Backpack the Parallel Trail to Yankee Paradise Campground

Cumberland Island Ferry Landing, Saint Marys, Georgia, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    15 Miles

Forest
Wildlife

This is a magical and mysterious place on Cumberland Island National Seashore that will have you wanting to come back the minute you step on the island. Wild horses, armadillos, ruins, a mansion, the beach and beautiful trees with Spanish moss will be something you'll always remember about this place.

Start your adventure in St. Mary's, GA, where the [Cumberland Island National Seashore Ferry]http://www.cumberlandislandferry.com/) is located. You'll receive your tickets and hop on the ferry for a 45 minute ride to the island. Once you are dropped off at Sea Camp you will be given an orientation to the island along with your camping permit. You will then begin your journey on the Parallel Trail which leads you directly to Yankee Paradise (7.5 miles from the ferry).

Take your time exploring and enjoying the beauty that surrounds you because there's so much to see. Listen for horses neighing (make sure to keep your distance if you see them because they will bite if you get too close) , armadillos scampering, and the sounds of the trees in the breeze. Once you get to Yankee Paradise there are several campsites to choose from but it is on a first come first serve basis. Set up camp and enjoy your time there. If you have time the next day make the 30 minute walk over to Plum Orchard for a tour of the mansion and fill up on potable water around back if you are staying another night. One option to get back to the ferry is to walk the beach and count the black and white poles that you see in the dunes. They will guide you all the way back to Sea Camp where the ferry is located or you can take the Parallel Trail all the way back. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the ferry.

Pack List

You will need to purchase a ferry ticket here ($28 round trip): http://www.cumberlandislandferry.com/

Also, you will need to reserve your campsite here: http://www.cumberlandislandferry.com/camping/

Camping essentials for Cumberland Island:
  • BUG SPRAY with deet (we found that ticks and mosquitoes were out and about during our trip in March)
  • Water (there is no potable water on the island except at Plum Orchard mansion which is about 8.5 miles from the ferry)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Hammock
  • Food for your stay
  • Camping stove or jetboil (no fires allowed at Yankee Paradise)
  • Camera
  • Trail shoes
  • Rope to tie up your food (raccoons are on the island)
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Bring bug spray! Takes a bit of planning but well worth it! Get away from it all.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Emily Lester

Living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and traveling every chance I get! My goal is to visit all 59 National Parks! Come join me or follow along here! Also, the Southeast has some great places to explore, and I look forward to sharing them with you!

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