Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Take a Trip to One of Our Great Parks

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Take a Trip to One of Our Great Parks

Article excerpt

Today begins a regular series designed to challenge our readers to explore Duval County's wonderful park system and enjoy a weekly breath of fresh air.

On most Saturdays throughout 2017 we will publish information about a park within the county that deserves a visit. We'll include information about what to see and where to go.

We're urging readers to take up our challenge to visit more of the natural areas. After all, we've been blessed here in that Duval County possesses one of the largest urban park systems in the country.

Join with us to make a resolution this year to visit more of the wonderful outdoor spots Jacksonville offers. Make this your year to get outside.

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park may be the queen of parks in Duval County.

At 50 years of age, Hanna Park is part of our county's landscape.

The danger is that it is taken for granted.

But its value is in its location, right adjacent to the oceanfront.

SO MANY OPTIONS

Although its noticeable crown is the nearly 2-mile stretch of pristine white beach, there's an awful lot more to Hanna Park than beach.

Twenty miles of scenic trails stretch through the park, providing access for walkers, joggers, bicyclers and dog walkers, who can take advantage of Hanna as long as their pooch is leashed. A splash park and playgrounds are perfect for younger visitors.

For people who want to extend their visits to Hanna Park, there are rustic air-conditioned cabins as well as tent and RV campsites so wooded you'll never imagine you're in the middle of Mayport.

There are picnic pavilions, a retreat center, kayaks and paddleboats to rent.

You can even get married there at the Dolphin Plaza, an oceanfront location that's also good for a family reunion or corporate outing.

Park Ranger Jared Sampson says he would like more people to take advantage of what Hanna Park has to offer as he stopped his patrol of the beach to pick up his binoculars to scan the ocean. …

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