There are not many black rock beaches in the continental United States, but Jacksonville has a hidden black rock beach! However… looks can be deceiving!
You may notice that parts of this post are similar to my “Boneyard Beach” post. Black Rock Beach and Boneyard Beach are very close to each other so it’s very easy to visit both in one day – you can even park at the same spot and walk along the coast to each beach! However, these beaches have very different “vibes” and are stunning in their own ways.
A friend recommended that I visit a place called “Black Rock Beach” at Big Talbot Island State Park in northeast Jacksonville. However, this name is quite deceiving. The “black rocks” are, in fact, NOT rocks at all. It’s very old decomposed organic matter that has been exposed from the erosion of the coastline.
Black Rock 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 was incredible! Beautiful white sand, a black rock cliff, withered and white fallen trees, the ocean and a beautiful surrounding forest. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…
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.
Black Rock Beach is very easy to access, but it requires some balance and careful stepping to walk along the coastline on the black rock. It’s bumpy and eroded away in places, to you have to plan your route. If you can manage this, then it’s a fun walk to explore the coastline!
I definitely recommend visiting Black Rock Beach and I feel like this will become one of my new favorite spots to visit, along with Boneyard Beach!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever been to Destin, Florida? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!