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25 May 2016

Visiting Cumberland Island is definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience no matter how you receive there; but kayaking to Cumberland Island is essentially the most exciting and spectacular way to enjoy this jewel of a barrier island. Though kayaking to Cumberland Island is not really a trip for newbies, experienced kayakers with self-rescue skills must have no problem crossing the Cumberland Sound or Intracoastal Waterway and making their in the past from per day on the island. Here are a few day-trips for experienced kayakers who would like to spend per day on Cumberland Island, but don't wish to take the ferry.the 8 cumberland

From Crooked River State park to Plum Orchard on Cumberland Island: Put-in at the Crooked River State Park boat ramp at high-tide, or at the very least before the midst of the out-going tide - about 3-hours after high tide. You will undoubtedly be heading East with a very good out-flowing current taking one to Cumberland Island. A little greater than a mile from the put-in, the Crooked River makes an almost 90-degree turn to the Southeast and then back once again to the East after about another mile. After the turn to the Southeast, stay over the left side and look for the big left turn. As you continue out the Crooked River, you will end up heading East toward the tree line on Cumberland Island and will soon be able to start to see the white-structures at Plum Orchard.

The trip from Crooked River State Park to Plum Orchard is approximately 6-miles and should take less than 2-hours. Ideally, you should look for an earlier enough high tide to have one to the island and give you plenty of time for sightseeing before being forced to head back. You definitely desire to be back at Crooked River by high tide - or by dark if high tide is after dark. Bear in mind that even strong, experienced paddlers may find it impossible to really make the trip against the strong tidal currents in the Crooked River.

From St. Mary's to the entrance of Beach Creek: Put-in at the boat ramp at the St. Marys waterfront at or after high tide to create this 4-mile trip out the St. Marys River and over the Cumberland Sound to the area near the entrance to Beach Creek. The outgoing tidal currents in the Cumberland Sound will undoubtedly be pushing you toward Amelia Island and the Atlantic Ocean, so it is in addition crucial to monitor your ferry angle as you cross the Sound. Beachcombing on this part of Cumberland Island usually produces pocketfuls of shark teeth and frequent wild horse sightings. There is no navigation to this trip; you need to the falling tide out of the St. Marys River and cross the Cumberland Sound to reach Cumberland Island. Enjoy Cumberland until after low-tide and then take the incoming tide, or flood tide, back once again to St. Marys. This trip should take about one hour to one hour and a half each way according to winds and paddling speed.weblink

From Amelia Island to the South end of Cumberland Island: The shortest, but most treacherous visit to Cumberland Island is from the boat ramp at the north end of Amelia Island straight across to the south tip of Cumberland. This route crosses the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and the Cumberland Sound in an area with abundant, heavy boat traffic, so safety and awareness of details is important. The crossing itself is less when compared to a mile; but this is a mile of potentially BIG, scary water. Go to Cumberland Island on an incoming tide and come back to Amelia Island on an outgoing tide. Two important factors to remember are: First, that there are extremely swift currents in this area of the Cumberland Sound and ICW; and, second, the wind and weather will change while you're on the island - making surface conditions for the return trip unpredictable. This is definitely not a visit for newbies and self-rescue skills are a must.

Prior to going, call a nearby outfitter and check tide times and wind and weather forecasts. Also, ensure you have plenty of drinking water and something to consume along with having appropriate gear and clothing for the trip. Most of the year, sunscreen and insect repellant top the listing of what to remember for your trip. There is a $4.00 fee for landing on Cumberland Island which is often paid at the Cumberland Island National Seashore Headquarters in St. Marys, or at one of the honor boxes on the island. With a little preparation, a day-trip to Cumberland Island is a lot of adventure and fun for an affordable price!


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