Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Anastasia State Park and Fort Mose Historic State Park
While the State of Florida has three National Parks, the best known being The Everglades National Park, plus the Biscayne National Park and the Dry Tortugas National Park it has no less than 160 State Parks which spread over 700, 000 acres of land.
In the my first article I concentrated on the State Parks that were closest to the popular tourist destination of Orlando, including Blue Springs Park & Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Now I am turning the spotlight on some of those parks that are just a bit further out.
Situated in the North East of ‘Central Florida’, Anastasia State Park is convenient for visitors to St Augustine, an increasingly popular destination for holidaymakers who wish to see a part of Florida outside of Orlando. Situated just a few miles south of St Augustine, partly on Anastasia Island and partly on Conch Island, the park offers nature trails and over 4 miles of sandy beaches. From the northern tip of Conch Island visitors get stunning views of both sea and land. Canoes, pedal boats, catamarans and kayaks are available for hire at the Anastasia Watersports Center and taking a trip up the Salt Run accompanied by Ospreys, Herons and more than likely a Dolphin or two, can be a quite memorable estuary experience.
Within the park Island Joe’s is ostensibly a supply store and rental shop where you can hire bikes, beach chairs and umbrellas. It does however boast an excellent grill with a good selection of food including, unsurprisingly, some great seafood.
To find the park just take the 1A south from St Augustine, over the Bridge of Lions and through Anastasia or if approaching from the south look out for State Road 312 off the 207, then north on the 1A. Entry to the park costs just $5 per vehicle, or $3 for a single occupancy vehicle.
Overlooked by many, Fort Mose (pronounced Mo-say) Historic State Park is just a short drive away and in fact is administered by the Anastasia State Park authorities.
Fort Mose was the first free black community in the United States, and was established in 1738 by the Spanish governor of Florida, although when Florida was ceded to the British in 1763 the inhabitants fled to Cuba. Although regrettably there is now nothing remaining of the original fort itself, visitors can view the site from the boardwalk and picnic under a covered pavilion.
The park is located approximately two miles north of the Castillo de San Marcos near the St. Augustine City gates on U. S. 1. Entry to the park costs just $2 per vehicle.
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