St Marys is the gateway to Cumberland Island, Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island. Here pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes whisper the stories of both man and nature. Natives, missionaries, enslaved African Americans and Wealthy Industrialists all walked here. Cumberland Island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness.
More than 50 miles of hiking trails and roads meander through maritime forests, interior wetlands, historic districts, marsh ecosystems, and the beautiful beaches. Trails, beach, and roadways (not marked private) are all available for hiking.
Boating and Kayaking
Visitors are welcome to take their own boats to Cumberland Island. Please take time to read through the following rules and regulations.
All private boat docking is first come, first serve
Docking is permitted between the hours of sunrise and sunset; no overnight docking
Vessels must be under 35 feet
Visitors must still pay the park entry fee upon arrival, or have an America the Beautiful pass with them; self pay stations are available at each dock
Shore tying is acceptable; be aware of oyster beds and tidal changes
There are no paved roads on the island. All roads, including the Main Road, are sandy surfaces. Conditions can vary but often the surface is soft, making riding more difficult and slower. Bikes will need wider tires to be ridable (no thin street tires).
Anglers enjoy numerous fishing opportunities including stream fishing for trout, bobbing for Blue Gill and Bass in freshwater lakes, shore and deep sea fishing, and gathering shrimp and crabs from the marshes.
Fishing is welcome within the boundaries of Cumberland Island National Seashore - including from Sea Camp, Plum Orchard and Dungeness Docks - in a manner which does not interfere with boat and pedestrian traffic. Be sure not to interfere with boat operations by having lines, tackle, floats, bait buckets or other gear in the path of any docking boat.
Fish may be cleaned at the Northend of Sea Camp Dock, and the remains can be disposed of in the water.
Cumberland Island is home to 17 miles of undeveloped beach. Plenty of warm sun, blue water, and soft sand greet visitors. Swimming is a very popular activity for day visitors and campers alike. It is a wild beach, so being prepared and taking a few precautions will make for a more enjoyable visit.
The quickest way to get to the beach is by hiking a half a mile across the island from the Sea Camp dock.
It is the open ocean. All the tides and currents that affect it, and all the animals that call it home can be there.
There are no lifeguards.
Rip currents can form. Check the surf forecast or ask a ranger for the rip current risk the day of your visit.
Protect yourself from the sun. Drink plenty of water.
Cumberland Island Camping
Cumberland Island offers five campgrounds , which include designated campsites at Sea Camp and Stafford Beach; and Wilderness campsites at: Hickory Hill, Yankee Paradise and Brickhill Bluff. Camping is only permitted in these five campgrounds. A permit is required to camp in any of these five camping areas.