December 13, 2022
Escape Wintery Weather and Explore Clay County, Florida
Winter weather got you down? Wanting to spend more time outdoors, but the chilly temperatures are keeping you inside? Plan yourself a visit to Clay County, Florida and soak up some Florida sunshine as you breathe in the outdoors.
Here’s a look at some popular activities to experience this winter during your time in Clay County
Let’s Play Golf!
Interested in playing golf this winter? Choose from one of Clay County’s four, pristine golf courses. In Green Cove Springs, test your skills at the Magnolia Point Golf Club among the pine and magnolia trees. Set within a 1,000-acre community, wildlife is frequently seen on the course, making it a unique playing field for golfers. The Fleming Island Golf Course comes in at 6,700 yards with a par of 71. Surrounded by water and carefully-place sand bunkers, the front nine challenges golfers to play their best game while the back nine features a quiet course among the trees and wildlife.
Unique to Fleming Island Golf Club is the Top of the Tee – home to ten covered hitting bays equipped with Toptracer Technology. Each bay has its own seating area, paired with a nearby bar and televisions making this venue perfect for groups. Golfers can choose from different games including closest to the pin, longest drive competitions, points games and more. The lighted driving range also allows for players to practice even after the sun goes down.
In Clay County’s Oakleaf neighborhood, Eagle Landing Golf Course features a 7,037-yard, par 72 course surrounded with Southern pine and palmetto trees. With six tees, ranging from juniors to championship, this course progresses in difficulty as the game finds its way the 18th green.
Best known for their island practice green, the Eagle Harbor Golf Course in Fleming Island features an 18-hole course surrounding the Eagle Harbor community of homes. Designed by award-winning course architect Clyde B. Johnston, golfers can enjoy rolling Bermuda grass fairways with plenty of water hazards to make the course a bit more challenging.
Go for a Bike Ride
Whether you are into biking nature trails, the open road or racing against fellow competitors, Clay County offers a variety of options for those interested in exploring the area on two wheels in the wintertime.
One of Clay County’s most popular biking spots is the Black Creek Park and Trail. Adjacent to Highway 17, this 8-mile paved path connects bikers and walkers to points between Orange Park, Fleming Island and Green Cove Springs. Black Creek Park serves as a starting/ending location with parking, a covered pavilion and restrooms. The park also serves as the starting point for the mountain bike course that runs two miles through the park. Existing trailheads are at Black Creek Park, Thunderbolt Park and Camp Chowenwaw County Park.
In Keystone Heights, cyclists can join in on the Palatka-to-Lake-Butler State Bike Trail. This 47-mile trail connects west of U.S. 17 in Palatka to State Road 238 in Lake Butler, as it runs along the former Norfolk-Southern Railroad right-of-way through Putnam, Clay, Bradford, and Union counties. This cycling path was deemed part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System in 2007 and purchased with Preservation 2000 funds through the Florida Greenways and Trails Acquisition Program.
Look for Manatees
Manatees, also known as sea cows for their grazing habits, can often be tough to find in their natural habitats. Often found in salt, brackish and fresh water, manatees are slow-moving mammals that spend their days eating and sleeping.
Manatees cannot tolerate cold water temperatures for extended periods of time. They look for warmer waters when the water temperatures drop below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Between November and March, manatees tend to migrate toward natural springs and waters near power plant discharge canals – both known to be places with warm water temperatures.
In Clay County, areas known for manatee sightings include the vegetation along Black Creek, Doctors Lake near private docks, Governor’s Creek in Green Cove Springs and the mighty St. Johns River. So, pack your warm weather clothes and get ready to visit Clay County – home to beautiful golf courses, hiking and biking trails, peaceful waterways, and small towns. We invite you to experience a side of Clay County that allows you to enjoy the Florida sunshine this winter.