We stepped from the park path down onto the beach and I thought I just might have stumbled into a scene from the Twilight Zone. The beach scattered with massive driftwood trees resembled images of a pre-historic graveyard. My wife and I looked at each other and almost in unison said, “now we know how this place got its name”. We were at Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island, a closely kept secret beach on Florida’s East Coast, just Northeast of Jacksonville.
Certainly, one of the most unique beaches in Florida, Boneyard Beach is an ecological wonderland and a photographer’s retreat. Natural shifting sands and shoreline erosion caused many trees to fall yet these trees help slow further erosion by breaking up wind and wave energy, helping to protect the surrounding woods. The bleached “bones” of the fallen trees are smoothed and battered by sun, wind, and sand that beautifully contrast with the beach made so smooth by the falling tide. Add the colors of a Florida sunrise and you have a fascinating place for an early morning photo walk. Everywhere you turn you see exceptional sculptures rising from the beach seemingly created by divine inspiration.
Big Talbot Island State Park is part of a federally protected area of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, named for the Timucua Indians who once roamed this territory. Although the condos of Amelia Island and the quaint little town of Fernandina Beach are nearby, you won’t see any condo towers from Big Talbot Island. Visitors will appreciate the natural setting and beauty of this truly unique Florida beach.
The next time you are visiting North East Florida, escape the tourist attractions and explore a wilder side of Florida. Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island won’t disappoint.
Wherever your travels take you keep shooting and may only the most remarkable photos be yours.