When I first moved to Jacksonville, I knew that there would be lots of outdoor areas to explore, but I didn’t know that I would find so many amazing places so quickly!
A friend recommended that I visit a place called “Boneyard Beach” at Big Talbot Island State Park in northeast Jacksonville. It’s not an *actual* boneyard, but locals call it that because this beach is scattered with the withered, white remains of large trees that look like an elephant (think of the elephant graveyard from “The Lion King”). Hundreds of years ago, when sea levels rose and eroded away the shoreline, the trees died and their “bones” are what remains on the beach.
Boneyard Beach is 30 miles, about 40 minutes, from downtown Jax (short for Jacksonville). There is a $3 parking fee that goes to Florida State Parks, and you can find the parking passes at the trailhead of the parking lot, so make sure to bring $3 in cash. Parking fills up quickly, but there’s usually a pretty consistent cycle of people coming and going.
To get to the beach, there is a quick but beautiful half(-ish) mile walk to the beach. It’s a simple dirt/sand trail that is likely accessible to most, and it goes through a gorgeous forest.
If you decide not to go to this beach, there is also a paved trail that will take you up and down the coast to give you access to the other beaches nearby.
After your short walk, you finally make it to the beach and the first time I went, it took my breath away! I thought that it was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been to before. Beautiful white sand, withered and white fallen trees, the ocean and a beautiful surrounding forest. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…
In case you’re wondering how I take my selfies, I will literally balance my phone/camera on a rock, on the ground, or in the image above – balancing in a tree!
If you walk a little further down the beach, you can find another area of Boneyard Beach, where the tree “bones” look a little different than the others. I’m not sure why, but it’s still incredible!
It was quite busy during my day visit – more people than I was expecting. It was a weekend in wintertime, so it was chilly (by Florida standards), but everyone was taking advantage of the sunshine and lack of bugs. No one was swimming or beaching, but it’s still a lovely place to walk around and spend time in nature. We were all careful to social distance, but still said hello if we ever came across another person.
I think that this place is for everyone of all ages – there’s fun trees to climb for the kids, a soft place to walk for the older generations, and a place to relax and enjoy nature for everyone in between.
I definitely recommend visiting Boneyard Beach and I feel like this will become one of my new favorite spots to visit!
Thank you for reading! What do you think of Boneyard Beach? Have you ever been here before? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!