Getting a last minute campsite is tricky these days but I managed to book a spot for 2 nights beneath the Spanish Moss in the coastal jungles of Jacksonville FL.
Ok, it may not have been as far out in the wilderness as it sounds but it sure felt like I was in the jungle.
This adventure takes place at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville, FL – a huge oceanfront city park located between Atlantic Beach and the historic Mayport Village.
Entering Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
I pull up to the booth at the park’s main entrance. There’s a gate in front of me and I can’t go any further until I square up with the guy’s working in the booth.
The friendly park employee’s get me checked in, give me the code to enter the camping area and raise the gate for me to enter the park.
Getting To My Campsite
After a few twists and turns around the 447 acre park I enter the campground area. Just over a speedbump there’s another booth and gate.
There’s no one in this booth but I spy a keypad and enter the code given to me at the main entrance.
And the gate goes up!
Several feet into the campground I realize this isn’t going to be one of my ordinary camping adventures.
Around My Campsite
I find my campsite without any problems and back in to my site.
This campsite is HUGE. I’m not quite sure where to park.
Finally, I settle on a spot and level out the van with the leveling blocks.
Once Bella is level I walk across the road to take a picture. The campsite looks small from this angle but I assure you it’s far from tiny. The rest of the campsite is hidden behind the trees to the left.
It feels like I’m in the jungle – yet there are other camper’s nearby.
I pause to listen to the bird sounds of the jungle. It’s like in the movies! I almost expect to see monkeys swinging from the trees!
I check out the firepit and picnic table at the far end of my campsite. The wooden picnic table is damp. Moisture is oozing from the wood but this isn’t unusual.
I chuckle to myself as I walk past the tire tracks I made when I was trying to figure out where to park.
Just beyond the firepit are my next door neighbors but you wouldn’t know it unless you looked closely.
To the right of my campsite is a trail. This trail leads to my other next door neighbor but this spot is empty. It’s for tent campers only.
Campsite Wildlife Activity
By mid-afternoon my stomach is growling. I haven’t eaten since breakfast.
While making something to eat, I see something out of the corner of my eye.
Out the back window, I see a well-fed cardinal sitting in the trees.
He sat there a while so I grabbed my phone and he posed for a picture.
My back windows are tinted and dirty but, if I had gone outside to get a clearer picture, he may have flown away.
I notice a squirrel bouncing around my campsite. He scurried around on the ground for a bit and, then, pounced on to my picnic table.
Suddenly… the squirrel jumps down to the ground.
Sir Snoops-A-Lot appears to be looking for food scraps but he was out of luck in my campsite.
Try next door, little buddy! They might have dropped something!
The next day I had more visitors.
This may or may not be the same cardinal as yesterday but I appreciated the visit and the chance to get a clearer picture!
A few minutes later I heard an unfamiliar sound coming from the other side of my campsite. I thought it was some sort of weird bug noise so I cautiously investigated.
Curiosity led me to these little guys sitting in the bushes…
They blend in pretty well and there were several of them on that side of my camp.
I have no idea what kind of birds these are but my guess is they made the sound I heard. Either that or they ate the bug that made the noise.
Want To Hear The Soothing Sounds of Nature?!
The link below is a 26 second video I took the first morning. It’s a foggy morning in the “jungle” and the sounds of nature can be clearly heard.
The video is shared from my Google Drive account and will open when you click the link.
Trails At Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
There are several trails to walk at the park with difficulty levels ranging from easy to very difficult. But I never got around to the trails.
My time was spent enjoying nature from my own private campsite and, once in a while, taking a stroll down the road and back.
Wrapping It Up
The weather was great during my 2 days of camping at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.
With temps in the low 70’s by day, low 60’s by night and very tolerable humidity levels there was certainly nothing to complain about.
I needed some time in nature but I never expected this!
Enjoying the sounds and solitude of nature helped me get out of the funk I was in after having to leave Homestead earlier than planned.
For more info about the park go to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.