Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Cumberland Island

For the first time ever, the Herndon Club’s fall trek to the southeast coast was cancelled. I think this would have been the ninth trip. They were heading to Cumberland Island on the very southeastern tip of Georgia but would have run smack head on into Hurricane Matthew. The plan is to try again over spring break in March, 2017.

I was at Cumberland Island as Matthew was pounding Haiti and on the trip home got caught up in the first wave of evacuation traffic coming out of Charleston. Cumberland Island is just a short ferry ride from St. Marys, Georgia, a delightfully nice town with some good eats and good birding of its own. But, you will be lucky to see just a little bit of the island in the few hours between the early boat to the island the late boat back. The island is quite large compared to how far you can walk out and back in a day. Still, it is worth the trip.

This is a national park, so you can only enter with permission and there are rules about feeding and trash of course. But also, it offers some nice long easy walks. You can rent wheel chairs that are on balloon tires. Some amenities are available but the best plan is to bring all you need. And one thing you need is sunscreen. The hike to the beach is affectionately called the Death March. It can be brutal. Water is available but bring plenty, nonetheless. The water there is salty, of course, but at least it’s water.

Also, check out Crooked River State Park. The river of course is effected by the tides and than in turn brings in the shore birds. Plus the park is just a nice place to visit. In the middle is a fresh-water pond that probably with enough time spent would yield a nice set of sightings.

Visit Cumberland Island  at St. Marys, Georgia, where Georgia, Florida, and the coast all come together.


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