Camp Chowenwaw Park – Clay County Camping, Swimming & More
I wanted to add Camp Chowenwaw Park to the Jacksonville Florida Staycation information, but I thought it was worth highlighting as well. When I was young, I remember my girl scout troop camping in some cabins at a camp, far far away! Ok, well when you are a little girl, driving from the southside to Clay county seems to take forever. When I started thinking back on this park, we looked it up and went back as a family to check it out. This park was purchased from the girl scouts by Clay County in 2006. The parcel has 100 acres of wetlands and 50 acres of uplands, and is located at the mouth of Black Creek.
The picture above is a collage I made from our one day trip there. If you can see the very small turtle we found in the parking lot, and hubby is moving it to safety. Then we spotted very large grasshoppers all over the place. Some were not as lucky as the turtle. There is the view of the water from the dock and a picture of one of the tree houses. Here is additional information from the website:
Recreational activities include camping, picnicking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, bird watching, wildlife viewing, outdoor photography, and hiking. Our trail systems through the uplands and the wetlands offer scenic tracts for the hiking enthusiast. Camping facilities include 15 tent sites, two lodges with bunk beds sleeping 16 people per cabin, 9 tree house cabins, each accommodating 4 people, and 7 cabins with bunk beds sleeping 4 – 8 people. Each campsite has a bathhouse with full restroom accommodations, and a unit house with electricity, including a stove and refrigerator. Located throughout the park, and at each campsite, are picnic tables and grills for use by campers and park visitors. To minimize impacts on our natural resources and to protect our plant and wildlife communities, vehicle access is limited. Camping sites and cabins are accessed by walking trails. The park is ideally suited as a natural outdoor environmental education facility when you consider the setting, location, and proximity of diverse upland and wetland ecosystems. Classes and naturalist programs for organized groups and the public will be available in outdoor and indoor classrooms. The natural outdoor laboratory will allow an opportunity for all conservation minded organizations to become involved with projects to promote protection and conservation enhancement of aquatic, terrestrial habitat, and wildlife in St. Johns watersheds.
The camping rates are pretty reasonable, and I think the kids would enjoy the Tree house camping! They do have a swimming pool with a lifeguard on duty, but it does cost to enter. A nice day trip could include a hike on the grounds and dock, then maybe a swim to cool off.
On June 18th they will have a FREE weekend education series from 9-10am on the history of the camp. It is free, but they recommend you call to reserve a spot.