The Saint Johns River Entrance and the Saint Johns River are home to Naval Station Mayport. Commissioned in 1942, the naval station is the third largest in the continental United States.
Close to Jacksonville, and with convenient access to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and Atlantic Ocean, Mayport lies at a sort of “crossroads,” where cruising and recreational vessels meet large ocean going freighters and huge aircraft carriers like the USS John Kennedy, which berths at Naval Station Mayport.
Local history mainly revolves around the establishment of the naval station here in 1942, and much of the surrounding community pulses with the activity of the military base.
Use NOAA Chart 11489.
The Mayport Basin, also know as Ribault Bay, is just inside the Saint Johns River Entrance breakwaters to the south, but is off limits to recreational craft. Pleasure boaters transiting this area are cautioned to keep a lookout for large freight-bearing ships and naval vessels putting out to, and returning from sea. Dockage is available a little farther upstream in Mayport, where marinas can accommodate boaters.
The town of Mayport is located just beyond the Pilot Town Cut Range and is an excellent place to stop for supplies, fuel or a bite to eat. A ferry runs between Mayport and Fort George Island Park across the river.
For those returning from sea to rejoin the ICW, the entrance to the ICW is at Chicopit Bay, about two miles southwest of Mayport.
Fort George Island Cultural State Park is accessible by ferry from Mayport, and has miles of hiking and nature trails to enjoy. You may also want to consider a visit to the Jacksonville Zoo by boat, which is up the Trout River (29-foot controlling vertical clearance).
For those planning a trip farther up the Saint Johns River, Jacksonville, and all the big city culture an entertainment it provides is only 10 miles upriver.
See the “Helpful Links” section at the bottom of this page for more detailed information
Jacksonville International Airport has regular commercial air service and is about 20 miles from Mayport. Ground transportation can be arranged by calling the airport, but the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Arlington/Beaches bus route picks up at the Mayport Naval Air Station and Mayport Village on a regular schedule. See the “Helpful Links” section the bottom of this page for bus schedules.