Visiting Cumberland Island can be an out-of-the-ordinary experience no matter how you receive there; but kayaking to Cumberland Island is the absolute most exciting and spectacular way to enjoy this jewel of a barrier island. Though kayaking to Cumberland Island is not a trip for beginners, experienced kayakers with self-rescue skills needs to have no problem crossing the Cumberland Sound or Intracoastal Waterway and making their long ago from each day on the island. Here certainly are a few day-trips for experienced kayakers who would like to spend each day on Cumberland Island, but don't desire 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 least before the midst of the out-going tide - about 3-hours after high tide. You is likely to be heading East with a very good out-flowing current taking one to Cumberland Island. A little higher than a mile from the put-in, the Crooked River makes a not exactly 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 try to find the big left turn. As you continue out the Crooked River, you will be heading East toward the tree line on Cumberland Island and will soon be in a position to start to see the white-structures at Plum Orchard.
The trip from Crooked River State Park over to Plum Orchard is approximately 6-miles and should take less than 2-hours. Ideally, you should try to find an early enough high tide to obtain one to the island and give you sufficient time for sightseeing before having to head back. You certainly desire to be back at Crooked River by high tide - or by dark if high tide is after dark. Keep in mind that even strong, experienced paddlers will see it impossible to help make the trip against the strong tidal currents in the Crooked River.weblink
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 throughout the Cumberland Sound to the area near the entrance to Beach Creek. The outgoing tidal currents in the Cumberland Sound is likely to be pushing you toward Amelia Island and the Atlantic Ocean, so it is additionally vital to monitor your ferry angle as you cross the Sound. Beachcombing with this part of Cumberland Island usually produces pocketfuls of shark teeth and frequent wild horse sightings. There is no navigation to this trip; simply take the falling tide from the St. Marys River and cross the Cumberland Sound to achieve 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 an hour to an hour and a half each way depending on winds and paddling speed.
From Amelia Island to the South end of Cumberland Island: The shortest, but most treacherous trip 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 than the usual mile; but this is a mile of potentially BIG, scary water. Visit Cumberland Island on an incoming tide and come back to Amelia Island on an outgoing tide. Two important factors to keep in mind are: First, that there are extremely swift currents in this part 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 really is not really a trip for beginners and self-rescue skills certainly are a must.
Prior to going, call a local outfitter and check tide times and wind and weather forecasts. Also, make sure you have lots of normal water and something to eat 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 the 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 slightly preparation, a day-trip to Cumberland Island is a lot of adventure and fun for an affordable price!