Sunrise at Big Talbot Island State Park

Big Talbot Island State Park is essentially a nature preserve located on one of northeast Florida's sea islands. There isn't much in the way of sandy beach or swimming area but the canoeing/kayaking possibilities are great. So are the possibilities of seeing lots of wildlife. There is a beach area: it's littered with the skeletons of once-mighty oaks, pines and cedars that have been sculpted by the water, wind and blowing sand.

Habitats on the island vary from tidal salt marsh to coastal maritime hardwood forest to scrubby flatwoods to rocky beach and bluffs. There are hiking trails that go to most areas of the park but biking is limited by the amount of driftwood littering the landscape.

Kayak Amelia/Long Island Outfitters is the park concessionaire that rents canoes and kayaks. They are located on Highway A1A between Big Talbot Island State Park and Little Talbot Island State Park. They also offer guided tours of all sorts.

Big Talbot Island State Park is open from 8 am to sunset every day of the year. Admission fees: $2 per person to access the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier. $3 per vehicle (maximum of eight occupants) to access the Bluffs picnic area. $4 to use the boat ramp. You'll want exact change because you'll be paying into an honor box. From the boat ramp, access to Nassau Sound, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean is easy. Big Talbot Island State Park is located on Florida Highway A1A about 20 miles east of downtown Jacksonville, just north of Little Talbot Island State Park.

Big Talbot Island State Park is part of the Talbot Islands State Parks Group: Amelia Island State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park and George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park.