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Big Talbot Island State Park

 Activities at Big Talbot Island State Park

Beaches

Beaches

Access to Big Talbot's shore is easiest from the Shoreline Trail at the Bluffs access. The trail is located at the north end of the parking area and it is a quick 10 minute walk to the beach. This is a non-bathing beach, but you are welcome to wade out and cool off.  

 

Century-old live oaks and cedars growing on the dune fall onto the beach below as Big Talbot’s dunes naturally erode into the sea. Weathered by the sun and sea, their skeletal remains lie in rest on Boneyard Beach. Like driftwood, they are a protected resource that offers not only unrivaled beauty, but are a source of shelter and food for coastal wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera, this beach is a photographer’s dream.

Bicycling

Bicycling

Off-road biking to Big Talbot's beaches is possible via the Shoreline Trail or Black Rock Trail. Due to the many fallen trees and driftwood on the shore, biking on Big Talbot beach is possible but not advised.

A paved multi-use path beginning just north of Simpson Creek and terminating at The Bluffs is scheduled to be completed in 2012.  This segment of the Timucuan Trail will provide users with almost three miles of paved trail winding through maritime forest.

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp

For fishing and boating enthusiasts, Big Talbot's boat ramp is the gateway to bountiful fishing grounds. The deep-water ramp has a floating dock that provides easy access to the Intra-coastal Waterway, Nassau Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. The ramp is located on the north end of Big Talbot. There is a $4.00 launch fee per boat. Remember to file a float plan and ALWAYS carry proper communication and safety equipment!

Boating

Boating

Boating abounds all around Big Talbot Island. Numerous tidal creeks along the Intracoastal Waterway are easily accessible via power boats and kayaks. The Atlantic Ocean is just around the corner.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

Located between Big Talbot Island and Little Talbot Island, Kayak Amelia is Talbot Islands State Parks' canoe and kayak visitor service provider. Kayak Amelia offers everything from canoe and kayak rentals to special focus guided trips. The facility provides local information including maps, safety guidance, and possible routes. Inside the concession you will find snacks and drinks, restrooms, and souvenirs. If you have your own kayak you can use the hand-launch ramp located here for $1.00 per person.

Kayak Amelia offers numerous types of guided paddles including: birding paddles, tai-chi paddles, sunset and full-moon paddles, as well as special focus paddles. All guided trips include instruction, snack, and interpretation.

Long Island Outfitters is open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm throughout the year; however, it is closed on Wednesdays, December through February. For additional information contact Kayak Amelia at (904) 251-0016 or the Talbot Islands Ranger Station at (904) 251-2320.

Kayak Amelia has a quaint gift shop which offers visitors earth friendly products including clothing made from organic cotton, hemp and bamboo, DEET free insect repellent, Fair trade necklaces, natural handmade soaps, and health conscious snacks and beverages.  For more information on products offered contact Kayak Amelia. 

Fishing

Fishing

With the large tracts of saltwater marsh that surrounds Big Talbot Island, this is unquestionably a prime area for fishing. With a little luck and skill,  whiting, redfish and speckled sea trout are just a cast away all year long. During the spring and fall, baitfish and shrimp can be caught in many of the creeks and along the shoreline. A morning canoe trip through the marsh can easily result in an evening fish-fry. Fly fishing has become very popular throughout the islands as "tailing reds" venture onto the flats during the fall and spring flood tides. A map of Big Talbot and its marshes can be obtained at the Little Talbot Island State Park Ranger Station.

Access to the south end of the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier is available from the boat ramp parking lot. There is a $2.00 per person fee for pedestrians to fish from the bridge.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

Big Talbot Island State Park has several trails to offer our visitors. A trails map may be picked up at the Little Talbot Island State Park Ranger Station. The Shoreline Trail at the Bluffs picnic area provides access to the Nassau Sound beach. Black Rock Trail (off A1A) meanders through the maritime hammock delivering you to a one of a kind beach that has black, rocklike outcroppings and fallen trees that have become bleached and weathered with time. Big Pine Trail (off A1A) is a short walk to the shoreline and salt marshes along Simpson Creek. Old Kings Highway Trail and Jones Cut Trail (both on the west side of A1A) are unrefined trails that traverse through the heart of Big Talbot Island's lush maritime hammock and scrubby flatwoods.

Big Talbot Islands is a great place to just enjoy an afternoon of fun in the sun or go exploring through the branches of time.

Pets

Pets

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Big Talbot Island State Park, but are not permitted on beaches, shorelines, boardwalks, or the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier. They must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and cannot be left unattended for more than half an hour.

Picnicking

Picnicking

The panoramic view of Nassau Sound as it opens to meet the Atlantic Ocean makes Big Talbot’s Bluffs a perfect setting for a picnic. The Bluffs picnic area is located on the east side of S.R. A1A. This picnic area has a $3.00 entrance fee per vehicle and offers park visitors picnic pavilions with grills and tables along with an absolutely gorgeous view of Nassau Sound.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom Facilities

Restroom facilities are located at the boat ramp parking area and at The Bluffs.

Shelling

Shelling

Shelling is a favorite pastime of many visitors and the beaches of Big Talbot Island are a great place to find them.  Collectors can find a multitude of species, including clam, scallop, oyster, and periwinkle.  Plan your shelling around the low phase of the tide, which exposes the most beach area.  Search in the "shell line" where the highest waves stop as they come upon the beach and deposit groups of shells.

Weddings

Weddings

Primarily a natural preserve on a unique sea island, the park provides a premier location for your outdoor wedding. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, The Bluffs is the ideal spot to recite your vows in the company of friends and family.  Or, take advantage of the dramatic backdrop of Boneyard Beach, a unique beach famous for the salt-washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore. The park wedding fee is $50 plus standard park entrance fees ($3.00 per vehicle).  Parking capacity at The Bluffs is 25 spaces. For more information and availability, please call (904) 251-2320.

For photos and more information, download Your Dream Wedding at Big Talbot Island State Park (PDF - 0.97KB)

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Big Talbot Island State Park is a great place for viewing shore birds and marsh birds. Along the beach you can see black skimmers, piping plovers, terns (including the threatened least tern), and brown pelicans. In the marshes you might find the endangered wood stork, egrets, herons, ibis and osprey. Venturing inland you might find barred owls, painted buntings, doves and woodpeckers.

Big Talbot Island is another premier site of the Great Florida Birding Trail. If you would like to know more about Florida's birding opportunities, visit Great Florida Birding Trail