Exploring Ft. George Island
in NE Florida
internet keyword: The NATURE SiTeRN
Along the "bike trail" described below, near pond at head of Garden Creek, Ft. George Island, Florida, USA
Discover the birds of NE Florida
Ft. George Island State Cultural Site is part of Florida's "The Talbot Islands GEOPark". On the island are several
park features: The Saturiwa Trail, a 4.3 mile loop on the island road covering many of the historical and geographic
points on the island (from Native American sites through the European and U.S. eras), the bike trail, a 2 to 3 mile route on the old Ribault Club golf fairways
and service paths, the Rollins Bird and Plant Sanctuary, and the NPS (National Park Service) Kinsley Plantation Historic Site.
On these pages you will find photos and some maps, based on FPS (Florida Park Service) sketches, that have been updated with information gathered during severa1 Sierra Club walks, and a few other visits to the island. Also, some narative is provided with information derived from the FPS information on the Saturiwa Trail, and NPS brochures.
The material on this page is copyrighted ©2001 by C.Kling and is from the forthcoming book "Discovering North East Florida on the Trails".
This page describes the "bike trail", a trail for mountain bikes and walking on the old fairways and service paths of the Ribault Club golf course. You can view and download a map of the whole island from the link below the trail map. Provided here is information about the trail and and features of the island.
For more detailed information about the cultural and geographic features of the island you will need to pick up brochure from the Florida Park Service and the National Park Service (Kinsley Plantation).
Now on the Ft. George Island Page:
from around the island taken during some Sierra Club outings, and my own outings.
Maps have been worked on also.
[ 15 oct 2001 ]
Additions, and new information included on this page in the future will be noted here.
If you have any comments, pictures or other contributions please send a message using the
contact form link near the end of this page.
Parking at  and 
 is the starting point, START on the map just above . This is the parking lot
of the Ribault Clubhouse
built in 1928 and now in the process of renovation. A report is
available on the FPS web site. Prior to the Club was the Ft. George Hotel built in 1875
which burned about 14 years later.
 Mount Cornelia "At 65 feet above sea level, Mt. Cornelia is reputed to be the highest
point along the Atlantic coastline south of North Carolina's Outer Banks. This abrupt slope marks the southern
end of an ancient dune field paralleling the island's northeast shoreline." [from FPS pamphlet "The Saturiwa Trail"]
 End of pavement, from here on around the island past the Kinsley Plantation and back to
the split near the Tabby house it is a dirt road. Note: the speed limit on the entire island is
20 mph, but be careful of human and animal "traffic" on the narrow road with many blind curves.
 Small parking lot at one end of the 6th fairway and the trail to Point Isabella. From the
point you can see up and down the Ft. George River, Little and Big Talbot Islands. There are hawks,
ospreys, egrets, herons, sandpipers, pelicans, gulls, terns, fish, and much more to see. It's a great
place to stop for a snack on your walk. "During the
plantation era of the 18th and 19th centuries, Point Isabella, ... may have served as the
plantation's warfing facility. ... The concrete seawall visible today was part of a marina development
proposed by Admiral Blue." [from FPS pamphlet "The Saturiwa Trail"]
|NOTE: Very little information, if any, is
supplied by FPS on the island. A few items are available at the trail starting point,
the Ribault Club parking lot [point 1]. For more information, you will have to visit the
Little Talbot Is. information station.
The map to the left shows the bike and walking trails around the old fairways. Both the
location and shape of the fairways and the trails are approximate, but should be good enough
to keep you on track and get you back to the starting point. (I have recently checked them against some aerial
photographs and updated the maps. CAK 23 Nov 2000)
The bicycle (and walking) trail start immeadiately across the road from the Ribault Club. There is
ample parking here. You might first want to walk down to the Ft. George River behind the Club and look for
the many marine and shore birds. The oaks and the palms on the way are usually melodious with birds as well.
A - approx.15 min. after rounding the end of the fairway and heading back eastward you pass, on your left, about
30 or 40 feet from a pond which is the near the head of "Garden Creek", a portion of the salt marsh intruding into the
island. Several Black Crowned Night Herons, snowy egrets, and other birds can be seen along the shore and perched in the
trees surrounding the pond.
at several points (F, G, and ?s) there are paths where the trail splits, these look fairly well traveled, however at this
time I haven't explored them, therefore I can't tell where they go. If you walk these paths, please let me know.
The loop without going to Point Isabella takes about an hour, with a few stops to observe the scenery, plants, and animals.
If you head north to Point Isabella, then return back to the roadway, add another 40 minutes plus your stop at the point.
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All photographs and text on these Ft. George Island pages Copyright © 2000 by C.Kling,
except as otherwise noted