Big Talbot Island State Park

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Big Talbot Island State Park
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Big Talbot Island State Park
Map showing the location of Big Talbot Island State Park
Location Duval County, Florida, USA
Nearest city Jacksonville, Florida
Coordinates 30°28′59″N 81°26′24″W / 30.48306°N 81.44000°W / 30.48306; -81.44000
Established 1982
Governing body Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Big Talbot Island SP sign01.jpg

Big Talbot Island State Park is a Florida State Park located on Big Talbot Island, 20 miles east of downtown Jacksonville on A1A North and immediately north of Little Talbot Island State Park.

The park is a nature preserve and a location for nature study, bird–watching, or photography. Other activities include hiking, bicycling, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and picnicking. Amenities include picnic pavilions, nature trails, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, bike trails and beaches. The park is open from 8:00 am till sundown year round.

The coastal landscape and beach at Big Talbot Island is unique within the state of Florida as result of the lava like hardpan sedimentary deposits. These rocky formations are habitat for mollusca, crab, oysters, and other tide pool creatures. The formations and sand on Blackrock Beach are much darker in contrast to the coquina formations at Washington Oaks State Gardens, and the limestone outcroppings at Blowing Rocks Preserve further south on A1A. The beach can be accessed through the park entrance or through the trailhead parking area adjacent to the Blackrock Trail.

Big Talbot and Little Talbot are two of only a few remaining undeveloped barrier islands within Florida. Native Americans named the Timucua were the first humans to inhabit these islands. Beginning with the arrival of the French in 1562, France, England, and Spain claimed the islands as colonial territory. In 1735, General James Oglethorpe named the Talbot Islands in honor of Charles Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of England. Along with the bordering Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, the islands are representative of several ecosystems and support a number of diverse natural habitats abundant with wildlife.


Habitats preserved by the park include beach, coastal scrub, coastal hammock, estuary, and tidal marshes.


Vegetation includes southern live oaks (Quercus virginiana), hollys, magnolias, hickories (Carya spp.), cabbage palmettos (Sabal palmetto), sea oats, and saw palmettos (Serenoa repens).


Wildlife include alligators, sea turtles, Florida gopher tortoises, West Indian manatees, white-tailed deer, river otters, marsh rabbits, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, Virginia opossums, eastern gray squirrels, eastern garter snakes, Carolina anoles, broad-headed skinks, pileated woodpeckers, northern cardinals, bald eagles, barred owls, peregrine falcons, painted buntings, and Florida scrub jays.