Mayport isn’t really a town like your average American town. It’s a U.S. Navy port and Mayport Naval Station, commissioned back in 1942, is the third largest in the country. So if you don’t have someone who lives or serves here, you must be going to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. The ferry will take you a half-mile across the St. Johns River in a matter of minutes, saving you time especially if you are headed from Jacksonville to Amelia Island or the parks of northern Duval County. The ferry is $3 and for more information call 1-904-241-9969.
It is little wonder people love the beautiful 450-acre Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park that is run by the city of Jacksonville. It is located just south of the Mayport Naval Station. Hanna Park offers free access to the wonderful, lifeguarded 1.5 mile long beach. The deal here is the 20 mile network of hiking and bike trails.
Mountain bike trails here are actually maintained by the local bike shops. They are listed like ski runs with the names “Misery” and “Logjam” and run over some 2 miles each. 293 campsites here make this a pretty big place.
The entrance fee is $1 a head and Hanna Park is one of the best recreational bargains on the “First Coast.” Think of it as a mixture of nature amidst the military sprawl of Mayport.
But it’s worth a stop if you’re crossing the St. Johns River via the Mayport Ferry, and everyone tells us that Singleton’s Seafood Shack (4728 Ocean Street, 1-904-246-4442) is excellent. The “Shack” specializes in steamed shrimp and rock shrimp, but they also have grouper, dolphin, snapper, flounder, and other varieties on their big menu.
Location: 3.5 miles north of Jacksonville Beach, off Mayport Road, in Mayport
Parking: $1 per person, ages six and up. Camping fees are $13 per RV and $10.13 per tent, with full hookups.
Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM (8 PM in summer)
Facilities: concessions, lifeguards (seasonal), restrooms, picnic tables, showers, and a visitor center
Contact: Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park 1-904-249-4700