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.
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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.
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.
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:
- Little Talbot Island State Park — About 30 miles from Jacksonville
- Fort Clinch State Park — About 40 miles from Jacksonville
- Anastasia State Park — About 43 miles from Jacksonville
- Gold Head Branch State Park — About 50 miles from Jacksonville
- Faver-Dykes State Park — About 55 miles from Jacksonville
- Rodman Campground — About 70 miles from Jacksonville
- Silver Springs State Park — About 100 miles from Jacksonville
- Suwannee River State Park — About 100 miles from Jacksonville
- Blue Spring State Park — About 120 miles from Jacksonville