St. Johns River Guidebook

St. Johns River GuidebookKevin McCarthy

Pineapple Press, 2004
ISBN: 1561643149

From any point of view – historical, commercial, or recreational – the St. Johns River is the most important river in Florida. Its 310 miles have been witness to some of the most important people in our state’s history: Jean Ribault, John and William Bartram, John McIntosh, Zephaniah Kingsley, Harriet Beecher Stowe; as well as many important groups: Timucuan and Seminole Indians, runaway slaves, British and Spanish settlers, missionaries, and many thousands of more modern Floridians and visitors who have boated, fished, developed, painted, photographed, and described the river.

This guide describes the history, major towns/cities along the way, wildlife, personages associated with the river. You’ll go by Sanford and Georgetown, Palatka and Orange Park. And at the mouth of the river, you’ll encounter the metropolis of Jacksonville and the Naval Station in Mayport.

You will see manatees and jumping fish and lots of species of birds. You will meet many kinds of vessels: large boats and fishing boats making their living from the river, small day-tripping boats meandering its nooks and crannies, and houseboats floating by or anchored along the banks. Away from the big towns on quiet weekdays, you will experience a solitude and closeness to nature that may surprise you in this very populated state.

Because not everyone interested in the river has the time or facilities to boat it, the last part of each chapter describes the land journey on each side of the St. Johns, from south to north. The last chapter describes some of the many places for lodging and eating along the way.

So come aboard! Put on your hat and throw away your cares. Let’s float down the most important river in Florida: the mighty St. Johns (though for this north-flowing river, down is up!). We’ll start where the river starts, in the marshes west of Vero Beach, and end up 310 miles later at the Atlantic ocean.

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