Paddling Cumberland National Seashore GA

Has anyone every paddled here before? Looks like a beautiful spot. I am thinking of making a trip out there, but would like to find out more about the paddling.



Tide tables a must!
Haven’t done it since '91 but a great paddle. Put in at Crooked River State Park and paddle down and over to Cumberland Island.

GREAT contact info at UP THE CREEK paddling store in St Marys 1.800.upthecreek. They can clue you into the tide tables, best camping spots, permits (if needed), charts, etc.

We paddled against the tides the entire way over and it was not fun! If I can remember it’s about 8 miles one way.The way back was tons easier as we rode with the tide as often as possible.

Bugs are awful, best times to go are truly in the cold weather. Tons of good sites to see on the island.



Augusta, GA

We did it a few years back and
concur with everything the above poster says.

The only disappointment was the fact that the water is not clear.

Watch for river otters. We saw some.

Use caution in regards to tides and your GPS.

Places where you might mark a way point at high tide are liable to be dry land at low tide and cause you to look for an alternate route.

It is a great place to paddle and explore once.



tide charts
If you have a Palm pilot, I have found the following tide software to be excellent:

It’s really nice to be able to pull current tide info out of your pocket.

If you plan on camping you need to make reservations and be patient enough to wait awhile.

Cumberland Island
I spent a week there a few years back.

Bugs are a problem, especially midges at the shoreline at dusk.

Bring a water filter; the water at the campsite pumps was not potable.

Gotta keep your food secure: lots of hungry creatures at night, including wild horses. I hung all my foodpacks in a tree.

The park service has explicit warnings about alligators on the marsh/estuarine side of the island. So I never swam there, but did on the ocean side.

I truly enjoyed the place. Be prepared to hike a lot to find differences in habitat and ecology: from swamp to marine woods to sunblasted sand-dune shoreline.

Sub base behind Cumberland
Prior to bringing a submarine through, the Navy sends out gun boats and will make you get OUT of the water until the sub passes. Also, as noted earlier, the tides are strong in this area.

upthecreek expeditions
As mentioned earlier this outfitter may be of help. Here’s their website:

Hope this helps

I have paddled there a couple of times. Once from St Marys and once from Crooked Rivere State Park. Both are great. I agree that you should check the tide charts as the currents are strong and can be difficult to paddle against. On both of my trips I had reservations and the main campground. We did not want the primitive site. It is quite nice with a well that has potable water, cold showers, picnic tables and most importantly Racoon Proof food boxes. The racoons were bold and quite ferocious. They stole a whold box of Oreos from our picnic table while we were at the restrooms.

Make sure you bring your hiking boots. There is alot to see and on the ocean side some spetacular beaches.

You may want to consider going from Crooked R and back to St Marys or the reverse. The outfitter in St Marys was able to provide us with a shuttle. I also recommend the crooked river state park campground. It is quide formal with good showers and a laundry. We had reservations at the Riverside Hotel for the night we came back and enjoyed the restaruant, and “rustic” accomodations.

I recommend this trip only for paddlers with some good open water experience. The crossing can be relaxing with bottle nose dolphin visits or very scary with fog, wind, current, waves and HUGE submarines.