Explore Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island
Georgia › N Loop Trail
Added by Cameron Cech
Close to other attractions such as Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island's Driftwood Beach offers a unique and scenic place to explore - whether that be running, catching a sunrise, or swimming.
For the outdoors-minded, Jekyll Island’s biggest attraction may be its driftwood beach. Almost as if the driftwood rained down from the sky, the beach is littered with large trees and gnarly branches. The chaotic mess of driftwood can make the beach a maze to navigate, especially during high tide - but alas, you will see other like-minded individuals running along the beach hopping over fallen tree trunks and branches. If trail running is not your cup of tea, have a seat on a bench (or a log) and enjoy a sunrise coming over the Atlantic Ocean. Or, go to the beach on a clear night and enjoy the solitude among the stars. Or go for a swim in the ocean. It’s difficult to not enjoy your time here.
Vehicle entry to Jekyll Island requires a valid parking pass which must be purchased at the Pay-In-The-Lane System or the Guest Information Center upon arrival on the island. The fee is $6 per car for a 24-hour pass. This pass allows you access to many of the island’s public outdoor areas, including picnic areas, beach parking and access points, playgrounds, soccer complex, National Historic Landmark District, fishing piers and marinas, bicycle and nature trails, and more. Multi-day passes and an annual park decal are also available for your convenience. Bicycles and pedestrians can enter at NO charge. (www.jekyllisland.com)
Once you enter the park after paying, pass the visitors center on the left and then take a left at the roundabout (with a large tree in the middle) so that you are going North on Beachview Dr. Follow Beachview Dr. for 3.8 miles toward the North end of the island. Just after you pass a resort called Villas by the Sea there will be a small parking area on the right side of the road. You can park here, take the short trail to get onto the beach, and start your hike northward into the maze of driftwood.
- Running shoes
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Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running
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Otherworldly, but crowded
This mile long stretch of beach has to be one of the coolest places in the south. The driftwood forest on the beach has a kind of alien/graveyard feeling to it, especially at night. It is honestly a photographers playground, but a lot of photographers seem to already know this. I certainly do not mind other people enjoying the same outdoor luxuries, but I had several cases where other photographers got in my shots during long exposures. The beach was crowded for about an hour during sunrise, but completely empty both before and after. There is plenty of driftwood to go around and plenty of unique shots and angles to be had. If you choose to go (you definitely should) just be mindful and respectful of other photographers.
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