Your Greater Jacksonville Examiner knows how to get you that vacation you need without going broke.
Couple recession with the screw-job on gas prices and the state’s proposal to close more 53 Florida State Parks to help balance the budget, and you’ll understand the plan.
The admission at most state parks is about $5 a carload.
If you’re into camping, the cost of a camp site isn’t much more per night.
Pack the car, pack a picnic lunch, lash the kids to the roof and hit the road.
Let’s Start Here
The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, which includes Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation, Fort Matanzas, and the Castillo de San Marcos are very, very good parks. Admission is very, very reasonable. Good on you for going and keeping your vacation money in the state.
They’re national parks, not state parks. Much more Florida state history is preserved by the Florida STATE Parks system.
It’s A “Vision Thing”
Did you know that the Florida State Parks system has won national awards?
There are almost too many to list.
In 2005 Florida Parks become the first two-time winner of the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in parks management from the National Recreation and Parks Association.
Even the web site has won national awards.
It’s Time to Get Back to Basics
With the state legislature proposing to close about a third of the 160 parks in the system while State Rep. John Thrasher prosposes to protect Florida parks by moving them into the National Parks System, Floridians still throw money at Disney® and Seaworld®.
Clearly there’s a visibility problem, and not just with the tourists.
In 2010, the Florida State Parks System celebrated its 75th anniversary.
Do you remember hearing about it?
What Can You Do at a State Park?
Go and find out.
Besides camping and fishing, many, many parks have special programs, and not just for holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
For those of you who make Florida State Parks part of your regular plans, have you considered buying an annual pass? Any park, any open day, one price that you pre-pay.
Read more about it.
For those who don’t visit the parks very often, or who have never visited, consider the Parks System’s “One Tank Adventures.” You’re always less than a tank of gas away from a Florida stay-cation.
Check the parks’ websites before you head out to see if pets are welcome, if there are any travel advisories, if campsites are available (Most take reservations.).
Don’t forget the county parks. Admission to most is free.
Here’s a partial list of state parks in Greater Jacksonville to get you started.
Most of all, quit your bitching.
GreaterJax™ State Parks By County
- Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
- Dudley Farm Historic State Park
- Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail
- Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
- Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park
- Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park
- Mike Roess Gold Head Branch
- Fort George Island Cultural State Park
- Pumpkin Hill Creek State Preserve State Park
- Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park
- Bulow Creek State Park
- Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
- Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach
- Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
- Amelia Island State Park
- Big Talbot Island State Park
- Fort Clinch State Park
- George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier
- Little Talbot Island State Park
- Anastasia Island State Park
- Faver-Dykes State Park
- Fort Mose State Park
- Dunns Creek
- Ravine Gardens State Park
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OFFICIAL BIO:K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years, most recently in Texas, is a successful grant writer, knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design and wants to work in the public sector. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org