“Gateway to the Island”
Cumberland Island is Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island. Pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes whisper the stories of both man and nature. Come walk in the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists. Cumberland Island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness, habitated by wild horses and armadillos. This visitor's center in St. Mary's, Georgia is the gateway to Cumberland Island. Here you can get tickets for the ferry over to the Island, as well as information about camping permits on the Island.
The island is beautiful! It requires a lot of walking so make sure you prepare with lots of water, and wear a solid pair of shoes! There is no where to get food on the island so a backpack is a must! I would recommend if you are heading over for the day to board the 9 am ferry over, that way you have a little more liberty as to when you will head back. The ferry does have a very small selection of canned sodas and snacks to purchase, but definitely plan ahead because there are no buildings on the island to cool down in.
We did some back country camping on the island for just one night. The ferry was a relatively inexpensive at $20/person round trip. It was $4 for a back country camping permit. There is also a first-come-first-serve bike rental on the island ($16/day or $20/overnight rental). The island itself is beautiful, every trail and road is lined with Spanish moss covered oak trees. The back country site was well cleared and clean. We saw wild horses, deer, WILD HOGS, armadillos, raccoons, and many varieties of birds (including owls and woodpeckers!). The ruins and historic homes on the islands offer excellent tours and break from hiking and the outdoors. Despite the rain, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay! Be prepared for trails that have lots of mud and standing water!
Beautiful and peaceful place! Uncrowded beach, crystal clear water, refreshing air, great scenery, and nice vegetation of flora and fauna. There were wild horses, wild turkeys, and awesome shells along the area. Camping here is great especially at night. Stargazing is a must. The night sky was beautiful filled with amazing stars.
Here is a helpful video guide to the island!
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Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor's Center
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