We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First Trip to Cumberland Isand

Daytona Beach...
Level Contributor
51 posts
22 reviews
Save Topic
First Trip to Cumberland Isand

Hello!

So excited. We will be visiting Cumberland Island in 2 weeks! This will be our first time. There are 2 of us, both adults. I have ferry tickets for 9 and then to come back at 4:45.We are arriving on a Friday.

We are thinking of renting bikes..any thoughts on this? I have read where it can be hard to ride bikes.

Also I wanted to check about the programs. I have read where folks get off at one spot and then rent bikes or vice versa. I also read about a tour. We want to explore the island on our own so I dont think we will do a tour.

We will be staying in St Marys and exploring the area.

Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

Michelle

vcv
Tennessee
Level Contributor
1,704 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

The rangers give an excellent walking tour at Dungeness (the first ferry stop; they give you a few minutes to use the facilities after the ferry unloads and then spend about an hour walking over that section of the island and telling a lot about the history. It's well worth the time spent.

After exploring Dungeness, most day trippers then head north to Sea Camp. You can walk the beach, the road, or the scenic river trail. Another excellent 30-40 minute ranger program is offered at the Sea Camp ranger station before the afternoon ferry leaves the island.

Both of these short programs are excellent for first-timers (as well as repeat visitors) and occupy only a small portion of the day, leaving plenty of time for beach combing, hiking, biking, etc.

There is a full-day trip to the north end of the island, but tickets need to be reserved in advance--save this for a repeat visit.

I'm not a biker, but the bikes do allow you to see more of the island in a short time--some people think it's worth it--it may depend on how sandy the road is--conditions change. But there's plenty to keep you busy on foot for a day visit.

You might want to read "Cumberland Island: Strong Women, Wild Horses" (non-fiction) and "Endangered Species" (a novel by a former CI ranger) before you go.

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
13,218 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

There's a new van tour available now too. Here's an article about it - jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2011-08-04/sto…

vcv
Tennessee
Level Contributor
1,704 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

Onemoreroad gives a link to the van tour of the north end that I mentioned in my PP. I've done it, and it's excellent; but, as mentioned earlier, you need to reserve with the park service office before coming to the island--and some days, it does fill up.

I recommend this tour but not for a first visit as it does take the entire day and doesn't include the southern end of the island.

Daytona Beach...
Level Contributor
51 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

Thanks so much for the replies.

Mt. Pleasant, SC
1 post
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

Is there anywhere other than the Greyfield Inn to stay on Cumberland?

Thanks .

Fernandina Beach...
Destination Expert
for Cumberland Island
Level Contributor
241 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

No. Greyfield is your only option unless you want to camp.

chicago
Level Contributor
205 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

How is the boat ride over to the island? I'm prone to motion sickness. Also should we spend the night in St. Marys or Amelia Island FL? How far is the ride if we stay on Amelia Island. Thanks for your help. Just want to make sure there is enough to do and see in St. Marys.

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
13,218 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

If you are NOT spending the night at the Greyfield, you take the ferry from St. Mary's.

If you ARE staying at the Greyfield, you take the ferry from Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach.

Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, Savannah
Level Contributor
13,218 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

The ride is 45 minutes and should be smooth.

Fernandina Beach...
Destination Expert
for Cumberland Island
Level Contributor
241 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First Trip to Cumberland Isand

No, you can take day trip thru The Greyfield. It's more expensive than taking park service ferry from St. Mary's. But, your lunch and bike/kayak rentals are included in the rate. We did it on 7/3, I will post our trip report soon.

As far as ride over, as long as weather is calm ride is very smooth.

Get answers to your questions about Cumberland Island