The cooler weather of October presents a perfect time to
visit Cumberland and what better time to visit than the 50th Anniversary of the
Cumberland Island National Seashore. Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining
the Georgia Ornithological Society on a birding exploration where we saw over
90 different species of birds in one day. I was amazed at the beauty and
variety of song birds whizzing around the oak canopies of the island where we
spotted them with scopes. While I enjoyed seeing the birds through binoculars,
I must say I was more drawn to the natural beauty of the island wilderness. As
we approached the beach, I saw a white horse on a white sand beach with a white
cattle egret on its back. It’s the kind of place you wouldn’t be surprised to
see a unicorn.
Among Georgia’s barrier islands, Cumberland is unique for
its white ultra-fine sand, rolling acres of dunes, and miles of wide expansive
beach. Along with the more commonplace raccoons, armadillos, and alligators,
this island has a herd of wild horses. Horses were brought to the island by the
Carnegie family for pulling carriages and recreational activities. When the
park was established in 1972, the horses had become feral and still roam the
As a young child and throughout my life I have been
fortunate to spend time on Cumberland. We stayed several times at Stafford, one
of the old mansions there and I have fond memories of exploring the island with
my family. It was quite a rare and exquisite experience.
Perhaps on my next visit I will bring my bike and stay
overnight camping on the island. Or better yet, maybe a charming prince will
take me to the renowned Greyfield Inn.
+ The new moon will be on October 25. Watch out for the higher tides.
+ Local Tides (Click)
+ On the ferry ride back to the mainland, we looked up and saw this beautiful “sun dog” in the sky. A sun dog is similar to a rainbow, and more common than rainbows. They are red closest to the sun and then blue as the light gets farther away. According to folklore, seeing a sun dog is good luck.
Camping vs. Greyfield Inn
The National Park Service offers campsites nestled in the maritime forest not far from the white sand beach. Be prepared to walk with your tent and provisions and plan ahead as reservations must be made far in advance. For the more sophisticated adventurer, I recommend the Greyfield Inn where you don’t want to forget your jacket for the elegant evening meal.
If you are trying to get to a women’s heart, buy her a piece of Gogo. I just love wearing my Gogo jewelry that has been gifted to me over the years. There are two retail shops- one on St. Simons Island and the other on Cumberland Island where the artist Gogo has spent most of her life collecting specimens for her extraordinary designs that transform nature into adornment.