Last Sunday afternoon I said to my fam on a whim, “Let’s go ride the ferry!” So we quickly threw on some bathing suits and about 30 minutes later we were headed to the St. Johns River Ferry. We hopped on at Mayport and rode over to Ft. George Island. Kingston loves the ferry, so we probably could have just taken it right back across the river! But we decided to cruise down Hecksher Drive to the beach at Big Talbot Island. If you haven’t been to Big Talbot Island, you must go! The beach is full of scattered driftwood and almost feels like a deserted island. While watching Kingston play, I kept getting “Lord of the Flies” vibes. ha! I think the specific area we went to is called Black Rock Beach. Since we got started so late in the afternoon, our entire excursion only lasted a couple hours. But you could easily spend a full day riding the ferry and hanging out on the island. There’s so much to do – hiking, kayaking, biking, picnicking, fishing… or you can do things my way: park it on a towel in the sand!
A few helpful tips: The ferry ride is $6 per car, but they charge an extra $1 per additional passenger on the weekends. And they accept credit cards now, so that’s nice if you’re like us and never have cash. :) You can view the schedule here.
There wasn’t a guard working at the area where we parked on Big Talbot Island, but there was a box to leave our $3 entrance fee inside. I suggest making sure you have $3, because you might end up in a spot where there’s no one around to give you change for a larger bill! Also, the shoreline has eroded so much that there wasn’t an easy way to get down to the sand from the walking trail that takes you to the beach. It was steep, so we held onto tree roots as we climbed down. Climbing back up in this area might be really hard for some people, so keep that in mind.
This excursion is a perfect summer activity, so make some plans to spend an adventurous day checking out this area!