Monday, March 3, 2008

St. Simons Island biking

St. Simons Island is immediately north of Jekyll Island and within view of it, and both are barrier islands just off the shore of Brunswick, Georgia. The Geraldine Robertson Bike Path follows roads but allows you to safely traverse most of the island, and as you pass numerous homes and businesses, you are provided an excellent feel for the island and life on it. We biked over 20 miles as the spring flowers were beginning to bloom, adding to the magic feel of the locale.

We biked to the northwest point of the island and visited the grounds of Christ Episcopal Church, founded by The Rev. Charles Wesley when he and his brother, John, came over from England with Gen. James Oglethorpe to establish the community of Frederica in 1736. The Wesleys later founded the Methodist Church. Also, the church cemetery and the Wesley Woodland Walk across the street are worthwhile visits.

Just down the road from the church is Fort Frederica National Monument, built by Oglethorpe to protect England's interests along the eastern seaboard from the Spanish empire which controlled Florida and all territory south through Cuba and the Caribbean. Time and fire destroyed the fort, but painstaking archeological work has unearthed foundations and artifacts from the era, and a few partial structures remain. We also learned of the wonderful program which brings all 4th graders in the county to the park to assist with archeological digs as an educational field trip.

We also biked the old town area, had an outstanding lunch of fresh shrimp and flounder at the Iguana Restaurant, biked past the airport as impressive private jets took off, peeked at homes in gated and ungated communities, saw Bloody Marsh where the British troops defeated the attempted Spanish invasion, and found the lovely Massengale Park where we later drove to and read on the beach later in the afternoon.

Map of bike routes

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