Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Talbot Island State Park

We spent most of our week in and around Little Talbot Island State Park.  On our way home we left the park early and drove north to Fernandina Beach to see what Fort Clinch State Park was all about for a future trip.  On the drive we stopped at four other parks/sites that make up Talbot Island State Park.  There is no camping at these places, all seem to be great day trips, and will be revisited later.  

This park is primarily a natural preserve. Great for nature study, birding, and photography, visitors can enjoy picnicking, kayaking and fishing. 


Part of the East Coast Greenway trail, a 2900 mile trail from the Canadian border in Maine to Key West.  The tide is out here and the boardwalk is under repair. Hikers and bikers had to use the biking lane on A1A at this section.

The marshes of Big Talbot Island. 

Next stop is the George Crady Bridge fishing pier. The mile long, pedestrian only bridge provides some of the best fishing in Northeast Florida.


The new bridge on the left.  Motorized traffic and biking lanes.  No fishing

Early morning fishing.  Open 24/7 the pier is open to all. Some were here for the shear joy of fishing, a family outing, or their next meal(s).  And some like us looking and taking photos.

While it's a 3 poles per person limit, you will see them lined up to catch whiting, tarpon, jack, drum and more.  We saw quite a variety in the catch boxes.

If you are casting many poles you need a bell to let you know something is on the line.  We saw a variety of bell shapes.

Besides the many very friendly fishermen, and women, a few other interested parties hung around in anticipation of unused bait being thrown their way.

Just across the road from the bridge is Amelia Island State Park.  The park provides a glimpse of the original Florida with its beaches, salt marshes, and coastal maritime forests.  

Pristine beaches provide great swimming, fishing, picnicking.   It is one of the few places on the east coast permitting horseback riding on the beach.  A lot of the beach was closed due to the turtle nests being vacated by newborns.  A seasonal thing.  


Egrets cautiously waiting to see what the photographer will do.

They took flight.  Photographer got too close.

Giant Swallowtail.

Another part of the East Coast Greenway.  30 percent of the trail is on traffic-free greenways.  Still developing.  It seems the more serious bicyclists use the bicycle lanes on the road.  We had passed one as we exited Little Talbot Island State Park and while later leaving Fernandina Beach saw them peddling into town.  Long ride. 

The place to vacation in the 1920s.  Named for a fort built here to defend the southern flank of Georgia.  Today it is a great place to visit nature and explore "old" Florida.

 This one and a half lane (at best) road takes you through a maritime hammock and leads to the Ribault Club.  Further down the road is the Kingsley Plantation.

 The main attraction at this cultural state park is the restored Ribault Club.  Very elegant and once an exclusive resort area.  In the left wing there is a visitor center showing the history and culture of the area.  One can rent a cd and take a narrated motor tour of the area.  There are segway, photo, kayak/canoe and walking tours available.

Another neat attraction is the local Episcopal Church.

There are two other places that make up Talbot Island State Park.  They are Pumpkin Hill Preserve State Park and Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park.  On the list to be visited at a later date, too.