In our “Hidden Gems” article series, we take a look at and highlight some of the less-appreciated buildings, businesses, and more here in the Jacksonville area.
Sitting along the border of Duval and Nassau counties, the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park is one of Northeast Florida’s most popular fishing destinations.
The park consists of a mile-long pedestrian bridge that crosses Nassau Sound, branching off from – and running roughly parallel to – the A1A vehicular bridge that also crosses the Sound. Constructed in 1948, the George Crady Bridge’s original purpose was carrying automobile traffic to and from Amelia Island. But from its inception, the bridge was popular with anglers looking to take advantage of the wide variety of species found in the waters below.
When the new A1A span was constructed in 1999 to replace the bridge, community members began advocating for the decommissioned span to become a pedestrian-only fishing pier. That movement was led by State Rep. George Crady; in 2003, the newly-dedicated state park was named in honor of his advocacy.
Though its most popular usage is fishing, the bridge is also known for the amazing views it offers, attracting walkers, runners, and bicyclists frequently.
Entry to the park costs $2 per person, paid either online or into an on-site “honor box.” Access to the bridge is also included with entrance fees to the adjacent Amelia Island State Park and Big Talbot Island Boat Ramp.
The park is usually accessible all day, every day of the year, but due to COVID-19, its hours are currently 8:00 AM to sunset. Likewise, its on-site restroom and shower facilities have limited access for the time being.
On the Line Bait and Tackle Shop opened in 2018 at the northern end of the bridge to accommodate fishing.
For more information about George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, check out its dedicated page on the Florida State Parks website.