Saint Marys, Georgia 31558Cumberland Island National Seashore Official Website
See all hotspots at Cumberland Island National Seashore
Cumberland Island National Seashore is a beautiful, largely undeveloped 36,000-acre barrier island. Access is by ferry or private boat. Extensive salt marshes border the island to the west, and 16 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches border Cumberland on the east. The island hosts an amazing variety of wildlife and plant communities. A total of 322 species of birds have been seen on the island.
Types of Birds: Songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gull-like birds
Best Birding Seasons: Songbirds (spring and fall), shorebirds (all), wading birds (all), waterfowl (winter), gull-like birds (all)
Specialties: Peregrine falcon, painted bunting, red knot, black skimmer, warblers
Tips: Look for peregrine falcons during fall migration. Painted buntings are common in summer. Shorebirds are best seen in summer, winter, and spring. Warblers can be seen during fall and spring migrations. Piping plovers may be spotted on the beach in winter. Bring along food, beverages, sunscreen, rain gear, and other necessities because the island has no stores. Private boaters may dock at Sea Camp or Plum Orchard. Overnight boaters must anchor offshore.
Cumberland Island is the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia. With little commercial development, Cumberland has remained relatively stable over the last several hundred years.
However, barrier Islands are dynamic environments. For visitors who spend a few hours or a few days on Cumberland, this soon becomes apparent. Wind shapes the dunes, fire shapes the plant and animal communities that depend on them, and humans leave their impact too.
Cumberland Island supports a rich diversity of animals, and plants, and offers amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and Cumberland Sound. The rich marsh environment, as well as the deep night sky, hold something for everyone.
The only way to get to the island is by passenger ferry (not a car ferry) or private boat. For information about making a reservation with the National Park Service official concessionaire-operated ferry visit the Reservations page or visit Cumberland Island Ferry website.
An increasingly wild island, Cumberland Island National Seashore offers hikers and backpackers a unique combination of ecosystems--towering dunes, freshwater lakes, maritime forest, salt marsh, and deserted beach. The Georgia Conservancy Cumberland Island Trail Map webpage has information about more than 20 trails on Cumberland Island.