NOTE:This trip is suggested only for paddlers with open water experience. This route may have winds, waves, open water and strong currents. Before attempting this route, check with local experts on current and predicted conditions.
Length: 13 miles
Put in/take out: Alamacani Boat Ramp.
From Jacksonville –North on I-95 to SR 9A and exit to Heckscher Drive/SR 105. Follow northbound signs for Heckscher Drive (actual direction is easterly) and drive past Huguenot Park. Approximately ½ mile past the park, exit to right at the sign for the boat ramp before crossing the bridge.
From Amelia Island - South on A1A past Amelia Island Plantation toward Jacksonville, over Nassau Sound bridge, past Big and Little Talbot Island State Parks, over next bridge, go 2/10 mile and turn right at jug handle U-turn, head back towards bridge, exit right at boat ramp sign before bridge. No fee. Launch area is a sand/shell beach. Portable toilets, picnic shelter/grill, no water, no phone.
Route: Depending on the weather and tide this route can be run either creek first or ocean first. Seek local expert advice as to predicted winds, waves and currents. To start ocean first, paddle under bridge from launch and go east toward the ocean. Follow coastline of Little Talbot Island, around northern tip and into Nassau Sound. Stay left and continue south between sandbars and into Simpson Creek (make sure to stay right at entrance, Myrtle Creek breaks off to left and is only passable at the highest tide). Paddle under A1A Bridge and past the outfitters and south to Ft. George River. Paddle south (left) on Ft. George River to return to Alimacani boat ramp. When running this creek first, leave launch and paddle north on Ft. George River, enter Simpson Creek and bear left at the Simpson / Myrtle creek junction. Follow coastline of Little Talbot Island.
Highlights: Simpson Creek is the division between Big and Little Talbot Island State Parks. The ocean side of Little Talbot has 5 miles of wide white beaches and few visitors, except for during weekends in the summer. The north end of the island is a frequent stop for migratory shorebirds. The shallow side creeks off Simpson Creek are popular spots for roseate spoonbills, wood storks and ibis. Don’t get stranded in them on a dropping tide. Long Island Outfitters is an optional take out.