Big Talbot Island State Park Jacksonville Review
<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-1721″ src=”https://www.exploreist.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Big-Talbot-Island-State-Park.jpg” alt=”Big Talbot Island State Park is a natural preserve, ideal for bird-watching, photography and nature study.” width=”730″ height=”486″ />
- Hours of Operation
8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. The boat ramp is open 24 hours a day.
$2 for Fishing Pier, $3 per vehicle entrance
Driving out from downtown Jacksonville, head south toward E Union Street, turning left at the first cross street on to E Union Street. Pass the Burger King you will see on the left. Continue on FL-115 S, taking the FL-113N Southside Connector and I-295 N to Heckscher Drive. Take exit 41 from I-295 N and follow the signs.
Big Talbot Island State Park is a natural preserve, ideal for bird-watching, photography and nature study. The park address on A1A North makes the park an easy to access location. The park is located on one of the unique sea islands in Northeast Florida and is mainly a natural preserve where visitors can conduct nature studies, enjoy photography and go bird watching.
There are a number of island habitats to visit on Big Talbot Island State Park which can be accessed by hiking along Big Pine Trail to visit the marsh or the Blackrock Trail to head to the shoreline. Jones Cut and the Old Kings Highway are both trails cutting through the maritime forest on the island.
Visitors can enjoy a picnic at one of several pavilions on The Bluffs, which overlook the water and also give access to a hiking trail down to Boneyard Beach. This beach is well known for its salt-washed skeletons of cedar trees and live oak trees (pictured above) that used to thrive close to the shoreline.
Those who enjoy biking and in-line skating will appreciate the 2.9-mile Timucuan Trail, an off-road and paved trail that runs alongside A1A. While traveling along the trail, visitors can read about the natural and cultural resources of the park on the many interpretive panels set up along the trail. The island can also be enjoyed by boat or rented kayak at the north end of Big Talbot Island, where visitors can explore the salt marsh.
After visiting Big Talbot Island State Park, bear in mind that Talbot Islands State Park also gives access to Little Talbot Island State Park, Amelia Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park and Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park for more exploration and fun in nature.
Read More: Best Parks in Jacksonville, Florida
Big Talbot Island State Park Reviews
Big Talbot Island State Park reviews particularly laud the beautiful beach on the island, saying the 10-minute walk to the shoreline was very enjoyable. Many families enjoy visiting the park for hiking and relaxation, while the kids have plenty to learn about and do along the way.
Fans of bird-watching enjoy visiting the park at sunrise when a large number of birds are bathing in a freshwater pool just south of the A1A bridge at the north end of the park. The birds included many herons, egrets, Rosetta spoonbills, and other water birds. Reviewers recommended wearing comfortable walking shoes and to bring plenty of water and bug spray with them.
Fishing fans mentioned the beautiful beaches and excellent fishing available in the park, saying the fishing pace was a little slow, but that it was restful and relaxing. Many visitors to the beach picked up some beautiful shells along the way. One reviewer did warn people to pick up their trash before leaving and to watch out for fishing line debris with hooks.