Fees for the ferry are:Adults—$15Senior Citizens—$12Children 12 and under—$10Plus $4 per person for day-use passes to the park.
The ferry does not transport pets, bicycles, kayaks, or cars. No food or drinks are available on the island. Restrooms and water fountains are the only services provided, so be sure to pack a lunch and something to drink. If you should forget, there is a restaurant across the street that sells box lunches. And don’t forget sunscreen or insect repellent. Wear good walking shoes and don’t forget the camera. Bike rentals are available on the island.
On arrival to the island, the ranger conducts a walking tour, which is about an hour and a half, and at 4pm (while you’re waiting for the return ferry) they show a half-hour video at the Sea Camp Ranger Station about the history of the island.
We packed the backpack with sandwiches and water and grabbed the ferry to the island, about a 40-minute ride. On arrival we were met by Ranger (call me Ron) Crawford. He answered our questions for about 15 minutes, then started our tour of the south end of the island, which is called the Dungeness Trail tour. As we walked through the Live Oak forest, he explained the history of the island, and the main part of the tour is the Dungeness Mansion. There were two mansions at this location, the first built by Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene and the second built about 100 years later by the Carnegie family; after the fire of 1959, all that remains are the ruins. The tour ends at the grave site of Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, another Revolutionary War hero and father of Robert E. Lee.
From here you have a few choices: take the main road back to the dock, take the center road about a mile and a half to the beach area, or walk out to the beach and take that back to the dock.
The island hosts a herd of about 250 horses that run wild. We saw about 10 during our stay, and we also saw wild turkeys and a ton of armadillos. This was a day we will remember for a very long time.
For kids ages 4 to 12, an activity booklet can be obtained at the mainland visitor center or at the Sea Camp Ranger Station. After completing the activities, check with a ranger to receive your Junior Ranger badge and certificate.
For more information, go to http://www.nps.gov/cuis/pphtml/activities.html.
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
February 12, 2006
From journal Cumberland Island National Seashore
August 23, 2001
The feral horses whose ancestors were left behind by previous inhabitants are wonderous to behold. We saw a magnificent red stallion together with his harem of mares and two new colts near the Icehouse Museum. They grazed as seemingly docile as farm stock within 10 feet from our path. The park rangers warned us repeatedly of their vicious tempers and previous attacks on campers who ventured too close.
Of special interest are the seaturtle nests. 190 nests have been located and marked this season. We did not see any hatchlings, but sighted some marked nests. The sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Sea turtle habitat preservation is one of the reasons Cumberland is undeveloped. Enhanced nesting success will help the decimated turtle population replenish.
Sightings of unknown (to me) birds sparked my interest and the devilishly brave crabs drove this coward from the water.
From journal Unpopulated Beach