Amelia Island State Park lies along the Atlantic coastal plain in Nassau County, 8 miles south of Fernandina Beach and 33 miles north of Jacksonville. This pristine park is one of seven that make up the Talbot Islands State Parks.
Seemingly untouched beaches, salt marshes and coastal maritime forests along 200 acres of undeveloped land greet guests with opportunities to hike, swim, kayak, collect shells, fish and glimpse many species of wildlife.
Each of the seven Talbot Islands State Parks – Amelia Island, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve, Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island, Fort George Island, Yellow Bluff Fort and George Crady Bridge fishing Pier – has something special to offer.
Imagine horseback riding along a sandy shoreline mere feet from the beautiful coastal waters. Amelia Island State Park is one of the few Florida state parks that offers this rare opportunity to its guests.
Shell collecting is also popular and guests may find periwinkle, oyster, clam and scallop shells and an occasional shark’s tooth along the beach.
Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Amelia Island State Park:
Boating at Amelia Island State Park
Kayak, canoe or sail along the beautiful coastal waters surrounding Amelia Island State Park. Kayak and canoe rentals are available through Kayak Amelia located six miles south of the park.
This concessionaire also carries snacks, drinks, maps, guides and souvenirs; and they feature guided trips throughout the Talbot Islands that include sunset and full-moon paddles, birdwatching paddles and other special interest paddles. For more information call 904-251-0016.
Swimming at Amelia Island State Park
Amelia Island State Park features beautiful sandy beaches along a pristine shoreline where guests may swim, snorkel, surf fish, sunbathe and search for shells. Swimming is popular throughout all of the Talbot Islands. There are no lifeguards and guests are advised to be aware of dangerous swimming conditions.
Hiking at Amelia Island State Park
Hiking is also popular throughout the Talbot Islands and each state park within these islands features trails of some length and distinction for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders.
Here are a couple of the trails at Amelia Island State Park:
- Amelia Island Trail – this easy 11.9 mile multi-use trail is paved and runs adjacent to Highway A1A. Benches and picnic tables are located along the trail for guests to stop and rest, have a bite to eat and get a closer look at the nature and wildlife all around.
- Beach Loop – Easy 2.5 mile walk along the beach that provides guests with breathtaking views of the water, sea life, birds and the area inside and around the park.
Biking at Amelia Island State Park
Bring your bicycle and ride along the paved Timucuan Trail and on the four miles of off-road trails located within Big Talbot Island. Helmets are required for all riders under the age of 16.
Horseback Riding at Amelia Island State Park
Experience the thrill of riding horseback on the beautiful sandy beaches and along the coastline. Kelly Seahorse Ranch offers horseback riding tours daily. For more information call 904-491-5166.
Fishing at Amelia Island State Park
Fish along Nassau Sound during your visit to Amelia Island State Park. Catch flounder, redfish, tarpon, whiting, speckled sea trout and jacks from the fishing pier or along the shoreline.
Nearby George Crady Bridge fishing Pier State Park offers ideal conditions for fishing. The On the Line Bait & Tackle Shop carries bait and tackle supplies as well as snacks and drinks.
Birding at Amelia Island State Park
Amelia Island State Park’s coastal environment makes it an ideal spot to observe native and migratory birds. And the park is located along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail meaning it’s right on the flight path of migrating species.
Bring your binoculars and bird list; you may see bald eagles, willets, black skimmers, osprey, pelicans, royal terns, Great Blue Herons, and of course, many, many more. Be aware that beaches may be closed to the public between March and September to protect nesting birds.
Nature and Wildlife at Amelia Island State Park
There are many signs of wildlife at Amelia Island State Park and within the adjoining Talbot Islands. Guests love seeing dolphins, deer, birds, fish, alligators, turtles, snakes and more during their visit to this picturesque area.
Occasionally a shark is sighted putting a damper on any water related activities.
Probably the most popular wildlife sightings are those of the sea turtles. The Talbot Islands hosts programs for the protection of these beautiful creatures.
Pets at Amelia Island State Park
Pets are allowed at Amelia Island State Park and at the other nearby parks that make up the Talbot Islands State Parks. Pets must be kept on a handheld leash no longer than 6 feet and are not permitted inside any park buildings or on the beaches.
Camping Near Amelia Island State Park
Amelia Island State Park does not provide overnight accommodations for guests but nearby Little Talbot Island State Park does.
Little Talbots Island State Park – 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville
Thirty-six campsites are nestled along the ancient dunes and lush maritime hammock of one of the last undeveloped barrier islands in the state. Each site has electric and water hookups and a picnic table and fire ring. Restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities are located close by and a playground, campfire circle, kayak launch and trails are also available inside the park.
For reservations call: 800-326-3521.
Amelia Island State Park
Jacksonville, FL 32226
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Amelia Island State Park: