Largely an undeveloped and natural coastal park located just south of Amelia Island, Big Talbot Island State Park is primarily a nature preserve. This park which is bisected by A1A provides a premier location for nature study, bird-watching, and photography. To the south of Big Talbot is the more developed Little Talbot State Park. The main access to the park is at the northern end, about 1/2 mile south of the Nassau Sound Bridge. This access area has a small parking fee payable through the honor system envelope payment method and includes latrine, picnic tables and a trail leading to the beach. This beach trail meanders through the local maritime forest as it winds its way down to the beach. Upon arrival at the beach, visitors find themselves overlooking Nassau Sound and the southern end of Amelia Island. Bird Island is located to the east in the sound and is named so for the nesting ground to many of the resident shorebirds found here it provides.
Those seeking to beachcomb or just walk the surf line will find that to the north will be found typical, hard packed sandy beach and to the south they will encounter large trees, eroded from the bluff and stripped of their bark by water, wind and sun. These salt washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore provide the photographer with unique and evoking examples of Florida coastline. The park features a breathtaking coastal habitat covered with oak, holly and magnolia, along with sea-oat covered dunes overlooking the ocean. The undeveloped and wild character of the park provides visitors with abundant opportunities to hike and explore along the coast or scenic nature trails found her.
Those not wishing to avail themselves of the public parking facilities will find two additional access points south of the primary parking lot which do not charge any parking fees and are largely used by locals. The first of these points is at the Black Rock Trail which is located about a mile south. It offers some beautiful beach vistas along with more solitude. The parking for this access (Big Pine Trail) is along the road on the wide shoulder area. The second park access point does not lead to the beach, but rather, it meanders through the pine forest and ends at a march. Those wishing to explore a bit more of the local flora and fauna may find a stop at this location of interest when exploring the outdoor activities available here.
Trail maps are available at the Little Talbot State Park which is a more developed park. For more on this and other parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks, explore the pages dedicated to each here on Florida Nature Guide, or follow these links: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park.
|Big Talbot Island State Park
State Road A1A, North, Jacksonville, FL