This is Segment 26, Region L. Fort Clinch State Park marks the eastern end of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. Along this final segment you can experience five state parks: Fort George Island, Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island, Amelia Island and Fort Clinch. Besides paddling, opportunities for hiking, swimming, biking and fishing abound.
Sister's Creek Marina on the St. John's River is the put-in for this segment. From the marina go north on Sister's Creek and four miles later head east at the Fort George River. Fort George Island Cultural State Park makes a great lunch stop. From here the trail heads up Simpson Creek for a mile, and then Myrtle Creek to Little Talbot Island State Park.
Day two involves backtracking to Simpson Creek and following it to Nassau Sound, Bird Island and eventually on to Big Talbot Island. Here scenic bluffs make for a great hike and picnic.
Downstream, strong currents exist in Nassau Sound and at the entrance of South Amelia River. Next comes Fernandina Beach and Tiger Island near the Florida / Georgia state line. Fort Clinch State Park lies to the east and is the fitting end of the 1,515 mile saltwater trail.
Several other paddling trails can be found in the area. Most make up the Florida Sea Islands Paddling Trails. An online guide describes 10 saltwater trails and two freshwater-brackish creek trails.
Much of the 125-mile St. Mary's River is also included in this segment. Born in the Okefenokee and Pinhook swamps, the tannin waters of the St. Mary's flows in several directions before reaching the Atlantic. Be sure to check water levels before embarking on a paddling journey.
29-30 miles of Circumnavigational Trail
Florida Sea Islands Paddling Trails: 10 saltwater trails and two brackish trails
St. Mary's River: 60 miles
- Paddlers need to be watchful of tides and currents, especially near river mouths
- The Intracoastal Waterway can be busy on weekends and holidays
- The Atlantic side of this segment is considered dangerous and recommended for expert paddlers only
- For those paddling the Atlantic, jetties along the mouth of the St. John's River extend almost two miles into the ocean
Primary Campsites & Distances Between on Circumnavigational Trail
- Sister's Creek Marina to Little Talbot Island State Park; 7-8 miles
- Little Talbot Island State Park to Fort Clinch State Park, 21.5 miles via Simpson Creek and Amelia River
- Police, Fire and Medical Emergencies: 911
- Duval County Sheriff: 904-630-0500
- Nassau County Sheriff: 904-225-5174
- Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Hotline: 1-888-404-3922
External Site Links