A barrier island on the Atlantic Coast between Amelia Island and Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island is best know for its unusual rocky shoreline called Blackrock Beach. These rocks are actually decaying vegetation brought in by the tides and hardened under the sun’s rays. One step on this beach, overlooking a sweep of dark rocks, saw palmetto on the bluffs, and the bleached bones of live oaks turned to giant driftwood along the shore, and you’d think you’re in Hawaii.
This premier Florida state park is the perfect location for wildlife viewing, exploring diverse habitats and, of course, Boneyard Beach. Boneyard Beach is home to a huge collection of protected driftwood. Driftwood is an understatement as many of the ocean bleached “bones” are from towering ancient oaks and huge fallen cedar trees that litter the entire beach for miles.
Big Talbot Island was used by the early Native Americans for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. In 1562, when the French Huguenots arrived on these shores, they found a large culture of Natives, naming them Timucua — which was probably adopted from a word used by the Saturiwa to refer to a rival group. Many of Florida’s landmarks are named after Timucuan words, even Florida’s capitol, Tallahassee, which means, “abandoned town.”
By the time English explorer General James Oglethorpe arrived here in 1735, the Timucua had all perished. He named the islands after Charles Baron Talbot, the Lord High Chancellor of England. The area was converted into plantations that served the United Kingdom and it residents for many years to come. It would be another 100 years before Florida eventually became a state.
Today, the plantations are all gone, the forests have grown back and nature has reclaimed this once populated northeastern Florida barrier island. It is now home to some of Florida’s most unique hiking trails, fishing grounds and kayaking experiences in the state.
Our Big Talbot Island trips allow you to walk in the footsteps of ancient Native Americans and French and Spanish explorers. Paddling along the shoreline, the scenery is stunning and the wildlife is abundant. Half-day trips provide an opportunity to experience this unique locale from a different perspective; and Full-day trips offer the perfect opportunity for a picnic lunch under giant driftwood trees and plenty of time for play and exploration.
2 to 3-Hours
5 to 6-Hours