Jacksonville, Florida is known for history, culture, size, and natural beauty. Baymeadows, Deerwood, and Southpoint are three Southside neighborhoods definitely representing these qualities. All three are home to some perfectly lovely outdoor places. Nature parks of varied sizes hold space for Jacksonville’s characteristic charm to continue gracing visitors and residents alike.
Baymeadows is known for cultural diversity. With easy access (its main road crosses or parallels multiple main Jacksonville roads), it’s understandable how many people of differing backgrounds would call this place home. There seems to be a collection of things that people agree on cross culturally, wherever we come from, and one of those things is appreciation for natural beauty and the unique experiences of being outdoors. The parks in this area are well appreciated, reflecting that belief.
Topping the list of parks in the Southside area is Baymeadows 9A/Baymeadows Regional Park. This one is located at 8000 Baymeadows Road East, an easy find off the main road. The official title is Fort Family Regional Park at Baymeadows, and more commonly Baymeadows 9A, and it’s understandable why the locals shortened the name…but the original official title does a better job at describing this awesome site. Phase 1 of this park’s build brought well designed grounds featuring a soccer field, playground, pavilions, and public restrooms. Future phases added baseball fields, tennis courts, picnic tables, and and other family fun designs.
Deerwood of Southside is nestled next to Baymeadows, yet feels a little more suburban than it’s neighbor. The very local school assortment ranging from elementary through college provides an option for families to feel confident planting and enjoying their hometown. The parks nearer to Deerwood reflect their well-loved and cared for residents.
Deerwood Rotary Children’s Park at 7901 Baymeadows Road East ranks highest of the areas nature adventure locations. It is a colorful and unique park, with special thought given to make this handicap accessible as well. Fun for children of all ages, the Deerwood Rotary Park boasts fabulous though modest offerings for a full day of sun, including play areas, benches and picnic tables, drinking fountains and public restrooms, shelters and field areas. It’s not the largest of the area but the well thought-out and well kept playgrounds keep families coming back and again, and bringing friends! The soft turf in the play areas make this especially loved by parents or guardians of younger children.
Jacksonville’s Southpoint neighborhood is on the other connecting side of Baymeadows from Deerwood, and spans over more of the urban are due to containing main roads through itself. However, residents here love the feel and fast access to travel of any direction.
Parks in Southpoint are abundant. They range in offerings from softball complexes to simple playgrounds, but the most iconic of the array is certainly Alejandro Garces Camp Tomahawk Park. Plug 8419 San Ardo Dr into your GPS and enjoy a truly scenic adventure day for visitors of all ages. A main draw to this natural wonderland is found in exploring the hiking or biking trails. When the park was purchased for public use, the locals voted it remain a source for natural beauty to lead the design, so mature growths of maple, oak, and pine are abundant and enjoyed by all. There is also a creek running through its middle. Other than these things, the park additionally offers benches and picnic tables, picnic shelters and grills, water fountains and restrooms, public lighting, and a playground area for kids.
Whether it’s a day for just your own peaceful escape, you’re joined by a furry friend or two, or “all y’all” (as locals say) want a fun place to meet and enjoy life together, any of these nature parks would be an excellent choice.
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