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Cumberland Island Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Cumberland Island Wilderness (map) in 1982 and it now has a total of 9,906 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Georgia and is managed by the National Park Service.


Managed by the National Park Service, Cumberland Island Wilderness protects sparkling white beaches and sand dunes, freshwater lakes, and saltwater marshes. It is Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier against seaborne storms. The island measures about 16 miles in length and 3 miles at its’ widest, with approximately 1 mile of water and marshland separating it from the mainland. A maritime forest is the centerpiece of the island, providing shade for the deer that attract hunters during six managed hunts. When the hunters appear (usually a few days every month from November through February), visitation and camping are restricted on parts of the island. The first-rate surf fishing attracts another kind of hunter (Georgia fishing license is required). Attractions include the ruins of Thomas Carnegie's Dungeness Mansion, built in the late 1800s, a short walk from the ferry dock on the southern end of the island. Alligators, loggerhead turtles, and pelicans live on the beaches. The northern portion of the island has been designated Wilderness, starting approximately four miles north of the ferry dock (you have to take a passenger ferry to get here from the mainland). For most of the year, insect repellent is strongly recommended for campers. Additionally, beach access is allowed only at designated dune crossings.

Planning to Visit the Cumberland Island Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Cumberland Island Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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