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9 camping trips within driving distance of Jacksonville

Get out of the house and into the great outdoors on a single tank of gas

A snapshot of Little Talbot Island State Park.
A snapshot of Little Talbot Island State Park. (Courtesy: FloridaStateParks.org)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fall is finally upon us.

It’s that time of year when everyone can don their favorite fleece, chug pumpkin spice-flavored coffee and binge Harry Potter movie marathons without judgment.

For Floridians, it’s a time best spent savoring the few cool weather days we get each year.

RELATED: The next cool-down is heading our way

And while the pandemic might have a chilling effect on our air travel plans, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the seasonal change with a day or weekend trip to visit one of Florida’s many state parks.

You might be surprised to find out that 19 of our 177 state parks offer cabins for rent. Or that dozens more have campgrounds where you can stay the night.

But, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, space might be limited due to public health guidelines. So, plan ahead — reservations can be made 11 months in advance.

Want to capture some of these fall colors? You might have to wait a few weeks.

The Fall Foliage Map predicts when we'll see leaves changing colors and falling across the country, including Florida.
The Fall Foliage Map predicts when we'll see leaves changing colors and falling across the country, including Florida. (Courtesy: SmokyMountains.com)

As this interactive map from SmokyMountains.com points out, we’ve seen little change in Northeast Florida so far this year. Fast-forward to Nov. 2, and fall foliage here is predicted to be nearing its peak.

The Fall Foliage Map shows Floridians can expect to see fall colors near their peak in Northeast Florida beginning Nov. 2.
The Fall Foliage Map shows Floridians can expect to see fall colors near their peak in Northeast Florida beginning Nov. 2. (Courtesy: SmokyMountains.com)

To help you map out your trip, we’ve compiled nine parks in our backyard where you can soak up the great outdoors, none of them more than a three-hour drive:


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