Big Talbot Blackrock Beach

Blackrock Beach Trail

The beauty of Blackrock Beach on Big Talbot Island

A barrier island on the Atlantic Coast between Amelia Island and Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island is best known for its unusual rocky shoreline called Blackrock Beach. 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. Just offshore, tiny islands with bright white sand beckon. Because Blackrock Beach has free access off A1A, it’s one of the most popular spots at Big Talbot Island State Park, and provides a more remote look at the unusual erosion along the shoreline.

Resources

50 Hikes in North FloridaHiker's Guide to the Sunshine StateFlorida State ParksFlorida State ParksFlorida Best BeachesFlorida Best Beaches

Overview

Location: Big Talbot Island
Length: 1 mile
Lat-Long: 30.502639, -81.450039
Type: round-trip
Fees / Permits: state park entrance fee
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: low
Restroom: Yes

Parking is limited and tends to be overcrowded on weekends at the pulloff, which is 1 mile south of the main entrance, on the left

Directions

To get to Big Talbot Island State Park from Jacksonville, follow A1A north past the Mayport Ferry and out to Little Talbot Island. Pass the Little Talbot Island State Park entrance and continue north 3.1 miles to Blackrock Beach, on the right. There is a small parking area.

Hike

Park and start your way up the wide trail, where sand live oaks provide plenty of shade and dense saw palmetto defines the corridor. If you see a flash of bright color in the trees, stop and look more closely—this is a favorite habitat of the very colorful painted bunting.

At the fork in the trail, keep right. At the half-mile mark, you emerge above the unexpected shoreline, the “rock” carved into potholes and bluffs and even tidal pools with stringers of seaweed. Ospreys wheel above; they raise their young in the taller trees. Explore this unusual coastline by taking a wander to the left, heading north.

Fallen, sun-bleached trees are everywhere. Carefully make your way over the uneven surface, which will change every time you visit. At low tide, you can walk up at least a half-mile in either direction, to the north up to the promontory visited from the main parking lot, to the south to bluffs falling into the sea. Return on the Blackrock Trail to your car.

Mileage

0.0start @ road
0.2turn left
0.3turn right
0.4. curve and fork to right
0.5 end @ beach
1.0 return to road

Trail Map

Comments

  1. Jessica says

    This trail is open. I just went today (7/7/12) for the first time. Access to the beach from the trail is kinda difficult. There is a rope to help you get back onto the trail from the beach… but elderly friendly it is not. Also, please explore the black rocks WITH your children. They can be incredibly slippery.

  2. Chris says

    Just went 11/18/12. Does anyone know what is with all the .50 caliber rifle cartridges and 20 mm cartridges on the beach? Found about 8 also I found bullets for the .50 cal separate, found 3 of them. Looked them up and found out they are from WW2. Just wondering if anyone knew more about this.

  3. Nicole says

    I went to the northern most part of the beach on big talbot island. There is alot of beach errotion in spots but we just had to explore 2 different trails before we found a easy way down. In our group it was 2 adults and 2 kids (5 & 11). And we are not a athletic family. So most people can go. It was beautiful. And so peaceful I only saw 3 different groups of people in my whole afternoon. On the driftwood lives gross bugs that are reall fast so don’t sit without looking. Rocks are very slippery but we just took our time. I loved it so much I’m thinking of going back today.

  4. carol says

    We walked down to Boneyard Beach yesterday and headed north, then south to Black Rock Beach. We had to climb up the rocks onto the point. After searching the charred vegetation and not finding the trail, we then climbed back down and headed further south, trying to find the trail from the beach. Never found any trail or ladder to climb up at cliffs. So we headed back to Vineyard Beach via the beach. Would love to know where that trail comes out to. Beautiful walk- we saw two huge live conch shells and also crabs waving their claws at each other. An eagle was also flying around overhead for quite a while.

    • says

      It’s been several years since my last visit, so I couldn’t say for sure if the cliffs have eroded that badly that there is no longer a way to scramble down them. Is the Blackrock Beach sign still along A1A? I know things have changed with construction of the paved bike trail through the park.

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