Northwestern Saint Johns has some of the best parks in our county. Land that was once covered with orchards and farms has been replaced with families, most of whom commute the short drive to Jacksonville for work. Sport fields are everywhere and soccer/baseball moms are the norm. Enjoy a sunset picnic on the St. Johns River or play catch with your kids at one of these beautiful parks. This area includes Fruit Cove, Orangedale, Switzerland, Julington Creek, Bartram Trail, River Town, and Durbin Creek.

Alpine Groves Park

2060 SR 13, St. Johns, FL 32259

A riverfront park with local history and so much to do! There is a picnic pavilion, a playground, a fishing pier, a nature trail, and historic buildings. This park was built where an orchard used to grow citrus fruits, and is an homage to the agricultural history of the community. You can easily spend hours in this park. If you want to visit the playground and then walk to the water’s edge, but have a child that can’t walk far, bring a stroller, bike or child carrier. These two areas are half a mile apart.

Field of Dreams Playground at Aberdeen Park

1365 Shetland Dr, St Johns, FL 32259

This handicapped-accessible playground next to the Field of Dreams was built through a partnership with the Creeks Athletic Association and SJC Parks and Recreation. This is a place where all children can play together. The playground includes slides, interactive features, and shade canopies. This is a wonderful park for toddlers who aren’t ready for a traditional playground.

Julington Creek Plantation Park

3060 Racetrack Road, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park has a football field, multipurpose field, an artificial turf field, paved paths, a restroom, a picnic pavilion, a playground with swings, and two climbing structures. The sidewalks around the fields are a perfect length for a quick jog and feel safe for recreational runners during daylight hours.

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Mills Field

1805 Racetrack Road, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park has 2 softball fields, 8 baseball fields, 4 lighted tennis courts, 2 softball fields, two playgrounds, picnic pavilions, and restrooms. Even if you aren’t playing baseball, this could be a perfect stop for a fun afternoon.

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Veterans Park

1332 Veterans Parkway, St.Johns, FL 32259

There are multipurpose fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, a playground, a skate park, a dog park, and restrooms. The dog park is tucked behind trees near the restroom and the skate park. The pond near the playground has a perfect paved loop for beginning bikers, skaters or those walking a stroller while older children play. This park can get crowded when all the fields are in use on Saturday afternoons.

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Riverfront Park

4065 State Rd 13, St Johns, FL 32259

This is our favorite passive park with a fishing pier, a small pavilion, a nature trail, paved paths, a kayak launch, restrooms, an intermediate mountain bike trail, and a perfect beginners bike trail. There is not a playground here, but my children always have fun catching bugs and watching wildlife. This park is great for family photos, an evening walk, a picnic in the grass, or bird watching. The parking lot closes so pay attention to the posted hours when visiting.

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Alpine Groves Park

2060 SR 13, St. Johns, FL 32259

This is a passive park, with its features designed to accentuate the beauty of the St. Johns River and preserve the history of the area. This park was just recently voted the best family-friendly park in our area by News4Jax. The natural beauty of this park is undeniable, and animals are often seen as you walk along the paved nature trails. Historic buildings, paved paths through the woods, and a fishing pier make this park one of our favorite spots to visit. This is a wonderful spot for family pictures.

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Riverfront Park

4065 State Rd 13, St Johns, FL 32259

A paved path winds throughout the waterfront park. When walking the path I estimated that the trail is around a mile in length. This path is perfect for little bike riders, strollers and wheelchairs.

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Alpine Groves Park

2060 SR 13, St. Johns, FL 32259

A paved 2 mile out and back path winds through the park, perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. This is not a loop so you will have to walk back the way you came if you walk the 1 mile trail. If you have older children or a stroller, I suggest parking near the horse stable near the playground. After your child plays, walk the half mile to the waters edge.

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Gourd Island Conservation Area

10170-10310 Russell Sampson Rd, St Johns, FL 32259

A conservation area just off of CR 210 for bird watching, dog walking, trail running, hiking, and biking. This is a 3.2 mile round trip trail. If you visit be sure to wear sunscreen and bug spray. There can be a few wet areas along the path if it rains, but most of the walkway is wide and the mud is avoidable.

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Riverfront Park

4065 State Rd 13, St Johns, FL 32259

This passive park boasts a spectacular view of the St. Johns river and many beautiful trails for hiking or mountain biking. This has become a favorite spot for family photos. Birds are plentiful for birdwatchers. Hallowes Cove is a beloved area for kayakers and an important habitat along the St. Johns River. There is a nice beginners mountain bike trail for little ones and an intermediate trail for the more adventurous. The trail in the woods is 4 feet wide and around 2.5 miles long. This was the trail we used to introduce mountain biking to my children once they could ride a 20″ bike. We now ride all of the mountain bike trails in the area..

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Veterans Park

1332 Veterans Parkway, St.Johns, FL 32259

This park has 4 lighted basketball courts. There are public restrooms nearby.

Mills Field

1805 Racetrack Road, St. Johns, FL 32259

There are 4 lighted tennis courts at this park. A picnic pavilion, restrooms and playgrounds are near the courts.

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Veterans Park

1332 Veterans Parkway, St.Johns, FL 32259

There are 6 full-size lighted multi-purpose fields. Florida Elite Soccer reserves the fields during soccer season making them inaccessible to the public.

Aberdeen Park

1401 Shetland Drive, St. Johns, FL 32259

Two multipurpose fields are available for soccer, flying a kite, or for throwing a football, or a frisbee.

Durbin Crossing Park

345 Islesbrook Parkway, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park has 2 multipurpose fields and restrooms. This complex has well maintained fields and regularly hosts local sports leagues including soccer and lacrosse. The fields are separated, but connected by a sidewalk. There is a separate parking area for the eastern field off of St. Johns Parkway.

Julington Creek Plantation Park

3060 Racetrack Road, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park has a football field, a multipurpose field, and an artificial turf field. You can find teams playing soccer, football, and lacrosse on these fields.

Aberdeen Park

1401 Shetland Drive, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park is special because it allows all children to participate in the American pastime of baseball. This is the epitome of “if you build it, they will come.” There are two multipurpose fields, four youth softball fields, and an all-access playground. One of these fields (The field of dreams) is a baseball field designed for all children, no matter their physical or intellectual abilities. There are other fields that are accessible for children with physical and mental differences at Mills Field and Veterans Park.

Durbin Crossing Park

345 Islesbrook Parkway, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park has 2 multipurpose fields, 4 youth baseball fields, and restrooms. This complex has well maintained fields and regularly hosts local sports leagues. Durbin park is developing quickly.

Mills Field

1805 Racetrack Road, St. Johns, FL 32259

This park has 2 softball fields, 8 baseball fields, 4 lighted tennis courts, 2 softball fields, two playgrounds, picnic pavilions, and restrooms. Even if you aren’t playing baseball, this could be a perfect stop for a fun afternoon.

Rivertown Fields

200 Swamp Oak Trail, St. Johns, FL 32259

This complex has 4 well-maintained baseball fields and restrooms. These fields are beautiful and the restrooms and concession areas are clean. Be sure to wear sunscreen or bring shade if you plan on a full day at the park as a spectator.

Switzerland Point Park

777 Greenbriar Road, St. Johns, FL 32259

These two baseball fields are directly behind Hickory Creek Elementary School. The fields are closed when being used by the baseball league.

Veterans Park

1332 Veterans Parkway, St.Johns, FL 32259

This skate park is perfect for all ages and levels of skateboarders and inline skaters. It has a mini ramp (1/2 Pipe), pyramid with a rail,  4 foot hubba, kicker ramp, manual pad, 2 rails, bank ramp, and a 4 foot quarter pipe. Parental supervision is required for children under 9 and helmets are required. There is a restroom and a picnic pavilion adjacent to the skate park.

Veterans Park

1332 Veterans Parkway, St.Johns, FL 32259

There are 3 fenced acres for dogs and their owners to enjoy. The dog park is tucked behind the skate park and restrooms. Your dog will play in a secluded and tranquil fenced field. There are two separate areas to separate the large dogs from the small ones. There are drinking fountains, a covered shelter, benches, dog wash stations, and kiddie pools for hot days. The dog park is closed every Thursday from 7am to 10 am for maintenance. No food or drink can be brought into the dog park.

Riverfront Park Kayak Launch

4065 State Rd 13, St Johns, FL 32259

The kayak launch is to the right of the parking lot. There is a small viewing area near the launch dock. This is a beautiful launch into the St. Johns River.

Durbin Creek Canoe Launch

155 Bartram Market Drive, Fruit Cove, FL 32259

This is a brand new kayak and canoe launch with a floating dock built next to the Publix at Bartram Market.

Shands Pier

10000 Shands Pier Rd, St Johns, FL 32259

This is a 500 foot pier for fishing and sightseeing. This pier has lights for night and early morning fishing and shrimping. Grab some food at Woodpeckers BBQ and eat a sandwich while you drop a line in the water.

Riverfront Park

4065 State Rd 13, St Johns, FL 32259

This fishing Pier offers access to the St. Johns River. The 270 foot pier is easy to access from the parking lot. The end of the pier is covered and there are restrooms at the park.

Alpine Groves Park Fishing Pier

2060 SR 13, St. Johns, FL 32259

This 250 foot fishing pier allows access to the St. Johns River. The end of the pier is shaded and there are benches. Restrooms are available at the parking area.

Durbin Creek Canoe Launch

155 Bartram Market Drive, Fruit Cove, FL 32259

This is a brand new kayak and canoe launch with a floating dock built next to the Publix at Bartram Market.

Mandarin Park

14780 Mandarin Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32223

Just over the bridge on San Jose Blvd is a beautiful park along Julington Creek. This park gets its name from the Mandarin oranges that used to grow there. The park has two play structures, multiple covered picnic areas, a covered pavilion with nature facts, a kayak launch, restrooms, a fishing pier, and a nature trail that is open to hikers and bikers.

Beluthahatchee Park

1501 State Rd 13, Fruit Cove, FL 32259

This is the historic home of Stetson Kennedy (author, folklorist, environmentalist, and human rights activist). His friend Woody Guthrie (singer and songwriter) best known for his folk song “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land” visited here and wrote many songs here. According to Zora Neale Hurston (Friend of Kennedy and Author of  Their Eyes Were Watching God), the name “Beluthahatchee” describes a mythical “Florida Shangri-la, where all unpleasantness is forgiven and forgotten.” You can tour this home by appointment or attend the second Sunday concerts for free. This park contains a picnic pavilion and two wildlife observation platforms. There are plans for a “mother earth” nature trail at the historic location.

Julington Durbin Creek Nature Preserve

13130 Bartram Park Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32223

A nature preserve appropriate for biking, hiking, trail running, and horseback riding. The paths here are wide and the trails are regularly traveled. The trails are as short as 2 miles if you walk to the sightseeing landing, but if you take the white and red trail it is a 6.1 mile round trip. Be sure to wear you sunscreen and bug spray if you plan to walk these trails. There is also access to the creek for kayaking and canoe.

Durbin Park East

480 Durbin Pavilion Dr, St Johns, FL 32259

Durbin park is developing quickly. There are plans in (phase 2) for a woodland preserve with walking trails, a green space with a video wall, a Ferris wheel, and a merry-go-round.

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LEAH NOEL

Senior Writer

Leah was born in the Wild West of California and raised in the beautiful bluegrass of Kentucky. She fell in love with the magic of St Augustine and moved here as a newlywed. She lives with four untamable children, a menagerie of animals and a loving husband. Leah spends most of her time trying to wrangle small beasts as they explore the world, tell her they don’t want what’s for dinner and complain about wearing shoes. Her favorite things are seeing the spark of discovery in little eyes and being creative. Leah loves to help and has a tender heart. She rarely meets someone she doesn’t like. Don’t be afraid to say hello if you see her out and about.