Kayaking to Cumberland Island (GA)

Looking for input from anyone who has ever paddled to Cumberland Island. I have camping reservations at Sea Camp in September and I’m debating if I want to paddle to the island or just take the ferry. I have zero sea kayaking experience. I’ve been kayaking a dozen or so times on fairly mild stretches of some north Georgia rivers. I’m also too cheap for any guided trips to the island, so I would be going alone. Just trying to get an idea for what I’d be in for. Thanks for any help!

Making a trip, even an easy one, alone with little prior experience isn’t ever a good idea. If something unexpected happens you have no backup.

Bill H.

My wife and I paddled there
there are some very strong tides at certain places.

We had no problems, but if you are a novice, I would advice against it.

Jack L

in Google search and Utube.

Camping from a kayak is more complex than from a backpack … if urnot a kayaker. There are more videos.

There may be a papermill nearby. Find out where and if in operation.

there are biting flies, like deer flies and salt marsh mosquitoes. sharks are off shore and dolphin…if there’s a fish run…check the fishing blogs/reports…then there are sharks n dolphins.

bring binocs for birding and the sharks. a headnet or 2, the ubiquitous brown cotton gloves, thick calf socks, a bandana or 2 for DEET applications.

the tent is noseeum mesh bombproof. lube zippers. bring repair tape. and a qt jug to pee in at night. Good idea to camp near the water n prepare to enter tent at sundown if bugs are out in force. then not get out until sunrise.

I assume if Zika spreads then these opportunities will diminish.

Do not go into the underbrush…
…C.I. is the tick capitol of the universe.

No Paper Mill
In St. Mary’s anymore.

Please don’t.
Open water paddling is not the same as river paddling. Alone, with no experience with the wind and strong tides… too much to go wrong.

Cumberland Island is beautiful. I didn’t find the bugs there any worse than most places. Just keep safety first.


MI’ll. !

One above Jacksonville at Fernandina Beach

No experience, take the ferry
Make sure you make reservations for the ferry ahead of time. The camping area is about 1/2 mile from the dock. I would bring Skin-So-Soft for the sand gnats and bug spray for the sketters. Don’t try to pet the wild horses. Bring plenty to drink and don’t forget your sun screen.

If you have the time you can do some wilderness camping which doesn’t take alot of paddling experience go to the Okefenokee Swamp which is only about an hour away from St Marys. You can rent a canoe or kayak there.

done in winter when cold air chills insects. With an Atl breeze blowing mill dust inland.

I hiked Canaveral National Seashore before widespread aerial insect spraying. Good trip. Insects kept distance from the water.

Huge clouds of small beach butterflies …

After doing some more research and reading your advice, I’m going to do the sensible thing and just take the ferry. Thank you to everyone for your input!

And I definitely hope to paddle around in the Okefenokee kayak_ken. Sounds amazing.

let me know
When you want to go and I will give you a no cost tour. I love paddling and camping in the Okefenokee Swamp.