Ft. George SandbarJacksonville, FL
The Ft. George area is a great place to visit by boat and relax, float and chill.
Ft. George is actually the inside area of Ft. George inlet. It’s located north of Mayport and south of Amelia Island. The specific area to anchor is along the northern shoreline to the west of the A1A bridge and at the “S” bend, close to the Kingsley Plantation dock.
This region is my favorite in the Jacksonville area because of its’ unspoiled beauty and natural surroundings. There are lots of sand dunes and tributaries and plenty of places to get away from the hustle and bustle of Jacksonville. With Jacksonville’s explosive growth over the past 20 years there are very few places in the area to feel like you’re truly “away”. Ft. George is one of those places. The other is South Ponte Vedra to Matanzas Inlet.
BE AWARE OF THE TIDE
I’m reposting this word-for-word from my Matanzas post because it’s so important. It has been a while since I boated in this area and one thing I forgot about was the dramatic tide swing. The difference between high and low tide is easily 5 ft. As a result, you have to pay close attention to your boat while anchored. While I was out I saw three different boats high and dry and almost got my Hewes stuck too! The tide rises and falls fast. Pay attention and adjust your boat frequently.
When you pull off the intracoastal and head east towards the inlet you must be on high alert for sandbars. If the tide is low they are easy to spot. If the tide is high they are not — especially, since the water is not as clear. My advice is to slowly follow other boats during your first visit or two. Also, use the breadcrumb feature on your GPS (if it has it) so you can backtrack your path when it’s time to leave (or visit again).
To access the area you’ll make a left turn just after passing the Kingsley Plantation and pass between two sandbars. Once past the sandbars head east but stay close to shore where the deeper water is. Keep in mind that this place is ever-changing so it’s best to observe what other boaters are doing.
POPULAR ON WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS
It goes without saying that Ft. George is super-popular on weekends and holidays. Like most of my locations, it’s ideal to visit during the week if possible. This is mostly because the boat ramps in Jax fill up fast which brings me to the next topic.
BOAT RAMP MAYHAM!
Jacksonville has grown so much that the city needs to either build more ramps or expand existing parking. One of the most convenient ramps is located off Beach Blvd. near Beach Marine. When I got to that ramp at 8am it was totally full except for one remaining, unappealing, parking spot near the kayak launch. While I was there many others were forced to turn away. After my day was done, I arrived back at the car and saw that someone blocked me in. In addition, there were others parked around me making it almost impossible to pull a
I wound up having to unhitch my trailer and manually walk it out after moving a portable toilet ten feet to clear space. Ugh! The next day I tried to use the Vilano boat ramp in St. Augustine. When I arrived at 7:30am it was totally packed and trucks with trailers were lined up along A1A for a 1/4 mile in either direction. Ugh again! Needless to say, Jax has a boat ramp problem that hopefully, will be solved in the near future.
BEACH & BOAT INFO
WHERE TO ANCHOR:
Anchor Along the Waterline Along the Inlet (North Side, West of Bridge)
Also Along the “S” Bend Near the Kingsley Plantation Dock
HOW TO ANCHOR:
Use Bow and Stern Anchor & Pay Attention to BIG Tide Changes
Clean but Dark
NEARBY MARINAS/BOAT DOCKAGE
Click on the 360 Video below for an immersive look at this location
If using a mobile device use the YouTube app for the optimal experience