Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Visiting Little Talbot Island State Park and Fort Clinch

Andy and Big Red on the FerryOur trip started with a ferry ride across the St. Johns River – the trip is only about 15 minutes long, and taking the roads would have been only about 30 minutes, but we’ve never taken a car on a boat before so we opted for the shortcut.  From there it was a short drive up A1A to Little Talbot State Park.Boardwalk to beach

Our plan for this trip was to head to the northern part of the beach to look for a “driftwood forest”, so we started our trip at the northern boardwalk.  The sun was shining and the ocean breeze kept the morning from getting too hot; it was a great day for a stroll on the beach.

Driftwood shelterOne of the first points of interest that we came up on was a sea turtle nest; if it wasn’t marked, there’s really no way to know that it’s there.  Shortly after the nest though, we came upon a shelter that someone had built with driftwood from the beach.  Whoever built it did a pretty good job – for a pile of sticks, it seemed to be pretty solid.  All it really needed was some fresh palm leave to keep the rain out.

The driftwood forest was a little ways further up the beach from here; there were a lot of photo opportunities to capture the contrast of the shells and patterns of the wood. 

Driftwood trees 2Driftwood trees-best
PatternsTrees by beach 3
Click on a photo to see it in full size

After getting a few photos, we were on to our next destination – Fort Clinch.  The fort was originally built as part of the US Coastal Defense system, and it was later seized by confederate forces in 1861 and then abandoned about a year later when it was taken over once again by federal forces, where it was used as a base of operations throughout the civil war.

Fort Clinch pano

The size of the fort is pretty impressive; the longest wall is about 500 feet long, which is more than twice the length of the walls of the fort in St. Augustine.  Cannons line the top of the walls pointing out to the ocean, and below the cannons are rifle turrets where the soldiers would use smaller arms to defend the coast.

These were both great stops during our visit to Jacksonville.  We also visited the Cummer Museum of Art and Garden, of course, Pogopalooza.  I’ll share those trips later on… If you would like to see where the photos were taken, I’ve included a map of these areas below the rest of the photos.

St. Johns River Ferry Launch View across river from Ferry Sky over St. Johns River
Little Talbot Park Beach access Sand dunes Sea turtle nest
Photographing driftwood pile Driftwood and dunesDrift tree Driftwood forest
Andy by driftwood Andy on driftwoodFort Clinch tunnel 2 Driftwood trees 2
Fort Clinch tunnel Fort Clinch stairsFort Clinch brickwork Fort Clinch Gun turrets
Fort Clinch flag 2 Fort Clinch Cannons Fort Clinch from beach 2

 

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