Clay County, FL - Homes for Sale and Community Information
Clay County, Florida is situated to the southwest of the city of Jacksonville. The eastern border of Clay County is actually the St. John's River, a waterway that has played a prominent role in the development of this area of northeast Florida. The county seat is Green Cove Springs. The current population is approximately 225,940 in 2021. Clay County is conveniently situated only 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, and it is directly west of the oldest city in the country, St. Augustine.
Clay County was named after the famous statesman, Henry Clay, when it was formed in the 1850s. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many northern tourists were attracted to the warm therapeutic springs that were common throughout the county. These visitors often traveled by steamboat down the St. John's River to various resort hotels in Green Cove Springs. President Grover Cleveland was even a visitor. He was so impressed that he had some of the spring water shipped to the White House.
In 1939, Clay County was a military presence that proved to be important. The Florida National Guard developed 28,000 acres on Kingsley Lake in the SW part of the county. During World War II & 90,000 troops were trained here. Camp Blanding still has a presence in Clay County as a training ground for Florida's National Guard. Clay County's proximity & quick commute to Naval Air Station Jacksonville makes it a great place to set down roots for both active duty navy & retirees both.
Parks And Recreation
In addition to the St. John's River, there is over 40 sq-mi of navigable waterways and lakes throughout the county. One such body of water is found in Ronnie Van Zant Park. A pond at the Ronnie Van Zandt Park in Green Cove Springs is stocked every year with bass, bluegills, and catfish. Four fishing piers make it that much simpler for families to enjoy their fishing here. The park also offers a full array of tennis courts, ballfields, basketball courts, and soccer fields.
Spring Park in Green Cove Springs is situated right behind the City Hall. The rebuilt 135,000 gallon pool is spring fed, and as a result, the water temperature remains a constant 72°F all year-round. The gazebo attracts photographers on a regular basis with the St. John's River is a fabulous backdrop.
Jennings State Forest is another gorgeous area with 25,301 acres for camping, horseback riding, biking & day hiking. The Bayard Conservation Area is another best kept secret for a wonderful day in the woods w/7 miles that border the St Johns River. It is also the spot of the unofficial annual "Boaters Skip Day".
Attractions and Events
Golfers literally have dozens of championship golf opportunities throughout the greater Jacksonville area, and several of them are located within Clay County. Most courses are located within communities like Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island & Magnolia Point but are open to the public.
Many events happen on an annual basis at the Clay County Fairgrounds. One of the highlights is the Clay County Fair takes place in early fall and features rides, attractions, concerts & competitions in everything from canned goods to photography. The town of Orange Park hosts its Fall Festival over a two-day weekend every October. Music & entertainment, diverse food vendors, artisans, kids activities & more contribute to a family-oriented event.
Green Cove Springs' Riverfest is one of the most popular Memorial Day celebrations in the greater Jacksonville area. There is live entertainment, an average of 100 food and craft vendors, a kids zone w/train rides, bounce houses & more. Fireworks reflecting in the waters of the St. John's River is a final highlight of the celebration.
Clay County FL features a wide range of real estate opportunities for every size & budget. There are single family homes, townhomes & condominiums located in large communities with well known names like Oakleaf Plantation, Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island Plantation, Magnolia Point & many more. You can own a home on navigable waterfront like the St. Johns River, Doctors Lake, Black Creek & more waterways. There are also plenty of homes located on plots of land where you can stretch out & have a detached garage for car enthusiasts or stables for horse lovers & everything in between.
The real estate market in Clay County is diverse and has something for everyone whether you are upsizing your single family home, downsizing to a villa/condo or want a country life. You can take advantage of the many neighborhoods developed by local builders or buy your own land and build your own home....there is something for everyone in Clay County.