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Cumberland Island National Seashore

Sunday, February 18, 2024 - Sunday, February 25, 2024 -- $1500 ★ SOLD OUT - Put me on the waiting list

Cumberland Island National Seashore comprises most of a beautiful barrier island in Georgia just 50 miles north of Jacksonville, FL boasting a wealth of natural attractions. Whether it's quiet coastal marshes, the Atlantic surf pounding undeveloped dunes, wild feral horses you're sure to see roaming the island, beachcoming for sand dollars or sharks teeth, grand live oak trees, armadillos scampering through saw palmettos, Victorian ruins from a bygone era, or glimpses of an occasional alligator, manatee or pod of dolphins, Cumberland Island is sure to please the senses. Get away from your frigid climate, explore a wild barrier island, and get a fitness jumpstart.

Our route will traverse nearly all of backcountry trails of this primarily flat island. Although our daily mileages are not overly ambitious, carrying around a backpack all day, especially along the sandy beach can be difficult. On days we get into camp early, we can head to the beach to beachcomb and enjoy the surf rolling in.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. early February temperatures average in the mid-60s, which is perfect for backpacking, but we might also experience blazing heat, some rain or even frost at night. The water temperature will probably be too cold to comfortably enter, but some intrepid participants have done so on previous trips. But usually you can expect at least a few days of warmth.

Probable Trip Leaders

Bruce Cannon
Beau Devlin
Maxie Johnson
Any Other Guide(s) TBD


Cumberland Island is one of Fatpacking's most attainable and popular offerings and is highly recommended for beginners.


$1500 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Jacksonville, FL (JAX) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals (typically 2 dinners) and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 1 night in a hotel, 1 night in a front country campground, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, Cumberland Queen ferry tickets, National Seashore permits, camping fees on the island and awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.


We highly recommend you read the book Untamed in preparation of the trip.

Here is a great map of the island.

Here is a New York Times article about how the island may be threatened by commercial space exploration.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)


Sunday, February 18, 2024

Fly or drive into Jacksonville, FL (JAX)

Take free airport shuttle to our local hotel

We will assemble at: Microtel Inn & Suites JAX, 13200 International Airport Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32218, 904-741-4911.

We will assemble in the hotel main area, meet the others, discuss trip plans and do last minute trip prep

Make-your-own trail mix bar. Concoct your perfect trail mix from our supplied ingredients

"Before" body composition measurements taken

While you should have done a virtual shakedown with us pre-trip, you may still have time to obtain any last-minute equipment you forgot at Gander Mountain, 13075 City Square Drive, Jacksonville, FL, 32218, (904) 714-3557

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage

At around 3PM, shuttle to campsite: Crooked River State Park, 6222 Charlie Smith Senior Highway St. Marys, GA 31558, 912-882-5256. Site(s): 35, 37, 38 Elevation: 15'

Shuttling will take about 1 hours

Guides prepare dinner in camp. On some trips with longer shuttle times, we may opt to go out for an opening dinner at a local restaurant. (Cost of restaurant dinner not included in trip price)

Camp at Crooked River State Park, 6222 Charlie Smith Senior Highway St. Marys, GA 31558, 912-882-5256. Site(s): 35, 37, 38 Elevation: 15'

Park has potable water, picnic tables, outhouses with running water and a camp store.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Second set of "before" body composition measurements taken

Shuttle to St. Marys, GA

Take the 9AM Cumberland Queen Ferry to Cumberland Island

Arrive at Sea Camp Ranger Station at 9:45AM

In the past, the Rangers have given us a mandatory presentation about the island and regulations, but may no longer require it

Hike 0.5 miles to Sea Camp Group Campsite

Set up camp

Day-Hike (no full pack) 0.1 miles to the beach

Day-Hike (no full pack) 1.2 miles on the beach to the Dungeness Trail Boardwalk

Day-Hike (no full pack) 1.5 miles on the beach to a Marker Post

Day-Hike (no full pack) 3.2 miles back to the Dungeness Trail Boardwalk

Day-Hike (no full pack) 2.4 miles past the Dungeness ruins back to Sea Camp

Camp at Sea Camp Group Campsite, campfires allowed

Miles today: 10.6. Total miles: 10.6

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Hike 4.4 miles via the Parallel Trail to Stafford Beach Road

Hike 2.0 miles on the Parallel Trail to Hickory Hill.

Hike 1.3 miles on the Parallel Trail to Yankee Paradise

Set up camp at Yankee Paradise Camp (not all participants need to go)

Day-hike 1.0 miles to Plum Orchard Mansion to get potable water from their faucet

Day-hike 1.0 miles back to Yankee Paradise Camp

Miles today: 7.7. Total miles: 18.3

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hike 1.0 miles to Plum Orchard Mansion

Fill up water containers

Take a 1 hour guided tour of the Plum Orchard Mansion

Hike 1.0 road miles to the Kings Bottom Trail

Hike 1.5 miles around Table Point

Hike 1.9 miles on Ashley Pond Trail and Kings Bottom Trail to the Main Rd

Hike 2.0 miles on Main Rd. to Brickhill Bluff Trail

Hike 0.5 miles to Brickhill Bluff

Camp at Brickhill Bluff

Miles today: 7.9. Total miles: 26.2 (a marathon!)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Day-Hiking only today. There are shorter options for those who are not up to the full mileage.

Hike 0.8 miles on the Brickhill Trail to Main Rd.

Hike 0.3 miles on the Brickhill Trail to the Bunkley Trail

Hike 0.6 miles on Bunkley Trail to North Cut Road

Hike 1.0 miles Northbound to the First African Baptist Church. Restrooms nearby at the Alberty House. Carol Ruckdeschel lives next door.

Turn around and Hike 2.4 miles on North Cut Road to Candler Beach Rd.

Hike 1.7 miles on Cedar Dock Rd to Christmas Creek for lunch

Hike 2.2 miles on Cedar Dock Rd and Candler Beach Rd to Candler beach

Hike 0.7 miles to Whitney Rd

Hike 1.7 miles on Roller Coaster Trail to South Cut Trail

Hike 1.0 miles on South Cut Trail to Main Rd.

Hike 0.9 miles on Main Rd. and Brickhill Trail to Brickhill Bluff

Camp at Brickhill Bluff

Miles today: 13.3. Total miles: 39.5

Friday, February 23, 2024

Hike 1.3 miles on the Main Rd. to the Oyster Pond Trail

Hike 1.4 miles on the Oyster Pond Trail to the Tar Kiln Trail

Hike 1.5 miles on the Tark Kiln Trail to Yankee Paradise

Hike 1.4 miles on the Duck House Trail to the beach

Hike 3.1 miles on the beach to Stafford Beach Rd.

Hike 0.2 miles on Stafford Beach Road to Stafford Campsite

Camp at Stafford Campsites Sites 5, 6, & 7, campfires permitted

Camp at Stafford Campsite

Miles today: 8.9. Total miles: 48.4

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hike 0.2 miles to the beach

Hike 4.1 miles on the beach to Sea Camp Marker Post.

Hike 0.6 miles to Ferry Dock.

Miles today: 4.9. Total miles: 53.3

End of hiking

Catch the 10:15 boat back to St. Marys. They may add a 2:30PM ferry which would allow us more time in the morning to check out the Dungeness Ruins

Arrive at St. Marys, GA at 11:00AM or 3:15PM

Shuttle back to local hotel: Microtel Inn & Suites JAX, 13200 International Airport Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32218, 904-741-4911.

Gather your off-trail items from storage

After body composition measurements taken

Dinner and awards ceremony at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

Stay in our local hotel (included in trip cost)

There should be a fair amount of time if you'd like to depart Jacksonville in the evening.

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Take free airport shuttle or we will pay for a shared cab/Uber

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