Print-Friendly Version
Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCalendar)
Add REGISTRATION REMINDER to your calendar

REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Cumberland Island - Camping at Sea Camp

The Basics:
Event Type:Camping
Event Location: Somewhere in the Atlantic (near St. Mary's GA)   Camping: Cumberland Island - Camping at Sea Camp  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, Apr 25 2013  11:00 am >> Sun, Apr 28 2013 7:10 pm  (Carpool Departure: 4:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Tue, Feb 26 2013 7:10 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Mar 12 2013 9:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Days 8 Hours 10 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
cliff j
Chris L
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$45.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest barrier island. Come see why the Travel Channel named it “America’s Most Beautiful Wilderness Beach”. During our visit we'll stay at Sea Camp where our itinerary is easy: have fun, stay safe, and always be on time for the ferry. 

Thursday morning - Everyone should arrive at the dock in St. Mary's, GA by 11:00 am to check in at the ranger station. The ferry departs for the island at 11:45 am.

Thursday afternoon - After arriving on the island and setting up camp, we'll go for a hike around the popular sections of the island (about 3.5 miles round trip). Our trek will take us through sand dunes, along the beach, through the dunes again, the marsh, and to the Dungeness Ruins. After checking out the ruins, we’ll return to camp on the sandy road that runs the length of the island and is mostly shaded by trees draped with moss. We’re very likely to run into some (or a lot) of Cumberland’s famed wild horses along the way. This hike is for everyone, and first timers will find it especially helpful in becoming acquainted with much of what there is to see and do on the island. It’s a beautiful walk with lots to see and photograph.

Friday morning - Another hike is planned (about 4 miles) to a secluded location to look for shark teeth. This is a place where they are plentiful, but it still takes a keen eye to find them. The first one is always the hardest to find. But once you get one, it’s addicting.

The two hikes mentioned above are of course, optional, but we're hoping everyone will join us on the Thursday hike (especially first timers to the island). Your time on the island is yours to do with as you please.  Generally, most people choose to hang out with others in our group enjoying the various adventures the island offers.  

Sunday morning - Have your gear packed and be at the dock by 9:45 am. The ferry departs for the mainland at 10:15 am.

Other things to do:

Hiking - There is no end to the amount of hiking you can do. There are miles of beaches to explore. The road to the north end of the island is about 17 miles one way. No matter where you choose to hike, you'll like what you see. Bring your camera.

Biking - Bikes are available for rent for about $16 a day. You may not bring your own bike to the island. A favorite biking destination is Plum Orchard, a restored 100+ year old mansion. The park service offers tours of the mansion on select weekends. We’ll find out the tour schedule when we reach the island, but it is still a great place to visit even if no tour is offered. Plum Orchard is a 14 mile round trip from camp. Bike it, or if you're energetic, hike it. 

Sightseeing - For those who like to rise early, the sunrises are almost always spectacular on the beach. The starry sky at night is also a sight to see. You'll find that photo opportunities are everywhere as you explore the island, and the beach and ocean are never more than a few minutes away. 

Swimming - At your own risk. There is no life guard. Cumberland Island's average water temperature for April is 70 degrees.

Fishing - You will need a current fishing license. Do some research prior to our trip to find out where to fish, what you might be catching, and any regulations you need to be aware of.  Once you're on the island, the rangers can give you further guidance.

More info about the island can be found at these websites:

Travel - The drive to St. Marys is about 6 hours. Two options:

Option 1. (preferred) Drive down Wednesday and rent a room for the night. You can stay at the Riverview hotel in St. Marys (directly across from the ferry dock) for about $100 a night. The Microtel in Kingsland is about $60 a night (the more popular choice). Many other hotel options exist. Each person is responsible for making their own hotel reservations. It’s most economical to share rooms with others on the event if you can work it out (with carpool companions for instance).

Option 2. Drive down Thursday morning leaving around 4:30am and hope you don't have car trouble or get stuck in traffic somewhere (causing you to miss the ferry). If you miss the ferry, you can probably catch one the next day, but there is no guarantee. It depends on availability of space on the ferry and the ranger’s willingness to allow you passage without a prior reservation for that day.


You will need to bring a camp stove of some sort if you prefer cooked meals on the island. There are no cooking facilities available.  I (cliff j) have a Coleman 2 burner camp stove that can be borrowed (only if requested, otherwise I won't be bringing it). Other options: a Jetboil or backpacking stove work well. When packing for this event, remember there are plenty of food options for you to consider that do not require cooking.


Expect a campfire at least 2 of the nights but will probably be all 3. We will purchase several bags of wood from the ferry operator (cost included in event fee). If it runs out (which it shouldn't) we can gather some from around camp.


Bring a strong trash bag or two. There is a compost area for throwing away food scraps only. All other trash (everything else) is our responsibility to take with us when we leave the island. The less trash you bring onto the island adds up to less trash you have to carry back with you when you leave. There is a garbage dumpster on the mainland near the ranger station where we can deposit our trash before heading home.


This is not a party event. Alcohol is permitted but please drink responsibly. The intent of this trip is to enjoy the outdoors, specifically Cumberland Island, and hopefully/also the others on the event. We will be staying in a camp with posted quiet hours beginning at 10:30pm each night.


Required Items to Bring:

* Tent
* Sleeping bag and pad/mattress
* Headlamp/flashlight (batteries)
* Food – Important!!! – You are responsible to bring your own food and drink. No group food or pre-arranged meals are provided. Also, there is no place on the island to buy supplies. To protect your provisions from wildlife (raccoons, etc.), be sure to bring straps or some means of locking your cooler. Cages are supplied at campsites for food storage, but the space in them is minimal.
      * Food and Beverage Considerations:
             * 3 breakfasts (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
             * 3 lunches (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
             * 3 dinners (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
* Snacks
* Beverages – Water on the island is potable but not very tasty. Consider bringing drinking water.
* Clothing suitable for the weather – In April, Cumberland Island’s average high is 79 degrees and the average low is 57 degrees. Remember, these are just averages so be prepared for much warmer and colder temps (day or night). Consider bringing a jacket, fleece, long underwear, etc. just in case the temperatures dip. We’ll have a better idea of the weather a few days before the trip.
* Rain Gear/Poncho
* Hat (for warmth if needed and to protect from the sun)
* Shoes, Boots, Sandals, etc. (a couple of pairs for hiking/walking on trails/beach/in water
* Sunglasses
* Toiletries – Toothbrush and paste, soap, deodorant, and anything else required to stay comfortable and non-offensive to others. Sea Camp has modern flush toilets and cold water showers.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.


Compact pillow


Sun Screen

Bug Spray

Ear Plugs (in case someone snores and keeps you awake)

Camp Chair

Games, Books

Day pack (for hiking/exploring the island)

Trowel (to aid in finding shark teeth)


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Directions to the Ferry in St Mary's:

From downtown Atlanta, head south of the city on 1-75 S
(77.6 depending on where you start)
Take exit 165 on the left to merge onto I-16 E toward Jim L Gillis Hwy/Savannah (156 miles)
Take exit 157A to merge onto I-95 toward Brunswick/Jacksonville (95.3 miles)
Take exit 3 for GA-40 toward Kingsland/St Mary's
(0.3 miles)
Turn left onto GA-40 E/E King Ave (at some point it becomes Osborne Street) (9.3 miles)
Continue to follow GA-40 E till it ends
Turn right onto St Mary's Street, the ferry dock is immediately on the left
Go into the park service building (I think it's blue) to check-in for the Ferry

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):730Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 4:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $292.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


No checks will be accepted for this event after the payment due date. After the payment due date, payments will need to be made using Paypal.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$45.00/Person
Cost Includes:

Transportation to and from the island via the ferry

3 Nights Camping on Cumberland Island

Firewood (which your Trip Leaders will purchase from the ferry operator)


Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Tue, Mar 12 2013.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

This event is rain or shine.

If you cancel on or before March 12, 2013, full payment is refundable less a $5 administrative fee. No refund after March 12, 2013 unless someone from the waitlist replaces you and pays in full. You will then be elegible for a full refund less the $5 administrative fee.

It is your responsibility to get your payment in by the due date. Please allow seven days from the date mailed for a check to be processed. Note: To say "The check is in the mail" on the payment due date will not hold your spot on this event.