Fort Caroline is steeped in history. But its dedication to preserving the natural beauty of Northeast Florida sets it apart from its urban neighbors. You could spend hours wandering the trails of the Timucuan Preserve and still not see all that it has to offer.
A Little History
Like so much of the rest of Northeast Florida, Native Americans of the Timucuan tribe made their home here for hundreds of years. In 1952, French explorers (lead by Jean Ribault) landed here. They founded the original Fort Caroline. After a rough couple of years, the French left Fort Caroline in 1956, setting sail back to their native land.
Spain and France both battled over this area of Florida for many years. Eventually, the Spanish destroyed the original Fort Caroline and put up their own fort in its place. While Fort Caroline’s original location has been lost to history, a memorial has been erected on the spot where it is believed to have originally stood (Fort Caroline National Memorial).
What to Do in Fort Caroline
Fort Caroline is home to the Timucuan Preserve Visitor Center. In the center, visit the “Where the Waters Meet” exhibit for in-depth information about Northeastern Florida’s natural environment. It also showcases how humans have lived and thrived within this environment for literally thousands of years. Kids ages 4-12 absolutely love the Junior Ranger Program with lots of fun activities geared specifically for this age set.
The Ribault Monument on St John’s Bluff commemorates the landing of the first European settler (Jean Ribault) to Fort Caroline in 1562. Get your cameras ready because the view from the monument is spectacular. Wander the nature trails of the Theodore Roosevelt Area between 9 am and 4:45 pm every day of the week. See both flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Continue your hiking in the nature preserve along the Spanish Pond’s boardwalk and trails.
If you’re interested in moving to the Fort Caroline area of Northeast Florida, contact the Welch Team for more information.