Welcome to Camp Chowenwaw Park:

Nature's Calendar

Winter (December - February)
Winter around Camp Chowenwaw Park is full of contrasts. Trees that brightened the fall forest drop their colorful leaves, showing branches as bare as a northern winter landscape. Yet this is also a time of great activity. Black bear cubs are born. Bald eagle chicks hatch. Wood duck nesting season begins. Witch hazel, yellow jessamine, and red maple bloom. Flocks of robins and cedar waxwings visit from their northern breeding grounds. Watch for other overwintering birds such as yellow rumped warblers, yellow bellied sapsuckers, hooded mergansers, ruby crowned kinglets, ring billed gulls, American goldfinches, and eastern phoebes. Visit us this season and you will see that it isn’t only people who love the fine North Florida winters!

Birdwatchers’ Update
The Great Backyard Bird Count February 13-16 revealed some winter rarities at Camp Chowenwaw Park, including an overwintering American Redstart and a flock of Pine Siskins.

Volunteering at Camp Chowenwaw Park:
Opportunities for Camp Chowenwaw Park volunteers include leading environmental education programs, helping with our museum, and general park maintenance projects.

Adobe icon Info for Current Volunteers

Special Events and Public Programs:

Adobe icon  History museum is open third Saturdays 9 – 11 am
Adobe icon  Visit the Nature Center in Kiwita Building for quarterly exhibits and featured speakers. Check dates and times here.
Adobe icon  In honor of the 45th annual Earth Day, join us to Celebrate Earth at Camp Chowenwaw County Park on Saturday April 11, 9 am to 3 pm. Check back here for activity schedule.

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 outdoor enthusiast.


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