Cumberland Island is Georgia's Southern-most barrier island. Once privately owned, most of the island is now a National Seashore managed by the National Parks Service. The only way for the public to access the island is by a single ferry that departs from the dock in St. Marys 2-3 times a day, six days a week (see ferry schedule).

The ferry stops at two locations on the Southwestern side of the island. The first stop includes a very informative history lesson in the form of an interactive tour. The guide has spent most of her life on the island studying its unusual history. The second stop is for campers, but if you want a bike, this is the place (good luck).

The 17 mile-long island is almost completely undeveloped, and there are no automobiles available for rent. If you come to the island and want to cover it from one end to the other, plan on tent camping for no less than 2-3 nights. It's a half-day hike to the interior of the island, but well worth it I'm sure (we never made it).

If you want to visit this pristine island in comfort, the Greyfield Inn bed and breakfast can accommodate, but this is no low budget inn. You'll have to call for current rates:
Toll Free 866-401-8581
(904) 261-6408
Email: seashore@greyfieldinn.com

Adventure Journal
Entry Date: 1/1/11 (January 1, 2011)
Cumberland Island is one of Georgia's crown jewels. Its considered one of the nation's most pristine and well preserved barrier islands. The Tribe has seen TV shows, books, and calendars featuring the live oaks, Spanish moss, and wild horses of Cumberland Island. How could we resist?

So, as a Christmas present, we (Mommy and Daddy) gave the kids a Southbound adventure. Cumberland Island was but one stop on this week-long adventure, but it certainly stands-out as one of the best destinations of the trip.

After celebrating New Year's Eve and getting a good night's sleep at Crooked River State Park in St. Marys, we headed for he dock to catch the Cumberland Princess ferry. The 9am ferry allows for a relatively full day on the island, and that was our intent. Although we had studied Cumberland Island-related websites, we weren't exactly sure what to expect. We knew to bring our own food, so each of the kids wore their backpack containing lunch, snacks, and water. That turned out to be a very good idea.

When we arrived on the island, we first visited the Ice House museum (attached to the restrooms). This small but well insulated building reveals some unique history of the island, The ranger gave a very informative lecture on the history of the island going back over 250 years. She was very knowledgeable, and I wish we could enjoy a long evening by the campfire learning from her.

From there, it was a short walk to the ruins of Dungeness, a Winter home (mansion) built by the Carnegie family that burned in 1959, Incredibly, what seemed to interest the Tribe the most were the armadillos, Armadillos are not native to the Southeast. Most we have seen in recent years have been dead on the side of he road. They have invaded Cumberland, and they're quite used to humans. At the Dungeness ruins, we had a very close and exciting encounter with an armadillo that thought we were one of his own kind.

From there, we walked to the beach. The beach is deep (wide) and completely untouched by commercial development. The pictures tell the story. We found lots of very nice shells, but no sharks teeth. About half a mile up the beach, we discovered a large injured bird on the beach, and that made us eager to hasten our hike to the camping dock's ranger station to report the injured bird. When possible, they will try to rehabilitate sick and injured wildlife.

When we finally reached the National Park's campground, we weren't prepared for the beauty. Live oak and palmetto create an Eden-like tropical environment the likes of which we have never witnessed. This may very well be the most beautiful campground we have ever seen, Its enough to tempt the Tribe to try roughing it a night or two in a tent. This time of year, it would be bearable.

After a short visit with some fellow travelers at the campground dock, we hiked the river trail back to the dock where we originally landed. In all, we probably walked around 2.5 miles, and the kids never complained about their backpacks. While waiting for the ferry to return us to the mainland, we watched wild horses and armadillos rummage for food while we rummaged for sharks teeth along the rarely traveled road.

Cumberland Island is a paradise virtually unspoiled by man. If you want to visit for the day, its a day you will never forget. If you want to stay overnight, it can be very inexpensive, or require a second mortgage depending on you standards. Would I return? No doubt. Something this unspoiled so close to home is a treasure for sure.

The Richardson Tribe

Other Destinations:
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Berry College
Big Kahunas
Biltmore House
Blairsville, Georgia
Callaway Gardens
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cave Spring
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Chattanooga Zoo
Chehaw Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Chieftains Museum
Choccolocco Mountain Off Road Park
Cloudland Canyon
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Cohutta Wilderness
Cumberland Island
Dauset Trails
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Dunnaway Gap
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
Helen Georgia
Hillcrest Orchards
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Allatoona
Lake Sidney Lanier
Lake Winnepesaukah
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
McIntosh Reserve
McKinney Campground
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Rome GA
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Silver Springs
Stone Mountain Park
Tanglewood Farm
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Townsend KOA
Townsend Tennessee
Twinbrook Resort
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke
Zoo Atlanta - Details and Pictures


Rating (1-10)


Official website 7 Visiting the National Parks website is like reading a good mystery. They manage to keep the reader in suspense providing just enough information to keep us guessing. They allow a limited (and I mean limited) number of people on the island at any given time, so I guess they really don't want too much publicity. Now that's a novel idea I kinda like.


It's an island, so there's no way to get your RV over there. There are tent sites, but you must make reservations. This may well be the most beautiful primitive campground in the US. Crooked River State Park is just a few miles away (nice big sites, no sewer), and A Big Wheel RV Park with all the amenities (full hookup, sewer, cable) is located across the road from Crooked River. I have to rate the camping here a 10 simply because of the options and the relatively low cost.
Other Lodging *

The Greyfield Inn is a place you can stay while on the island. Certainly one of the finest places to stay... anywhere. Be prepared to pay for the privilege.

Hiking 10 The island is 17 miles long, There is a primary road (dirt) that carves through the center of the island. Trails criss-cross the island from end to end. The Live Oaks, wild horses, and armadillos will keep hikers entertained.
Biking 10 Biking is absolutely awesome here. Unfortunately, you can't bring a bike on the ferry, and the rentals at the camping dock are available on a first come first served basis only. You can bring your own bike over on a private or charter boat.
Historical Site(s)


The history on this island reads like a text book. There are links to George and Martha Washington, James Oglethorpe, and the Carnegie family. Most all the structures and ruins on the island are historical in some way.


Shark teeth and awesome shells. Look for the sharks teeth along the roads that were graded with shells dredged from the surrounding waters.
Local Attractions


St Marys, Crooked River State Park, Amelia Island (Florida), Okefenokee Swamp, and more
*Note: We rate only the amenities we have personally reviewed.

No financial consideration or favor has been received for listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way affiliated with this facility or any other facility we review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the reviews to be unbiased.

January, 2011