This was my first trip from Fort Clinch State Park. There are several routes that can be followed and I laid out a short trip to circumnavigate Little Tiger Island.
The park ranger told me that I could put my kayak in and park at the campground next to site 40. I was on the water by 9 AM with low tide, so I was certain to not run out of water on my return.
I put in on the St. Mary's river then turned south onto the Amelia River. About two miles south on the Amelia River you come to St. Joseph Creek which I decide to explore as long as I had navigable water. I was able to paddle about two miles of the 2.3-mile creek. Then headed back to the Amelia River. This was my first Dolphin sighting. There were two large dolphins (8') swimming in the creek. And just as I was leaving the creek and entering the river I saw a small shark feeding. It was about 18 inches from my seat on the kayak when it noticed me it splashed some water in my boat as it scooted away.
I continued south on Amelia River to the marina where I paddled into the large boat docking area just checking it out. Noticed one outboard with (3) 225 hp motors. Nobody was on board so they couldn't accept my challenge of a race. I then paddled across Amelia River to Bells River.
Looking at my mapping software there are several trips that can be paddled depending on the distance one is interested in. I took the shortest trip and took the first right turn on Tiger Creek and paddled around the west and north sides of Little Tiger Island. Once around the north tip of the island you enter the St. Mary's River, which is about 1 miles wide, and this takes you back to the put in.
My second sighting of two dolphins was just prior to rounding the north tip. These might have been the same two I saw in St. Joseph Creek based on their size. I paddled a total of 11 miles, which included the four, plus miles on St Joseph Creek.
When you leave the put in there were no banks, just water right up into the salt marsh grass. There was a nice, small beach on the north side of the channel on Tiger Island and the whole north side of Little Tiger Island is a beach.
Fort Cinch State Park campground
If you launch from inside the state park there is an entrance fee.
From Jacksonville, FL take I-95 N to to A1A East to Fernandina Beach. Ft. Clinch SP is just north of that...
I used Garmin Roads and Recreation software and my Garmin Map76S GPS