Talbot Islands State Parks Address and Directions
Talbot Islands State Parks
12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32226
Directions to the Talbot Islands:
Located between Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach on highway A1A. From I-95 or 9A, take Heckscher Drive east. Follow the recreational signs to individual parks.
Talbot Islands State Park Activities
The Talbot Islands offer plenty of water activities for families including biking, boat ramp, canoeing, camping, youth camping, fishing, hiking, multi use trail, pavilion, visitor center, and restrooms. A Florida fishing license may be required.
Several service providers can make a visit even more fun: Rent kayaks from Kayak Amelia; Ride a horse on the beach with Kelly’s Seahorse Ranch; Tour the islands by Segway with Ecomotion Tours; or, Buy fishing supplies at the Bait and Tackle Shop.
Talbot Islands State Park Highlights
Explore the dynamic coastal habitats and rich cultural history at Talbot Islands State Parks. The seven parks include: Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island, Amelia Island, Fort George Island, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve, Yellow Bluff Fort, and George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier.
The Talbot Islands are fun for all – canoe/kayak on peaceful tidal creeks, surf or fish. To stay a little drier, try camping, hiking, biking, birding, picnicking, horseback riding, shelling and sunbathing. Little Talbot’s campground offers 40 campsites with electricity, water, tables and fire rings.
Little Talbot offers a short nature trail and a four mile hiking trail. On Big Talbot you can walk Big Pine Trail to the marsh and
hike Blackrock Trail to the shoreline. Pumpkin Hill has 4 multi use trails for equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers. Fort George
offers a three mile multi use trail for hikers and bikers.
If you want to stay dry, visit the Ribault Club Visitor’s Center which has interactive exhibits depicting 6,000 years of natural and cultural history or borrow a guide from the Club or from Kingsley Plantation and drive the Saturiwa Trail.
History of Talbot Islands
Native Americans were the first humans to hunt and fish these barrier islands. In 1562, the French Huguenots arrived and named them the “Timucua.” Over the next 200 years, the French, English and Spanish lived here. In 1735, General James Oglethorpe named the Talbot Islands in honor of Charles Baron Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of England. In 1845, Florida became the 27th state.
With five miles of beach, Little Talbot Island is a great place for observing migratory and resident shorebirds. Boardwalks cross over the swales and dunes providing access to the beach and protecting the various animals (many threatened or endangered) and numerous salt tolerant plants that live here.
Big Talbot Island’s maritime hammock exhibits majestic live oaks draped in Spanish moss and an understory of saw palmetto. Coastal erosion has created the park’s famous “boneyard beach,” which is covered with the silvered skeletons of trees that once grew near the shoreline.
The natural communities of Fort George Island are a reminder of how humans interacted with this environment. Shells left by ancient people created a soil that supports plants not normally found in the area.
Amelia Island and the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier are an angler’s paradise.
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve protects 4,000 acres of uplands. Fire management is vital to the health of Pumpkin Hill’s natural communities.
During the Civil War, Yellow Bluff Fort (actually a fortified camp) was home to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, one of the most celebrated regiments of black soldiers.
Talbot Islands State Parks in Jacksonville are located in Duval County Florida.
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