Boneyard Beach in Jacksonville: a Treasure Inside Big Talbot Island

If you’re looking for a unique beach experience, look no further than Boneyard Beach in Northeast Florida. Located within the city limits of Jacksonville, this beach is far from ordinary.

Instead of soft sand and clear water, the beach is covered in skeletons from oak trees. From the sand to the water, these bones create a breathtakingly beautiful landscape that will surely leave you in awe.

Despite its unusual scenery, Boneyard Beach in Jacksonville is as popular as it is a close-kept secret.

This relaxing Florida beach is located within Big Talbot Island State Park, a nature preserve featuring trails, boating docks, fishing spots, and beaches.

Since swimming is not allowed in Boneyard Beach, we will go over some simple ways to enjoy this serene beach landscape and the nature preserve surrounding the state park.

Key Takeaways

  • This Jacksonville Beach is a breathtakingly beautiful and truly unique landscape in Florida.
  • Located within Big Talbot Island State Park.
  • Walks on the beach and sea shelling are some of the best things to do in Boneyard Beach.
boneyard beach bones from oak trees

How to Get to Boneyard Beach

Boneyard Beach is located on Big Talbot Island State Park, which is south of Amelia Island.

The park is approximately 20 miles east of downtown Jacksonville and you can access the beach from State Road A1A.

Big Talbot Island’s Most Unique Beach

Boneyard Beach is a must-visit if you’re looking for a unique beach experience in Florida that doesn’t involve swimming.

Located in the northeast corner of Jacksonville, this beach is a visual wonderland with 3 miles of shoreline along the Nassau Sound.

The beach is covered in oak and cypress trees that have been bleached by the sun, held down by sand and wind, and formed by the forces of Mother Nature.

driftwood from oak trees in the beach sand

These trees that dot the shoreline are precisely one of the most unique features of Boneyard Beach in Florida.

They’ve been sculpted by the elements into fantastic shapes and sizes, and some of them are quite big.

The driftwood trees are a photographer’s dream, and they make for a fantastic backdrop any time of the day, especially around beach sunset time.

Boneyard Beach is also home to 30-foot bluffs that offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape.

The bluffs are a great place to watch the sunset or to take in the beauty of the beach from a different perspective.

oak trees in the water in boneyard beach in Big Talbot Island State Park

Birdwatching in Big Talbot Island

Nestled inside the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Big Talbot Island is one of the best destinations for birdwatching on Florida’s East Coast.

In this nature paradise, part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, you can enjoy the sight of colorful bird species like:

  • Barred Owls
  • Piping Plovers
  • Least Terns
  • Gull-billed Terns
  • American Bald Eagle
  • Ospreys
  • Herons
  • Black Skimmers
  • Brown Pelicans
More Parks to Visit in The Talbot Islands State Parks: 

🏝 Little Talbot Island State Park
🏝 Fort George Island Cultural State Park
🏝 Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park
🏝 Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
🏝 Amelia Island State Park
🏝 George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park

Things to do in Boneyard Beach and Big Talbot Island State Park

Although you can’t get in the water, there are other ways to experience the unique beauty of Boneyard Beach, like:

  1. Walking around the beach
  2. Taking pictures of the beach landscape and sun-bleached driftwood
  3. Going seashell hunting
  4. Watching the beach sunset
  5. Soaking up the sun
  6. Enjoying a picnic surrounded by beautiful scenery

Big Talbot Island State Park offers a great variety of things to do for outdoor and nature lovers alike. Apart from this primitive beach, you can:

  • Go Geocaching and take part in Operation Recreation Geotour. You can download your tracking sheet here.
  • Bicycling and off-road biking
  • Boating and Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Go for a picnic underneath the oak trees
  • Shelling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Go for a hiking adventure along the Shoreline Trail, Old Kings Highway Trail and Jones Cut Trail, Black Rock Trail, Big Pine Trail, or the 3-mile paved Timucuan Trail

With a shoreline access trail, it’s easy to walk around and explore the beach or grab your camera and capture its raw and eerie beauty.

Enjoy the views of this unique beach in Jacksonville and feel like a kid again by going seashell hunting!

boneyard beach Big Talbot Island State Park

Things to Know Before You Go

There are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit:

1. Wear Appropriate Footwear

The trail leading to the beach is about a quarter-mile long and can be difficult for some people. Therefore, it is recommended that you wear sneakers or hiking shoes instead of sandals to prevent slipping.

2. Bring Bug Spray

Mosquitoes can be a problem, especially during certain times of the year. Don’t forget to pack a good, heavy-duty bug spray to protect yourself.

3. Watch Your Step at All Times

While walking barefoot on the beach may be tempting, be cautious of where you’re stepping. There are large and small “bones” scattered throughout the beach, which can be dangerous to step on.

4. Remember, No Swimming is Allowed on Boneyard Beach

Swimming is not allowed due to the presence of hidden driftwood in the water and sand which can be extremely unsafe. Please stick to this rule and don’t try anything that could cause you harm.

5. Restrooms

There are no restrooms located on the beach. However, there is access to restrooms on the Bluffs picnic area in Big Talbot Island State Park as well as at the boat ramp parking area.

6. Shade

There is very limited shade available on the beach, so be sure to bring sunscreen and protective clothing to avoid sunburn.

7. Food and Snacks

There are no food vendors or facilities on the beach, so be sure to bring your own food, drinks and snacks. Bring a bag for your trash and remember to leave no trace!

bones from oak trees

Plan Your Visit to Big Talbot Island State Park

If you’re ready to start planning your trip, here are the park’s details.

Hours: The beach is open from 8:00 am until sundown, year-round.

Fees: There are no parking fees in the area, but if you park at Big Talbot Island State Park, there is a $3 fee per vehicle.

Boneyard Beach in Florida is pet-friendly and perfect for the whole family!

Address: The address is SR A1A North, Jacksonville, FL 32226.

To get directions to Boneyard Beach, click here.

Would you add this place to your bucket list? Tell me in the comments! 🌊

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boneyard beach in florida
Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is an avid adventurer with 15+ years of hiking experience and outdoor travel. As a PADI-certified scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Mallorca, Spain.

28 thoughts on “Boneyard Beach in Jacksonville: a Treasure Inside Big Talbot Island”

  1. I had 5 days to explore while In Jacksonville I went on several trails and to a few state parks. My favorite was definitely Big Talbot Island State Park!! The trail was lovely leading to the beach and every view on the beach was breathtaking and I saw several species of birds. Unfortunately pets are no longer allowed on the beach and many signs were posted along the trail leading to the beach.

    This place is a must see for anyone especially nature enthusiasts!!

  2. Just went to Boneyard Beach and though the β€œbones” of the trees were beautiful, the biting bugs were so pervasive that it ruined the visit. I’m going to call the Regional Park authorities to spray or advise visitors to bring heavy duty bug spray prior to entering the park. Not a place I’d recommend.

    • Thank you for sharing, Maria! I’m so sorry it wasn’t a pleasant visit for you. I’ll update this post to advise other readers to bring bug spray. I appreciate your comment!

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