BIG TALBOT - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Big Talbot State Park is situated west of Little Talbot and 20 miles from Jacksonville. On the A1A N on Floridas north east this is a great place to commune with nature and study what thousands and thousands of years have done to this unique shore line.
Many centuries of wind has created a bluff of some 20 feet all along the sea front; it is known as a bone yard beach because it contains the remains of cedar and oak trees that once grew here.
This park can be dated back to 4000 bc since they have uncovered evidence of habitation then.It is thought that the weather at that time was much as we have today.
Folk known as the Archaic people first started developing this area and when the Europeans arrived in the 1500s they called the indigenous population Timucus.
The Brits occupied this place from 1763 to 1783 and the island was cultivated to grow sugar,indigo,cotton and oranges.
Big Talbot became a State Park in 1983 and has been kept in immaculate condition since to delight its many visitors.
You can reach Big Talbot from The Shoreline Trail at the Bluffs or the Black Rock Trail or Big Pine Trail which are accesed from the A1A (east).
Canoe and kayak rentals can be obtained from the park concession Kayak Amelia (904 251 0016) and it is certainly the best way to explore this area. Specialist guided tours include birding tours tai chi tours and full moon and sunset tours. They all include instruction,a snack and lots of info.
You may not swim here but you can certainly cool off with a refreshing paddle. Take sun cream and insect repellant with during the warmer months
There are several good trails to enjoy and to study the natural habitat. It is a good idea to pick up a map at the ranger station and the rangers are always pleased to advise you on any aspect of the park.
The Shoreline Trail accessed at Bluffs takes you to Nassau Sound Beach. Big Pine Trail(off the a1a) takes you to the shore and Old Kings Highway Trail and Jones Cut Trailare rougher tracks that will take you on a tour of the flatwoods and hammock. These trails both start on the A1A (west).
Birdlovers will look out for piping plovers, brown pelicans, doves, barred owls, black skimmers and many other marsh and shore birds.
Big Talbot State Park
12157 Hecksher Drive
Tel 904 251 2320
13030 Hecksher Drive
Tel 904 251 0016
Cost is $1 to go on the fishing pier and there is a nominal charge to use the picnic area.
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