Visit Unspoiled Cumberland Island National Seashore for that Deserted Island Experience

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Ever wanted to really get away from it all? Cumberland Island is the perfect deserted island you've always been dreaming about.

Cumberland is a designated National Seashore, and another Georgia Golden Isles treasure. This unspoiled island paradise is Georgia's largest barrier island, and the one furthest south (just south of Jekyll Island).

Wild Horse Island Beckons

Why visit this outlying island that you can only reach by the Cumberland ferry or private boat?

  • It's wild, man! There's no beach-front development, no paved roads, and negligible interior improvements. Unspoiled beaches stretch as far as the eye can sea. And very few automobiles ply the sandy roads.

photo by dougandme - flickr

  • Wildlife. Especially those wild horses everyone is talking about. That's why it's known as the Wild Horse Island. You can see horses around the Dungeness ruins, or sometimes on the beach. You might also spot deer and wild hogs.
  • Hiking and Camping. Camp at Sea Camp, Cumberland's most developed camp site, with showers, restroom facilities, water and electrical hookups. From there, explore outward on foot, hiking to several outlying primitive camping sites (Stafford, Hickory Hill, and Yankee Paradise).
  • Tour Dungeness or Plum Orchard Historic Sites. Reservations may be required. Tours to Plum Orchard are available on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month.
  • Managed Hunts. Hunting is allowed on the island at designated times. You have to enter the hunting lottery in July for fall and winter hunts.

Other Things to Know

  • You can camp up to 7 days.
  • Bring bug spray for mosquitoes, biting gnats and ticks.
  • You must make reservations for the ferry ride, Sea Camp camping, and back country camping.
  • Bikes are allowed on certain roads, but you must bring them over on a private boat, or rent from the ferry folks.
  • You can bring your pets, but they must be on a leash. You can't bring them on the ferry, and they're not allowed in the camping areas.
  • If you're visiting on a day trip, know the ferry schedule. (I've listed the current schedule below).
  • Kids 4 to 12 can participate in the island's Junior Ranger program
  • If you day-tripping in the fall and winter, managed hunts may be on-going, and portions of the island may be closed to the public

Ferry Schedule

The ferry leaves from St. Marys, which is about an hour south of Jekyll Island.

Spring/Summer/Fall (March 1st to November 30th) – The ferry leaves St. Marys at 9:00am and 11:45am; it departs from Cumberland at 10:15am and 4:45pm. (March 1 to September 30 - Wednesday through Saturday there is also a 2:45 p.m. departure from the island.)

Winter (December 1st to February 28th) - The ferry does not operate on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and there is no 2:45pm departure from the island. The two departure times from St. Marys and Cumberland Island remain the same.

For more info on a day trip from Jekyll Island to Cumberland (or to order a Cumberland Island map) call 912-882-4336.

For Cumberland Queen ferry information, including to check the current schedule, call 912-882-4335, or 877-860-6787 toll-free.

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