First you should know the National Park Service limits the number of visitors to Cumberland Island and you have to take a ferry to reach it; so book your ferry ticket in advance. No cars except for the Park Service are on the island.When you arrive at the departure point, St Mary's GA, pick up a sandwich lunch to take with you for the day. You will also want to bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, and a swimsuit and towel. Wear clothes for comfortable walking - flip flops are not advised. Once the island was a vacation place for the Carnegie family. Now the homes they built with the exception of one, which was turned into a hotel in 1962, are in ruins. Dungeness House is the easiest to reach, an easy walk from the first ferry stop. There are picnic benches so it is a lovely place to have your lunch. Wild horses roam the island and it is common to see them gently walking and grazing throughout your time on the island. We saw a mother and colt while having our lunch at Dungeness. It is important to remember all wildlife on Cumberland Island is exactly that - wild. So photograph all you want, but do not feed or approach the animals too closely. From Dungeness we walked the trail to the Sea Camp Beach. There are bathrooms, change rooms and showers just before you reach the beach. That is where we finished our perfect outing to Cumberland Island. After a warm, muggy, and buggy walk the Atlantic felt fabulous. All too soon we had to catch the last ferry back to the mainland. There is much more to visit on the island, but the northern part where the Baptist Church and Plum Orchard House are is several miles from the second ferry stop. You can rent bicycles as well as walk, but be certain you can cover the over 14 miles round trip to return for the last departing ferry. That was not an outing I felt physically fit enough to do, but one day I would love to return and stay at the hotel, Greyfield's and make the journey to the north part of the island, perhaps in a cooler season. Regardless of when you visit you will find a beautiful, tranquil spot where pleasures are simple and timeless.
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