. Total Westy mileage for the trip - 263.3 miles.