Cumberland Island Travel Guide

  • The Gilded Age
    The Gilded Age
    by grandmaR
  • Intercoastal Waterway side of Cumberland
    Intercoastal Waterway side of Cumberland
    by grandmaR
  • Sitting in the shelter on the dock
    Sitting in the shelter on the dock
    by grandmaR

Cumberland Island Highlights

  • Pro
    mtncorg profile photo

    mtncorg says…

     History and Nature melded 

  • Con
    taxing profile photo

    taxing says…

     Mosquitoes were there first and still reign supreme 

  • In a nutshell
    brkilbourne profile photo

    brkilbourne says…

     Natural 

Cumberland Island Things to Do

  • Photograph the Ruins

    The park service says, Opportunities for photography are endless. Numerous historic structures and ruins scatter the island.And of course photography is one of the things I like to do, although doing it from a bouncing wheelchair isn't the easiest.

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  • Flora and Fauna

    Other than one armadillo that we saw, some birds, and the wild horses (and other tourists), most of the living things that we saw on our visit were plants. On our park service tour, the ranger explained that the cows and wild hogs that were left over from when the island was inhabited by the Carnegies and others were removed from the island but the...

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  • Ranger-guided “Footsteps” Tour

    The ranger guided tour of the Dungeness Historic District is conducted daily and begins at Dungeness Dock at approximately 10:00am and 12:45pm. Each tour lasts about an hour. Cumberland Island contains four major historic districts and 87 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This was just a tour of one of the historic...

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  • Historic Cemeteries

    There are several cemeteries on Cumberland island and some contain gravestones for people who were initially buried there and then moved. Two of my interests are lighthouses and cemeteries. There is a lighthouse on Little Cumberland Island but you an only see if from the south end of Jekyll Island. But I did manage to visit one of the...

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  • Ice House Museum

    After the tour we visited the little museum in the old Ice House. There was a small cooling room with posters about water and ice (2nd photo).The main part of the museum started with section called Hunting and Gathering (Time of the Timucuans) which was about the Indians prior to Europeans colonizing the area. The next section talks about...

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  • Exploring the Beach

    Miles of glorious beach to walk on, lots of birds and a mystery - - - why are there so many dead horseshoe crabs???? We never did find out. do you know the reason for this horror? I should attach a photo of some of these dead creatures. soon.Meanwhile, please enjoy these birds. I hope you see them in this small photo! They are flying and walking,...

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  • Walking Down the Path

    After we got off the ferry, we borrowed one of the carts to bring our stuff to our reserved camp site. I was so struck with the vegetation of the island, starting right then. I said, "stop, I want to just absorb this place." the sea air, the smells of the flora...and the look of all of it was something I had never experienced before.This path...

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  • Hiking

    You can walk for miles on the sandy beach, or take a trail with trees overhead. You get a map before you leave the mainland (Georgia), or you can find one at the ranger stations, on the island, too. It shows the trails, etc. Bring your own water on your hike. The trails are fairly level, but unpaved, of course. Yeah! The day we walked to the South...

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  • A beach to be remembered

    I don't think I've ever seen a beach like this in the States before. White sand and practically empty 16 miles of it!!

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Cumberland Island Restaurants

  • BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch)

    There is no food for sale or anything to buy to eat on this island. Unless you can eat grass like the horses, either you Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL) or you go without.There are plenty of picnic tables so you can eat whatever you bring in comfort. After we finished our tour, we came back to the dock and I lay on one of the picnic table benches and...

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  • You cook your own at a...

    You cook your own at a campsite that you reserve through the National Park Service.If you leave your breakfast unguarded while visiting the bathroom, don't be surprised if the tame deer comes and eats your oatmeal. Freeze dried Mandarin Orange Chicken!

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  • Cumberland Island Hotels

    0 Hotels in Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island Nightlife

  • Moon Rise Watching

    Follow your dinner cooking and dining, with the best show on the island. Walk down to the beach to watch the moon rise over the water. Sorry, I don't have a photo. The stars aren't bad either, though electric lights from offshore wash them out, somewhat. Casual, of course!

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  • Night time wonder

    Go to the beach at nite to see the ocean glow with phosphorous. On a foggy night you can't see the horses on the beach but you sure can smell them None

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  • The view from the campsite at...

    The view from the campsite at Brick Hill BluffAbsolutely alone with nature. I was here camping during a thunderstorm so intense we had to sit inside the tent to keep it from blowing away. You could see the storm approach across the river. Then the rain stopped and a hot wind came and dried everything completely. Then a beautiful sunset. Wear...

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Cumberland Island Transportation

  • Walk or Wheelchair

    There are no motorized vehicles on the island for visitors except in extremely limited circumstances. There is a "Lands and Legacies" Tour which is a five to six hour motorized tour of the North End of the island, and there is transportation to the one hotel on the island. Otherwise you should expect to walk or hike everywhere. When the Carnaige...

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  • The Cumberland Queen

    Seven miles east of St. Mary's Georgia and just north of Amelia Island Florida, Cumberland Island is accessible by a concession operated passenger ferry. The only other way you can get there is on your own boat. I really wanted to try to see Cumberland Island closer than from offshore, so I tried to get a reservation on the ferry. I had no luck -...

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  • The Cumberland Island Ferry

    The ferry ride takes around a half and hour . It runs daily except December through February, when it does not run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It does NOT carry cars, bicycles, kayaks or pets. It leaves St. Mary's at 9:00 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. and the island at 10:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. From March thru September it also leaves the island at 2:45 p.m....

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Cumberland Island Local Customs

  • LauraWest's Profile Photo
    O beautiful 4 spacious skies & ambR grains of sand

    by LauraWest Updated Apr 15, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is true at some other beaches I have visited, recently. They have signs that tell you not to walk on the dunes. And with good reason. When we climb on them, the grasses & other plants get uprooted, so the sand can erode. The plants will die. The crust of the dunes can be fragile, too. This is true about the sand in the Southwest USA, also.

    I had to get a good photo of dunes on Cumberland Island though. This is the best one I got. I had to get up close, but I didn't walk on them. I was still on the path, when I took this photo. I promise! Oh, those clouds, I love you, clouds!

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Beaches

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Cumberland Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Prohibitions and Rules

    The following are prohibited:• the taking of wildlife or possessing unlawfully taken wildlife• the feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentional disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding or other activities • carrying or using a trap or netShells and shark’s teeth may be collected. All other resources can be observed and then returned to...

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  • Island dangers

    This is the first I've ever seen wild horses. Your first impulse is to try and walk up to them and pet them, but they are NOT the kind of horses that you want to do that to. Do not try and feed them either. Also, be aware that there are ticks on this island as well as poisonous snakes.

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  • Occasionally while you're...

    Occasionally while you're hiking you will encounter an animal who believes the trail is not for people. This is the rabbit tollbooth.

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Cumberland Island Tourist Traps

  • taxing's Profile Photo

    by taxing Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are no tourist traps on Cumberland. If it were up to these jolly fellows who chased us down the road, there would be no tourists as well as no traps.

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Cumberland Island What to Pack

  • Day Trip Supplies

    A daypack would be a good idea The coast is likely to be cooler and breezier than inland areas. Bring a sweater or coat (depending on the season) There is no vehicular transportation on the island. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Hats keep the bugs off and shade the head in warmer months and keep in the heat in winter. Garbage bags (to pack out...

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  • Bring All You'll Want or Need

    Waterproof bags would be a good idea. Backpacks or suitcases? doesn't really matter, as you borrow handy carts to take your gear to your campsite. Then, return them back to the shore, near the ferry dock, where you landed. Comfortable waterproof sandals for all the walking you won't be able to resist doing! I have Keen brand washable sandals,with...

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  • be prepared!

    Be sure to bring your own supply of water and food. There are no places to buy any on the island. There will be a lot of hiking, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Don't forget the sunscreen and a hat!

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Cumberland Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Spend half a day in St....

    Spend half a day in St. Mary's. It's one of those marvelous sleepy towns that time forgot. This is Orange Hall, a beautiful Greek Revival building built in 1820 something by the town's doctor and open to the public.

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  • Along the trail to the beach,...

    Along the trail to the beach, you never know what you're going to find. That's the magic of Cumberland. It's different every time you go. Sometimes it's flowers, sometimes it's weather. This time it was animal life. More animal than we ever expected.

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Cumberland Island Favorites

  • Waiting for the Ferry

    At the end of our tour, we went through the lighthouse museum and then just hung out around the dock and talked to other tourists. We certainly didn't want to miss the ferry, but it was peaceful while we waited and just absorbed the atmosphere.

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  • Wild Horses

    Wild horses seem to live on remote barrier islands like Assateague and Cumberland. The ranger told us that they asked people what they should do with the feral animals on the island which included pigs, cows and horses. People had no problem with them getting rid of the wild boars and the cattle, but wanted the horses left alone.So - they are left...

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  • Circumnavigation

    Cumberland Island is the southernmost of the Georgia Barrrier islands. We have been all around it by sea, but until 2011 we had never actually been to the island. We've come from Jekyll Island and gone out Brunswick Inlet and come around in in the St. Mary's Inlet. And then when we were coming north 3 or 4 months later, we've come from Fernandina...

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