Cumberland Island may be Georgia’s version of Walden Pond when it comes to nature and simple living.
The state’s largest and southernmost barrier island, it is also thrives under the protection of a national seashore designation.
Whether you visit as a day tripper or an over-night camper, bring what you need and leave only footprints.
Tips for a Cumberland Island visit
- Make reservations for the ferry and camping early – up to six months in advance.
- Catch the passenger ferry that leaves from the town of St. Marys. Warning: If you miss the last return ferry of the day, you must charter a boat to get back to the mainland.
- Limit your camping trip to the maximum seven days.
- Bring food, drinks, sunscreen, insect repellant — anything you will need for an enjoyable visit. There are no supplies available on the island.
- Refill your water bottles when you are near one of the potable water stations.
- Dress in layers. You will get warm hiking inland, but get cold quickly in the brisk shoreline winds.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes. Even with rest breaks, we walked more than nine miles on our day trip.
- Wear bugspray if the weather is good. Sand gnats like the same weather we do.
- Watch but do not approach the wild horses.
- Allocate time to visit the Ice House Museum and the Dungeness mansion ruins to learn about the history of the island.
- Leave all inhabited seashells where you found them. It’s the law.
- Eat at Lang’s Marina Restaurant, located on the waterfront in St. Marys. The fresh local shrimp are outstanding!