Fort Caroline National Memorial, Jacksonville

4.4
#7 of 21 in Parks in Jacksonville
Fort Caroline was one of the first French colonies in the present-day United States, located on the banks of the St. Johns River in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. It was established under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière on June 22, 1564, as a new territorial claim in French Florida and a safe haven for Huguenots. The French settlement came into conflict with the Spanish, who established St. Augustine in September 1565, and Fort Caroline was sacked by Spanish troops under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on September 20. The Spanish continued to occupy the site as San Mateo until 1569.The exact location where the fort once stood is unknown. In 1953 the National Park Service established the Fort Caroline National Memorial along the southern bank of the St. John's River near the point that commemorates Laudonnière's first landing. This is generally accepted by scholars as being in the vicinity of the original fort, though probably not the exact location. The memorial is now managed as a part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve although it remains a distinct National Park Service entity.HistoryCharlesfort (1562)A French expedition, organized by Protestant leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny and led by the French Explorer Jean Ribault, had landed at the site on the May River (now the St. Johns River) in February 1562, where Ribault encountered the Timucuans who were led by Chief Saturiwa. Ribault then traveled to present-day South Carolina and with twenty-eight men built a settlement known as Charlesfort. Ribault then returned to Europe to arrange supplies for the new colony, but was briefly imprisoned in England on suspicion of spying as a result of the French Wars of Religion, which prevented his return to Florida.
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Fort Caroline National Memorial Reviews
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238 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • An interesting and informative visit worth visiting. And it's free. It has also been the walk in the Woods, we really had a nice time. We recommend this site.
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  • I thoroughly enjoyed this place, because on weekends volunteers come out to display the talents of colonial people with spinning wheels, candle making, and blacksmithing.  more »
  • We came out of interest for history but did not expect a lot. When we arrived the volunteers in the visitor center were very personable. They explained and suggested going over to the plantation house...  more »
Google
  • Such a peaceful and historic place. It's a great family hike: clear path and only a mile. The fort is an awesome place for children to explore and learn. It's hardly ever crowded. A true gem! It's also now linked to Teddy Roosevelt hiking...just cross the road.
  • A must go to if interested in history, not just for children. I love history and enjoy reading about the things that's happened in my city. Enjoy
  • A great spot a little off the beaten path to step back into time and enjoy the coastal landscape - fun for young kids to explore
  • Nice quiet well maintained. They have a little visitors center with a brief history of the fort and a small gift shop. 15 minutes or so. Beautiful view of the river and a short 5-10 minute walk to the fort via a dirt trail from the visitors center. They allow dogs, so next time I will take mine. They lock the gates promptly at 5 and come looking for you at 4:30. You'll be considered an intruder if you get there anytime after 4. Get there early and enjoy a couple of hours walking around
  • We always enjoy visiting Fort Caroline. The grounds and trails are impeccably maintained, the staff is knowledgeable, and the small museum in the visitor's center is a nice way to end your trip. Family and pet-friendly.

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