Native Americans were the first humans to hunt and fish these barrier islands. In 1562, the French Huguenots arrived and named them the ‘Timucua.’ Over the next 200 years, the French, English and Spanish lived here. In 1735, General James Oglethorpe named the Talbot Islands in honor of Charles Baron Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of England, and in 1845, Florida became the 27th state.
In 1951, Little Talbot Island was deeded to the Board of Parks and Historic Memorials. More than 50 years later, the legacy of preservation continues making the natural wonders of this barrier island available to all who visit.
With more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches, Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. Maritime forests, desert-like dunes and undisturbed salt marshes on the western side of the island allow for hours of nature study and relaxation. The diverse habitats in the park host a wealth of wildlife for viewing including river otters, marsh rabbits, bobcats and a variety of native and migratory birds.
Surrounding surf and tidal streams present excellent fishing for bluefish, striped bass, redfish, flounder, mullet and sheepshead. Other popular park activities include hiking, kayaking, beachcombing, surfing and picnicking. Beachside picnic pavilions are available for use by park visitors and can be reserved in advance for a fee. A full-facility campground is located along the eastern salt marshes of Myrtle Creek. Kayak rentals, guided paddle tours and Segway tours are available.
Barrier islands like Little Talbot are changing constantly. The dunes, especially, are subject to erosion. The planting of sea oats, installation of fencing and use of boardwalks for pedestrian traffic help protect this natural resource. Few coastal locations in Florida remain undisturbed, but Little Talbot Island is an exception. Here there are miles of untouched natural wilderness and waters to explore and enjoy.