Visiting Cumberland Island is definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience no matter how you receive there; but kayaking to Cumberland Island is probably the most exciting and spectacular way to take pleasure from this jewel of a barrier island. Though kayaking to Cumberland Island is not really a trip for novices, experienced kayakers with self-rescue skills should have no issue crossing the Cumberland Sound or Intracoastal Waterway and making their way back from a day on the island. Here certainly are a few day-trips for experienced kayakers who wish to spend a day on Cumberland Island, but don't wish to take the ferry.the 8 cumberlandFrom 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 strong out-flowing current taking you to Cumberland Island. A little more than a mile from the put-in, the Crooked River makes a very nearly 90-degree turn to the Southeast and then back to the East after about another mile. Following 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 be heading East toward the tree line on Cumberland Island and will be in a position to begin 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 significantly less than 2-hours. Ideally, you must look for an early on enough high tide to get you to the island and offer you plenty of time for sightseeing before being forced to head back. You definitely wish 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 will discover it impossible to make the trip from 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 make this 4-mile trip out the St. Marys River and over the Cumberland Sound to the region nearby 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's no navigation to this trip; simply take the falling tide out of the St. Marys River and cross the Cumberland Sound to attain Cumberland Island. Enjoy Cumberland until after low-tide and then take the incoming tide, or flood tide, back to St. Marys. This trip should take about an hour or so to an hour or so and a half each way according to winds and paddling speed.weblinkFrom 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 a place with abundant, heavy boat traffic, so safety and awareness of details is important. The crossing itself is less than a mile; but this is a mile of potentially BIG, scary water. Go to Cumberland Island on an incoming tide and return to Amelia Island on an outgoing tide. Two important factors to consider 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 not at all a vacation for novices 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, ensure you have lots of drinking tap water and something to consume in addition to having appropriate gear and clothing for the trip. A lot of the year, sunscreen and insect repellant top the set of items to remember for the trip. There's 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 somewhat preparation, a day-trip to Cumberland Island is of adventure and fun for a very good price!