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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 Thanksgiving

The Basics:
Event Type:Camping
Event Location: SE corner of GA, near St. Mary's GA   Camping: Cumberland Island Camping at Thanksgiving  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, Nov 27 2014  11:00 am >> Sun, Nov 30 2014 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Oct 13 2014 9:30 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Nov 6 2014 12:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Days 1 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:$23.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:7
Minimum Group Size:6
Number Registered So Far: 6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Thanksgiving on Cumberland Island!  I have reservations for 7 spots -- this all that could be reserved by 10am on the day that reservations could be made for this time period.  Yes, it's a popular and special place!  This is a camping trip to "Sea Camp," on Cumberland Island National Seashore, off the coast of south Georgia.

A ferry boat takes us from the mainland (St. Mary's GA) to the island where we'll spend our Thanksgiving holiday Thursday - Sunday (three nights), in the camping site, "Sea Camp".

Sea Camp is about 1/3 mile walk from where the ferry drops us off and contains about 16 beautiful camp sites with old growth oak trees dripping with moss; we will occupy one campground and there should be plenty of space for 7 small sized tents.  The campsites feel, and are, very private with all the vegetation.  There are picnic tables and fire rings in each camp site.  FAQ's here.

Carts are made available to port gear to the campsite, but I recommend keeping the camp stuff to a minimum amount of gear to simplify life for yourself and others.  

There are mens' and womens' bathrooms with cold water showers.  Shower bags (purchased at REI or Wal-Mart) are a great thing to use here - fill them up in the morning with plenty of time to absorb lots of sun; take the shower bag into the private (and open to the sky) shower stalls and hang it up, and enjoy a warm shower, late in the day. I typically shower in the afternoon before dark as there are no lights at the shower stalls.  

Adjacent to the bathrooms are large sinks to clean cookware.

From the campsite, the dunes, beach and ocean are accessed with a five minute walk via a boardwalk.  

Thursday, 11/27:  Ferry departure from St. Mary's is 11:45am.  Each person must be there 1/2 hour early to load gear, check-in, and pay camping fee at the Park Service office.  The camping fee for 3 nights will be $12.00 each, which you need to check in and pay to the park service.  The money that you're paying for this AOC trip is the ferry fee (not the camping fee).

You will need to travel from Atlanta to St Mary's GA either early in the morning, or stay nearby on Wednesday night in a local hotel/motel (cost of hotel is not included in this trip) so that you can catch this the ferry.  The ferry ride to the island takes about 40 minutes.  Once there, the park service will give us a presentation about the camp rules and assign us our camp site.  Then, we can go set up our tents, etc.  You can bring coolers.  There is ice that is sold on the ferry, so on subsequent days you can meet it in the morning or afternoon to purchase some, if needed.  Likewise for campfire wood.

We will have a group dinner/feast on Thursday and give Thanks!  Potluck, or menu to be determined.  

Friday, 11/28 - Sunday 11/30: We're all free to roam the island, rent bicycles, go on a bus tour, hang out at the beach... whatever your heart desires.  Be ready to walk a lot along sandy trails, sandy roads and sandy beaches.  We will tour the ruins on the south of the island, Dungunnes, may search for some shark's teeth, photograph the feral horses if we're lucky, among other things.  Star-gazing at night is great.  Renting bicyles and going on the bus tour are not included in the cost of this trip (I think $15 for either) so bring cash.  Biking to Dungennes for happy hour and sunset is very fun; the bikes are first come/first serve but are a great way to get around using the main (unpaved) roads.  Riding at night can be fun (bring your headlamp)!  If you are very ambitious, you can ride to the north shore, though I would only recommend this if you can find a bike in great condition (some are not) and are in great shape; it will take most of a day to do this; (trip leader is not planning to do this).

Sunday 11/30:  Ferry departure from the island is 10:15am.  You will need to arise, do your morning rituals, pack up your equipment and be at the dock ideally by 9:45am/10am.  Again, you'll have to load gear onto the ferry.  This typically takes about 20 minutes for all the folks (not just our own group) to accomplish.  The boat does not wait for anyone and always leaves on time.

A note about food:  There can be a lot of raccoons (though sometimes there are none); they can be very bold in going for your food, so you must be diligent about keeping it locked away safely in the food cache boxes that are provided in each camp site; use straps around your hard sided cooler (they can undo bungee cords), and/or bring hard sided storage boxes found at Wal-Mart, etc., to place gear into - again with a strap secured around it.   It is best to keep your food waste to a minimum since you must take your trash with you.  Pack it in/Pack it out; there are no trash bins on the island, so keep that in mind, e.g., no smelly fish.
There could be a lot of traffic on the road ways, on Sunday; if I-95 is backed up, consider going on the back roads; I have done this and actually made about the same time as I would have on the expressways.  It was a lot prettier and more interesting; a navigation system is recommended.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Camping or backpacking gear packed in large duffels or backpacks, which includes cookware, stove, etc.
  • Food:  3 lunches, 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts, snacks, Adult Beverages
  • Rain Gear
  • Sun shade hat
  • Cold weather clothes, hat, gloves


Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Solar shower bag
  • Camera, tri-pod for night photography
  • Extra cash for ice, wood, bike rental
  • Lantern (pls let me know if you have one)
  • Tarp (in case of rain). Pls let me know if you have one.
  • Frisbee
  • Reading material 
  • Musical instrument, ipod with speakers
  • A way to recharge your batteries 
  • Camp chair

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

From Atlanta: 

In St Mary's facing the waterfront, there is 'drop-off' parking in front of the dock.  You can unload your vehicle here.   Then you must move the vehicle to the over-night parking which is down the street on the right (facing the water, go right; lot is on the right).


This event is rain or shine.

No smoking please.

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:$23.00/Person
Cost Includes:

Ferry ride to Cumberand Island from St. Mary's.

There will be an additional charge of $12.00 due upon arrival at the ferry dock for the entrance fee into the park, and 3 nights camping at Sea Camp.  You are responsible for checking in with the Park Service and paying the 12.00 yourself.

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Thu, Nov 6 2014.
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 Nov 6, full payment is refundable less a $3 administrative fee. No refund after Nov 6 unless someone from the waitlist replaces you and pays in full. In that case, you are eligible for a full refund less the $3 administrative fee.

Please allow two days for processing a PayPal transaction, and allow seven days (from mailing date) for a check to be processed. So both should be sent well in advance of payment cut off date.