Big Talbot Island
Brochure of Talbot Island State Park in Florida. Published by Florida State Parks.
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Florida State Parks Florida Department of Environmental Protection Division of Recreation and Parks Nature & History 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 12157 Heckscher Drive Jacksonville, FL 32226 (904) 251-2320 FloridaStateParks.org • • • • • • • • • Park Guidelines Hours are 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year. Entry fee requirements vary. Additional user fees may apply. All plants, animals and park property are protected. The collection, destruction or disturbance of plants, animals or park property is prohibited. Pets are permitted in designated areas only. Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet and well behaved at all times. Fishing, boating and fires are allowed in designated areas only. A Florida fishing license may be required. Collection of firewood and driftwood is prohibited. Fireworks and hunting are prohibited. Alcoholic beverage consumption is allowed in designated areas only. Florida’s state parks are committed to providing equal access to all facilities and programs. Should you need assistance to enable your participation, please contact the ranger station. Alternate format available upon request at any Florida state park FLORIDA State Parks Created on 11/14 Northeast Florida Talbot Islands State Parks An ecological treasure, full of recreational opportunities SM National Gold Medal Winner Florida State Parks - “America’s First Three-Time Winner” Real Fun in We invite you to explore the dynamic coastal habitats and rich cultural history at Talbot Islands State Parks. Our 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. Hike with us! 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. Too hot or too wet? 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. Several service providers can make your 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, buy fishing supplies at the Bait & Tackle Shop and/or plan an event at the Ribault Club. Weekly interpretive programs are exciting and educational. Take time to relax and enjoy all there is to do at Talbot Islands state parks! Directions The Talbot Islands are 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.