Best Day Hikes

Best Day Hikes Near Fernandina Beach

Amelia Island is a stunning place to explore, from the historic streets of Fernandina Beach to the captivating coastline around the island’s eastern edge, there’s a little something for everyone.

Take yourself off the island 30 minutes west, south, or north, and your possibilities for hiking and exploring open up even further. The Amelia Island hiking trails and the trails in the surrounding region offer innumerable possibilities for seeing wildlife and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city life. Below we cover our personal favorite day hikes within a 30-minute drive of the city from the city.

Aerial shot of Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch features miles of biking and hiking trails that weave in and around the northern half of Amelia Island. It is home to two distinct features, the first of which is a huge Civil War-era fort. Visit on a weekend afternoon to hear or see cannon fires off into the water, alongside other significant demonstrations.

The second major highlight of the state park is the fort clinch pier. It hosts an array of fishers virtually every afternoon and makes for a nice walk (and middle-return point for your long hike through the park). Make sure to request an Amelia Island bike trail map at the entrance.

It is $6 for a vehicle and $2 if you are on foot or bike. It is open every day, holiday or not, from sunrise to sundown.

Driftwood Beach, Amelia Island

Driftwood Beach is nice and quiet, offering few (if any) viable amenities and isolated seclusion for anyone seeking a break from the noise. It isn’t easy to get to and will require a rather modest around ½ mile walk from the parking lot. Once at Driftwood, you can wander along its shore, gathering photos of the famous dead trees lying scattered over the sand.

Amelia Island State Park

Head to the very (very) southern tip of Amelia Island to check out this 200-acre state park. The beach is a popular place to find shark’s teeth. There is also a small bait and snack shop on-site for your convenience before you head deep into the trail ways. Amelia Island State Park is also known for its horseback riding adventures. It is the only state park on Amelia Island where this is authorized.

Talbot Island

Talbot Island is a massive region of unprecedented beauty. It is almost completely non-developed. Amenities are scarce and the trails are dense.

The island consists of a multitude of smaller parks that make up the whole of the Talbot Islands State Parks. These include Big Talbot Island State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, and Fort George Island Cultural State Park.

Anyone of them makes for a really fun day trip.

Glimpse of Egans Creek Greenway Trail and sign

Egan’s Creek Greenway Trail

Egan’s Creek greenway is one of the more popular local spots for biking and hiking. It has a small nature pavilion at the entrance as well as bathrooms. Once inside, you are free to traverse the trails through about 300 acres of untouched land. The site commonly houses bobcat, alligators, and many regional birds. Parking is available just off the site entrance at Atlantic Recreation Center, address 2500 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach.

Fernandina Plaza Historic State Park

This small state park is on the northern side of Amelia Island on the edge of Fernandina Beach. It is the historical site of Fort San Carlos, a Spanish fort used back in the early 1800s. Though a small site, it offers little treasures for eager travelers, including lovely water views and well-maintained trails.

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