AHH, Cumberland!

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The largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia is Cumberland Island.  Cumberland has pristine beaches with no condominiums or hotels anywhere in sight.  History here spans over 4000 years beginning with early Natives, the Timucuan people,  followed by the period of Colonial expansion, the Plantation Era and the Gilded Age.   All left a footprint on this 17 mile long island of wonder.  Today, Cumberland is a National Seashore which is accessed by ferry from St. Mary’s or by private boat.  

A few miles after crossing the Cumberland Sound, the feral horses came into sight.  Other animal life include wild boar, nine-banded armadillo, raccoons, squirrels, white-tailed deer and American alligators.  On this trip we encountered deer, squirrels and horses.  We may have heard the raccoons, armadillo or boar rustling in the brush but we did not investigate.  

The Dungeness ferry dock is still being repaired after significant damage after Hurricane Matthew.  It is located at the Ice House Museum.  The ice house was built by the Carnegie family in the late 1800’s and was used to store ice shipped from then north.  Today this white clapboard building houses a museum and restroom facilities.  A larger Cumberland National Seashore Museum is located in St. Mary’s.    

There are five different campsite opportunities: Sea Camp, Stafford, Hickory Hill, Yankee Paradise and Brickhill Bluff.  Sea Camp is the only location with potable water.  A trail through the Sea Camp leads directly to the beach.  The trees along the trail provide cover from the burning sun.  Limbs reach out from the base of the trees in all directions.  Some seem to be seeking the sun while others appear to hide from the heat.  One could climb from tree to tree easily with limbs at all heights reaching in several directions.

Of course, the treat of the day is the beach.  The board walk to the beach was covered in a variety of clothes.  It had rained the night before and the campers needed to hang out their belongings to dry.  The park allows only 300 visitors a day so the 17 mile beach is never crowded.   We saw more people on this visit than ever before but there were still less than 30 people on the beach.  We decided to take Izzy ashore for her first beach visit.  After a strained walk on the leash, she let loose with all her pent up energy jumping the waves, ears flapping behind her!

Each visit inspires me to return and hopefully one day we will take the ferry for the  Land and Legacies Tour of the northern end of the island.  

Enjoying the journey!







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