Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a recreational gold mine and communal landmark in Jacksonville, functioning as one of the city's most recognized and visited public parks. Metro Jacksonville explores the park with its more than 447 acres of open use.
History of Hanna Park
"Part of what is now Hanna Park was formerly Manhattan Beach, Florida's first beach community for African-Americans during the period of segregation. Manhattan Beach was established around 1900 by blacks working on the Florida East Coast Railway.
"At its height the beach included amenities such as picnic pavilions, cottages, and an amusement park. It flourished until around 1940, when it was superseded as a day-trip destination by the larger American Beach in nearby Amelia Island.
"In the 1940s, 5 acres land for the park was donated by Winthrop Bancroft, who required that the land be named for Kathryn Abbey Hanna (November 8, 1895-1967, a Chicago, Illinois-born educator and author who had settled in Florida and served on the board of Parks and Historical Places.)
(The remaining property that eventually became the expanded Hanna Park was purchased after consolidation and during the administration of Mayor Hans Tanzler in the mid-1970s. The first general purpose trail was constructed by Michael Long in 1987 as his Eagle Scout service project. Most of the land has been left in its natural, wooded state. Boardwalks were constructed over the dunes to protect vegetation."
About Hanna Park
"Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) public beachfront and city park in Atlantic Beach, Florida. It is located at Mayport in the Jacksonville Beaches area. It consists of 447 acres (1.81 km2) of mature coastal hammock, which is increasingly rare to find along Florida's heavily developed Atlantic coast."
"Experience Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park with its sandy beach, freshwater lake, wooded camping sites, natural dunes and naturescapes that defy the imagination.
Visitors may enjoy the park's:
1.5 miles of pristine sandy beach
60-acre freshwater lake ideal for fishing, nature observation, kayaks, pedal boats and canoes
- kids splash park open Memorial Day through Labor Day for children under 54 inches tall
- camping facilities that include RV and tent camping, and rustic cabin rentals
- scenic trails designed for both biking and hiking
- picnic areas
- facilities for cookouts, reunions, retreats or other group
- activities (reservations required)
The park is also home to one of Northeast Florida's premiere surfing spots known locally as 'the poles.'
Park Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily, April - Oct.; 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily, Nov. - March
Last entry allowed 30 minutes prior to park closing time.
Admission: Early bird passes and annual passes accepted from 7 to 8 a.m.
$1 per person 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., then $3 per car (up to six people) 10 a.m. to close.
In addition to the white sand beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, the park offers:
The park has nearly 15 miles (24 km) of off-road cycling trails that range from easy to difficult. For experienced riders, trails named Grunt, Misery, and Tornado Alley offer a challenging workout. This trail wins the award for "Most Difficult Close to the Sea" and was rated four out of five stars on the Trails website."