Top Ecotourism Activities on Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island remains one of the more cultural and slower paced areas to visit, with historic buildings and beautiful beaches.

Top Ecotourism Activities on Amelia Island, FloridaContributed by: R. Hoyal

Amelia Island is one of the best places to go for a relaxing vacation to take in nature’s splendor. Just offshore of the border between Florida and Georgia, travelers from all across the nation can catch a flight to Jacksonville International airport, which is only a 30-minute drive away. Many tourists take advantage of the numerous cheap flights to “get a quick trip to Florida” and flock to Walt Disney World or the Universal Orlando Resort. However, Amelia Island remains one of the more cultural and slower paced areas to visit, with historic buildings and beautiful beaches. The region boasts many inspiring ecotourism activities to explore within its unique geographical features.

Here are some of the best:

Fort Clinch State Park
Amelia Island is situated in the center of a wide plethora of creeks and marshes and is located directly along the “Intracoastal Waterway,” which makes it a prime habitat for all sorts of wildlife. Of particular interest are the hosts of birds that take residence in the island’s marshes. With a large variety of interesting avian life, Amelia Island’s Fort Clinch State Park is the first step on the famed East Florida Birding Trail.

The Fort is surrounded by lush forestland on the northern portion of the island and serves as a reminder of its rich past as a strategic asset during conflict, first between the US and Spain and then again during the Civil War. This pristine natural paradise stretches over 1,000 acres, with trails winding through the forest past the marshes so famous for their birds and down to long stretches of sand dunes at the beachfront.

Egan’s Creek Greenway
Stretching 238 acres along the length of Egan’s Creek in the center of Amelia Island is a verdant nature reserve, which provides a splendid chance for retreating from the stresses of modern life. The entrance to the greenway is located behind the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center and is only open to the public during daylight hours. A two-mile long trail called the Blue Heron Loop will guide you through this tranquil setting and facilitate your exploration of the island’s flora and fauna. If bird watching speaks to you, then Egan’s Creek will certainly not disappoint, as red-shouldered hawks, turkey vultures, herons and all other sorts of birds native to the island make their homes in the greenway. Birds aren’t the only wildlife that you might encounter however, as marsh rabbits are commonplace and the possibility of running across a bobcat or alligator is very real so make sure to pay attention to your surroundings to make the most of your nature experience.

Amelia Island’s Waterways
The beauty of Amelia Island’s ecology is its maritime nature and its beaches and waterways are every bit as majestic as its wetlands. At the southern end of the island is the Amelia Island State Recreation Area, which is open 24 hours a day in every season, for the low price of only $1 admission. The recreation area spans 200 acres of unspoiled and undeveloped natural land with a little piece of all that the island has to offer. Once you have taken in the splendor of Amelia Island’s beaches, you can take the opportunity to head down to Kayak Amelia which provides kayak tours, training, and equipment to guide you through learning all about the island’s particular ecosystem.

Serenity, relaxation, and rejuvenation await you on the shores of Amelia Island. Located close to so many amazing natural sights, if you are planning your next vacation casually enjoying the natural world, then it would be difficult to find a more appealing or affordable destination.

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