AIpine Groves is a jewel of a park, a romantic and peaceful place not far from anywhere one might live on the First Coast.
When you arrive, you’ll find yourself descending into a world of quiet Northeast Florida woods, where walking down a winding path, you can almost hear the occasional leaf drifting off a tree amid the rustling of the breeze.
Alpine Groves is a St. Johns County park, located at 2060 State Rd. 13, Switzerland, FL. Free and open daily from dawn to dusk, it spans 54.5 acres between the St. Johns River and William Bartram Scenic & Historic Highway.
It has a variety of features for visitors of all ages to explore, including a children’s playground nestled in the woods near the entrance.
A long fishing pier leads out over the river, next to a kayak launch.
A one-mile paved hiking trail, accessible to strollers and wheelchairs, winds through three distinct Florida habitats, and dogs are permitted on leashes.
The park also features two butterfly gardens and a variety of citrus trees throughout, connecting visitors to the park’s historic roots. It was an orange grove in the 19th century, when the citrus industry boomed in the region. Three historic 1800s structures remain, including a house, citrus sorting shed that resembles an old barn and horse stables.
What could be more romantic than the sight of the wide, sun-sparkling St. Johns River as you take the path along it to the Alpine Groves Fishing Pier? And the sound of waves breaking gently on the shore lined with Spanish moss-draped oaks?
Whether you explore the park alone, or walking your dog, or pushing a baby stroller—or strolling hand in hand with a loved one, you’ll find yourself in a world that feels far away from the hustle and bustle of real life.
It’s nice to know there is a place to go not too far from home that’s romantic and peaceful and free.