Welcome to Camp Chowenwaw Park:|
Announcement: Swimming Pool at Camp Chowenwaw Park
will not be open for the 2013 season.
Summer (June – August)
Summer brings the longest days of the year to northern
Florida, and the rainiest. On the summer solstice June 20, the sun sets in Green
Cove Springs a full 14 hours after it rises, making that day four hours longer
than the winter solstice December 21. In northern Maine the light period nearly
doubles from winter to summer while at the equator it hardly varies at all.
North Florida’s summer rains average 6 inches per month. In this brightest,
warmest, wettest season the natural world fairly drips with life. Food is
abundant. Soft berries ripen. Activity peaks for many insects: cicadas, wasps,
dragonflies, grasshoppers. It is breeding season for black bears. Manatees are
commonly seen in Black Creek. Young bobcats and foxes are learning to hunt.
Opossums produce their second litter of the year. Summer flowers include
buttonbush, scarlet rosemallow, goldenrods and ironweeds. Most songbirds finish
raising their chicks by mid-summer. Prothonotary warblers may raise a second
brood. “Fall” migration starts as early as July. Swallow-tailed kites move to
staging roosts in South Florida before migrating to southern Brazil. The
black-and-white warbler is an early southbound migrant that may be seen at
Chowenwaw. Tropical storms can bring unusual avian visitors, so remember your
binoculars rain or shine!
Now Recruiting Volunteers for Camp Chowenwaw Park:
Opportunities for Camp Chowenwaw Park volunteers include leading environmental
education programs, helping with our museum, and general park maintenance
Weekend Education Series:
Check back for next program.
Camp Chowenwaw Park is a 150 – acre site that Clay County purchased in the Spring of 2006 from the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council. The Girl Scouts operated the camp for more than 70 years before deciding to relocate. The parcel has 100 acres of wetlands and 50 acres of uplands, and is located at the mouth of Black Creek. This relatively pristine site contains predominantly undisturbed upland and wetland natural communities. Camp Chowenwaw Park is located on 1.5 miles of shoreline on Black Creek and Peters Creek and provides a habitat for many water birds. The aquatic vegetation provides foraging areas for the St. Johns River manatee population as well as an ideal habitat for many fish species. Bald eagles, river otters, white tailed deer, turkeys, alligators, foxes, raccoons, migrating songbirds, as well as frogs, lizards, snakes, and turtles are just a few of the creatures you might see while visiting Camp Chowenwaw Park.
Recreational activities include camping, picnicking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing,
bird watching, wildlife viewing, outdoor photography, and hiking. Our trail
systems through the uplands and the wetlands offer scenic tracts for the hiking
enthusiast. Camping facilities include 15 tent sites, two lodges with bunk beds
sleeping 16 people per cabin, 9 tree house cabins, each accommodating 4 people,
and 7 cabins with bunk beds sleeping 4 – 8 people. Each campsite has a
bathhouse with full restroom accommodations, and a unit house with electricity,
including a stove and refrigerator. Located throughout the park, and at each
campsite, are picnic tables and grills for use by campers and park visitors. To
minimize impacts on our natural resources and to protect our plant and wildlife
communities, vehicle access is limited. Camping sites and cabins are accessed
by walking trails. The park is ideally suited as a natural outdoor
environmental education facility when you consider the setting, location, and
proximity of diverse upland and wetland ecosystems. Classes and naturalist
programs for organized groups and the public will be available in outdoor and
indoor classrooms. The natural outdoor laboratory will allow an opportunity for
all conservation minded organizations to become involved with projects to
promote protection and conservation enhancement of aquatic, terrestrial habitat,
and wildlife in St. Johns watersheds.
Stop by for a
picnic or a scenic nature hike, attend one of our naturalist programs, or stay
for a day or two in one of our tree house cabins. Enjoy a bird’s eye view
overlooking the Peters Creek floodplain surrounded by spectacular forested
wetland communities of mature cypress and hardwoods. We have it all for the
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