Experiencing Nature in Clay County Florida: Park Campsites & Camping
Home to art, culture, history, and fresh cuisine, Clay County is a quaint area in Northeast Florida that attracts locals and nearby visitors for its small-town charm. While there’s a lot to love within, it’s the rustic trails and open campgrounds between towns that move people to visit this tranquil Florida side. Whether you’re looking to escape the city and connect with the sounds of nature or planning an outdoor getaway with friends and family, Clay County has campgrounds suited for your kind of adventures. Check out these top campsites in Clay County for your next trip to Florida.
With over 150 acres of a public park at the mouth of Black Creek, Camp Chowenwaw campgrounds are a favorite amongst outdoor enthusiasts for activities beyond just hiking and biking. Take a dip in the swimming pool, cast a line on the fishing pier, or rent a kayak at the launch. Once known as the Girl Scout Council site for over 70 years, this campground has played a vital role in the lives of three generations of young women in Northeast Florida and inspired many to now become leaders in the community. Today, it has become a popular attraction for visitors for its public parks, overnight camping sites, and cabins.
At Camp Chowenwaw, you can take your camping trip to the next level (literally) with a stay at Treehouse Point. This one-of-a-kind experience brings out the child in campers and offers the opportunity to reside in a treehouse cabin for your visit. This campground is favored by locals and visitors for its conservation, historic preservation, and outdoor recreation area.
Gold Head State Park
Florida is home to many state parks, but Gold Head State Park can claim the name as one of the first to exist in the state. Developed on a 600-acre site by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the antiquity still shines through today. Aside from the history it holds, this Gold Head State Park brings in campers for excursions like fishing, canoeing, swimming, and wildlife viewing as well. Snag a spot for your RV on the camping site, pop up your tent, or glamp at one of the many cabins. Start your mornings on the water in Little Lake Johnson and grill out at the picnic area after a long day under the Florida sun. This campsite welcomes you to embrace the historic features through the night as some of the lakefront cabins were built by the very own Civilian Conservation Corps back in the day.
Bayard Conservation Area
Bank fishing, horseback riding, biking, boating, and wildlife viewing—Bayard Conservation Area has it all for the adventure seekers of Clay County. Experience the diversity of natural ecosystems and those who inhabit it when you stay on this campground. That means, if you keep a watchful eye, you can catch sights of gopher tortoises, bald eagles, Florida black bear, little blue heron, deer, turkey, and the eastern indigo snake, too.
This property is home to two campsites. Choose from the Hammock campground, nestled in the flatwoods for a quieter stay, or choose the Riverside campsite for the sounds and sights of the St. Johns River just outside your setup. Whatever you choose, your stay at Bayard Conservation Area will be nothing short of breathtaking views with wildlife encounters.
Equipped with air conditioning, electricity, refrigerators, and a dining hall, this cabin complex gives visitors a step up from the camping lifestyle for a more sheltered stay. Each cabin accommodates up to six people, with three sets of bunk beds per unit so you can invite the whole family or gather your group of friends. With a convenient location and accessible amenities, Squirrel Run is perfect for first-time campers or larger groups. Book your stay for just $50 per night or rent out the entire site for $350.
Wherever you choose to stay in Clay County, you’ll be welcomed with wildlife and waterways that define the south’s authenticity. So, take the path less traveled and follow the rustic road to the picturesque towns of Northeast Florida. With over 164 miles of trails through local and state parks, historic landmarks dated back to the 1800s, and of course campgrounds that soothe you to sounds of nature you’ll be sure to make memories with friends and family that will last a lifetime.