Camp at Stafford Beach on Cumberland Island

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

  • Activities:

    Cycling, Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    7 Miles

Bathrooms
Beach
Forest
Groups
Wildlife

Camping at Stafford Beach campground is rewarding after a long day on the trail and exploring the island. You are a 5 minute walk from the beach where you will probably have the entire beach to yourself; however, you might meet some horses along the way. Bring your hammock because there are some great trees to hang out in!

Once you have reached the island by ferry from St. Mary's, GA, you will receive an orientation about your campsite and the island (You can rent bicycles at the main office on the island, too). Stafford Beach is 3.5 miles from the ferry landing so you will have plenty of time to explore the island once you've set up camp. To reach the campground, hike the Parallel Trail until you reach Pratts Trail on your right. Take Pratts trail for about a mile and you will reach Stafford Beach campground. There are approximately 7-8 campsites complete with great trees for hammocking and a fire pit (This is one of two campgrounds on the island where you can have a fire...the other is Sea Camp). Here's an insider tip: I think the best spot is the end campsite closest to the beach because horses came in and out of that campsite both days we were there. There are bathrooms and cold showers available here but no potable water. Make sure to bring a water filter or enough potable water to get you through your stay. When you get ready to hike back to the ferry take the beach route (it's actually 0.5 miles shorter) all the way down to Sea Camp and look for the black and white poles in the dunes to help you get back to the ferry. Do it at sunrise if possible! It was an incredible experience. Take time to explore the island by visiting Plum Orchard mansion, hiking some of the other trails close by, or just walking the beach!

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/]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)
  • Cumberland Map
  • Water (there is no potable water on the island except at Sea Camp and Plum Orchard mansion)
  • Water filter
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Hammock
  • Food for your stay
  • Camping stove
  • Camera
  • Trail shoes
  • Rope to tie up your food (raccoons are on the island)
  • Bathing suit if you want to swim in the ocean
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
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Visited Cumberland island a couple years ago. Great place to visit or camp. Hike the trail to the gorgeous virgin sandy beaches where you will find unique and whole seashells, wild horses roaming the beach, and relax in the peacefulness of it all. The island has a great history. You can get a guide to tell you about the family who owned it or take a pamphlet and explore on your own. We took the ferry from St. Mary in Georgia but I believe they have one that leaves from Fernandina Beach in Florida as well. The one from St. Mary has two trips in the morning taking passengers and two in the afternoon if you are planning to just spend the day. Make sure you take your water, food,or snacks with you as there is no convenience store on the island. Definitely worth the visit.

about 1 month ago
about 1 month ago

I went last year to try out some new gear before I went on a big trip and had an amazing time. It was a great experience getting to see the Dungeness and all of the wild horses that roam around the property. I really enjoyed the Stafford Beach campgrounds as well. It was very secluded and you pretty much have the beach to yourself. I hiked backed the next day up the beach and did not see anyone else until I reached the Sea Camp Campgrounds.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

What a once-in-a-lifetime experience! A definite must see!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Privacy, perfect length hike, perfect getaway from it all. Beach. Beautiful trees! And seeing the horses is a big plus.

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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