2014-04 Sea Camp at Cumberland Island

There is camping on Cumberland Island at Sea Camp, amongst a dense and magical forest of live oak. It is a short walk from the Sea Camp Ranger Station (ferry stop) and also just steps from the beach. Backcountry / wilderness camping is also available by permit, requiring a hike of 5.5 to 10.5 miles to those sites. There are over 50 miles of hiking trails on the island, and no vehicles on the island except for rangers / staff. It was a magnificent setting and I would love to camp a few nights here!

We arrived after a long day of walking and beach-combing, at Sea Camp Ranger Station with a half-hour to spare before the last ferry of the day. Gary rested on the porch at Sea Camp to catch the ferry there, while I hiked back to Dungeness to catch the ferry at its last stop. I had visions of twisting my ankle on the trail and missing that last ferry pickup. I should mention...if you miss the last ferry, you spend the night on the island - and I left the backpack with Gary! Would've been a long cold night without even a pillow.

Boardwalk from the beach to Sea Camp

Welcome to the magical forest


Camp site at Sea Camp has table, firepit, and what I believe is a racoon/squirrel box?

Finishing our long day of walking

Resting in the rocking chairs at Sea Camp Ranger Station
Looking down the beach 1/2 mile to the ferry dock at Dungeness
Ferry pulling into Dungeness stop with Gary on the bow. While waiting for the ferry on the Dungeness dock, I had a dolpin surface within 5 feet of me several times; it was a neat close encounter with a wild dolphin.

2014-04 Wild spirits of Cumberland Island

Yeah, I love the horses. I was a horse-crazy girl who read all the Misty books by Marguerite Henry, Black Beauty, Black Stallion, you name it...and cherished my collection of Breyer horses. So...I snapped lots of pictures of the horses of Cumberland Island. I'm pretty sure the white horse that was laying down is an albino. Beautiful!

2014-04 Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA

We had two days in this area, first day was sunny and fantastic, second day was rainy and cold. We picked the right day to take the ferry to Cumberland Island. This boat was reserved all the way into May, but we went down early in the am, got on the waitlist and got very lucky! Travel Channel named this "America's Most Beautiful Wilderness Beach" - it is absolutely gorgeous.

The island has a rich history. The Dungeness ruins served as summer home for many famous families in American history, including Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee), and the Carnegie family. John Kennedy Jr. was married in a tiny historic church on the island.
The Visitor Center is on the mainland in St Mary's

Lovely waterfront park

These walls with seashells were beautiful

Leaving the ferry dock at St Mary's

Our first stop - the Dungeness ruins

A nice stop for lunch on the water just behind Dungeness

We encountered several groups of "wild" horses (feral) in the Dungeness area. These are larger (up to 15 hands) with longer backs and longer legs than the smaller horses / ponies at Chincoteague and other areas north of here.  Popular myth is that these descended from horses shipwrecked or abandoned by Spanish explorers in the 1500's; more likely, these are descended from horses brought by English settlers in the 1700's with some mixing of other horses brought over in the 1900's. There are about 150 on the island today; some visitors never see them, so we were very lucky to have seen so many of these beautiful animals in this pristine environment.
After hiking around Dungeness, we headed across the island to the beach / Atlantic side. Great for beach combing and shell collecting, but we have limited space, so can only collect pictures!

Gary's catch of the day!