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August 21, 2023

Sunrises & Sunsets in Clay County

Whether you prefer early mornings or the end of the day, slow down and enjoy the beauty of the sun as it rises and sets in Clay County. As home to natural waterways, waterfront dining, nature trails, camping and more, there’s no shortage of memorable spots to experience a peaceful, quiet moment to start (or end) the day!  

Here’s a look at where you can experience the beauty of sunrises and sunsets in Clay County –  

Camp Chowenwaw – Green Cove Springs 

Dating back to 1933, Green Cove Springs’ Camp Chowenwaw County Park was once Florida’s first Girl Scout Camp. Today, the public park offers 150 acres, a swimming pool and numerous trails for exploring and pristine conditions for overnight camping too. Make your way to the camp’s fishing dock along Black Creek to watch the sunrise and set surrounded by nature.  

Girl Scouts Hiking in Clay County

Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park – Keystone Heights 

Known as one of Florida’s First State Parks, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights is home to 2,000 acres with 5.44 miles of trails along the Florida National Scenic Trail. Take a seat along Little Lake Johnson to enjoy the sun coming up among the park’s Longleaf Pine trees. As a full-facility campground with 73 camp sites, overnight accommodations are available for RVs, tents and cabin rentals. 

Jennings State Forest – Oakleaf 

With more than 15 different natural biological communities in Jennings State Forest, including sandhill, slope forest, flatwoods, seepage slope, dome swamp, blackwater stream and seepage stream. The forest offers natural surroundings for beginning the day with the sunrise and ending the day at sunset with primitive camping at Hammock and Bootleggers campgrounds. 

Royal Moose Coffee Company – Middleburg 

If you’d rather start your day early and enjoy the sunrise, stop in at the Royal Moose Coffee Company in Middleburg. Located along the banks of Black Creek, this family-owned and operated coffee spot has waterfront views with picnic tables available to soak up those first glimpses of sunshine.  

Coffee Sign at Royal Moose Coffee Company
Coffee Sign at Royal Moose Coffee Company

River Road – Orange Park 

Further north into Orange Park, River Road is a popular spot for those looking to walk or run along the riverfront in the mornings. Adorned with riverfront homes, the street also offers pedestrians a wide sidewalk for exercising and biking. Recommended parking for accessing River Road includes near the intersection of Kingsley Avenue and River Road near Moosehaven Retirement Community and on the north end of River Road near BestBet Orange Park.  

a paved curved sidewalk next to water with a sunset
River Road Trail – Orange Park Florida

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church – Green Cove Springs 

Located just steps from the St. Johns River in Green Cove Springs, the historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Green Cove Springs welcomes visitors to admire the sunrise in a peaceful setting to start the day. Added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the church holds multiple church services during the week, including Sundays.  

Sunset Tiki Bar – Fleming Island 

Located along the banks of Doctors Lake, off of Highway 17, stop in to admire the sunset at the Sunset Tiki Bar at Doctors Lake Marina. With local food trucks rotating throughout the week, daily drink specials and live music on the weekends, this is a festive spot to relax and enjoy the end of the day with a waterfront sunset view.  

Drinks at Sunset Tiki Bar

Enjoy the natural beauty of Clay County during your time in Northeast Florida. From sunrise to sunset,  plan your next adventure in Clay County at  

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