52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


, The Outbound

Big Pine Trail


Big Pine Trail is a short walk to the shoreline and salt marshes along Simpson Creek. Explore the diverse island habitats, including hiking the Big Pine Trail to the marsh. A salty creek slices through the black needle rush. Gnarled cedars stand sentinel along the bluff. Keep an eye out for wildlife including pileated woodpeckers, ospreys, gopher tortoises, white-tailed deer, and raccoons as you explore the trail.

The southernmost trail on Big Talbot Island is the 0.8-mile Big Pine Trail, a short walk out to a bluff above the estuary. From the trailhead, follow the trail as it winds through a maritime hammock that surrounds a slash pine forest which the trail meanders through, always riffled by a stiff salt breeze. A spur trail leads to the scenic view, and you can clamber down the hillside to the needle rush marsh. Red bay, holly, and live oaks provide a shady canopy. Beware of poison ivy that creeps up to the footpath in places.

Make sure to wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothing. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a snack. Pack your field guide and binoculars to help you identify plants and animals along the way. 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 1.6 miles to the Big Pine Trail, on the right.

, Florida State Parks
, Hiking Project

A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Big Pine Trail

The forest through which the Big Pine Trail traverses is dense enough that if it weren’t for the fresh salt breeze, hikers wouldn’t suspect they were near the ocean.

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  • Big Pine Trail
  • Jacksonville
  • 904-251-2320