Spring is almost upon us in the Sunshine State, and locals and tourists alike are already looking for new and exciting ways to enjoy the fresh air and lower temps (while they last). There’s no better way to get back in touch with nature than to treat yourself to a good hike — and Florida is full of amazing spots to explore. Cedar Point, on the southern tip of Black Hammock Island on the Timucuan Preserve National Park in Jacksonville, is one such place.
Florida has a rich history that you can still find remnants of today, such as plantations, slave houses, and even Indian midden mounds.
Cedar Point isn’t just a cool place to hike, it’s like traveling back through time to see what Florida looked like 200 years ago.
Consisting of about 400 acres, Cedar Point is free to explore, and visitors can wander through the upland hammocks and salt marsh habitats by both land and water.
And if you’re really tapped into your adventurer’s spirit, you can even find some of the 19th century Fitzpatrick Plantation Ruins.
The tabby wall ruins are all that remains of the plantation built by William Fitzpatrick in 1795 on Cedar Point, and it’s not the only ghostly ruins that reside on the Timucuan Preserve National Park.
The Fitzpatrick plantation was sold to the Broward family in 1848, and later became part of the preserve in the 1990s.
The NPS even has a kayak guide available to help you find it and other notable points of interest.
Other sites on the preserve include the Thomson House and the Kingsley Plantation.
Reaching the Fitzpatrick tabby walls can be challenging, but thankfully, some seasoned adventurer recorded the exact GPS coordinates for future explorers to use.
After arriving at the Cedar Point Boat Ramp parking lot, visitors can follow the start of the path from there. Eventually, you’ll come across a sign outlining the Cedar Point hiking trails.
According to directions from the aforementioned adventurer, Barbara Stevenson, "The quickest way to the ruins is to follow the blue marked route (not the red) and keep left each time it forks. It is about 0.8 of a mile to the ruins."
The ruins lie in a maritime forest, so be sure to use bug spray, wear covered shoes, and be prepared to walk about two miles total.
Exploring this sliver of the past might just be worth the hike!
Cedar Point Fitzpatrick Plantation Ruins
When: Open year-round
Address: GPS Coordinates: N 30°26.633 and W 81°27.700 (Cedar Point Boat Ramp Parking Lot), N 30°26.524 and W 81°27.931 (ruins)
Why You Need To Go: Take a refreshing hike through the woods and explore some Floridian history.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.