Ride on the Beach at Amelia Island State Park

One of the seven parks included in the Talbot Islands State Parks grouping, Amelia Island State Park contains more than two hundred acres of gorgeous wilderness. The other parks in this grouping include: Big Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, and Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park.

Located on the southern tip of Amelia Island, this area of northern Florida offers cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean. The park features a variety of scenic backdrops from beaches to coastal maritime forests to salt marshes. Plant life is typical of barrier islands. The vegetation includes sea oat and morning glories.

Amelia Island State Park is located at 12157 Heckscher Drive in Nassau County, Jacksonville. It is sponsored by the Friends of Talbot Islands State Parks citizen group.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding tours of the beach are offered at Kelly’s Seahorse Ranch. This is the only state park within Florida where people can enjoy horseback riding on the beach. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is offered four times throughout the day beginning at 10:00 am. Each tour takes one along the beach and through the forest. Several tours are given daily. Tour guides are experienced and capable of answering most questions about the park. The horses have been trained for riding on this particular terrain.

While enjoying the tour, horseback riders typically get a look at many of the natural seasonal or year-long inhabitants of the area. Numerous species of birds can be seen including wood storks, terns, Great Blue Herons, piping plovers, Black Skimmers, and ospreys. In fact, this state park is included in the Great Florida Birding Trail.

Fishing

Fishing within the park is a popular pastime. Along the shoreline, surf fishing is popular. From the fishing bridge that spans part of Nassau Sound, fishermen can enjoy hours of recreational fishing for tarpon, redfish, sea trout, jacks, and whiting. The avid fisherman can catch his bait first using a net along the shores of the island to bring in mullet or shrimp. Of course, artificial bait can also be used.

It is important to note that the bridge is closed to vehicles. This mile-long bridge is a popular fishing spot as it offers excellent fishing opportunities. Pets are not permitted on the bridge at any time.

Sunbathing and Swimming

The beaches in Amelia Island State Park offer beautiful scenery, warm sand, and opportunities for a bit of a treasure hunt. Whether visitors to the beach are looking for unique seashells or whale sightings, this beach offers opportunities for both.

Visiting

While driving is permissible, it is restricted to specific areas that are located a sufficient distance away from sensitive wildlife zones or habitats. Visitors can choose to stay overnight at nearby Little Talbot State Park, which offers both full campsites and RV campsites.

Amelia Island State Park is open 24 hours a day. This park has reasonable admission fees. These fees also include George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park since it is located within Amelia Island State Park.