Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
Parade Ground, Storehouse and flag inside Fort Clinch, as seen through the sally port entrance. The half-mile Atlantic Fishing Pier and the primary dune line. Three-mile canopied drive through Fort Clinch State Park. The new Visitor Center and renovated museum.
Fort Clinch State Park
Aerial photograph of Fort Clinch.

History and Culture

Named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a prominent figure of the Second Seminole War, construction of Fort Clinch began in 1847. It is one of a series of masonry forts constructed between 1816 and 1867 known as the Third System Fortifications. The fort was built at the mouth of the St. Mary's River to protect the natural deep-water port of Fernandina, the eastern link of Florida's only cross-state railroad. Never fully 's first parks in 1935. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began restoring the buildings in 1936 and in 1937 the CCC began building roads and campgrounds. Today, visitors can see how the fort may have looked in 1864.

View of the concession building at Fort Clinch in the 1940s.

CCC-Era Building

The concession building at Fort Clinch State Park has gone through many transitions. The structure was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the mid-1930s while the park was being developed. It has served as a food concession, picnic shelter, gift shop and currently a museum. It is one of several buildings original to the park when it opened to the public in 1938.

Family camping at the Amelia River Campground during the 1950s.

1950s Campground

Camping has been a popular activity at Fort Clinch State Park for many years. This photograph shows the serene and inviting Amelia River Campground during the 1950s as a family unloads and sets up for what is sure to be a fun-filled weekend. The campground is still popular today with its large live oak trees and dangling Spanish moss.

Aerial view of Fort Clinch during the late 1930s.

Fort Clinch Aerial

Fort Clinch and the few surrounding acres were purchased by the state of Florida in 1935. This aerial view of the fort was taken during its restoration just a few years later. It opened to the public in 1938 as one of the first state parks.

Fisherman by sea wall outside Fort Clinch.


With three miles of coastline and several groin jetties, Fort Clinch State Park offers some of the best saltwater fishing in northeast Florida. This sport has been popular with visitors since the park's early years.

Civil War life at Fort Clinch.

Union Soldiers

Living history interpretation began at Fort Clinch during the 1970s. Staff and volunteers in period Civil War uniforms depict daily life in the fort allowing visitors to step back in time. This program has grown and evolved over the past 30 years and is still available on a daily basis.