Friday, March 18, 2011

Biking Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island, at 18 miles by 3 miles, is Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island and features pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches, and wide marshes, and it is also home to over 9,800 acres of designated Wilderness.

Biking the beach is divine! The sea breeze cancels out the heat, the views seemingly extend forever, and the birds constantly entertain...



...and this oceanfront coastal heaven extends nearly 22 miles, the longest undeveloped stretch of Atlantic seashore on the Eastern coast! The hard-packed sand is as smooth as concrete and fun to bike. Earlier in the month, 4 wayward whales beached themselves (perhaps due to sonar interference from the nearby Kings Bay submarine installation) and though three were rescued, one perished...



Biking north on the dirt shell main road known as Grande Avenue, you travel through the heart of the island under a draping canopy of live oaks, across forest floors packed with palmetto, through tall stands of stately pines, over open fields, near tidal creeks, fresh water wetlands, and lakes. It also takes you near Plum Orchard Mansion and loops through the Settlement at the north end of Cumberland Island including the site of the First African Baptist Church where JFK Jr. married Caroline.  Since there are few vehicles on the island, you are rarely bothered, and the trails not in the wilderness area are also scenic for biking. Just watch for backpackers!



Average temperature during the summer is 80F and the average temperature during the winter is 60F. The most precipitation happens between the months of June-September. There is a consistent 90% humidity yearly average in the morning and 60% humidity yearly average in the afternoon.  

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did you get your bike to the island? The only way I've found is by private charter. Thanks! If you have a better solution, please email me fwallenjr@gmail.com. Thanks again,

Francis

Anonymous said...

Is Grande Avenue suitable for road bikes?

From previous trips there, I remember the road being fairly well packed down and okay for road bikes even though it is dirt and not paved.

Chuck said...

If Grande is the main road on the island, yes it was packed pretty well and the few softer areas could be avoided. But this was a year ago, so what current conditions are, I can't speak to.

Wayne said...

Yes - Iwould love to go but need to know how to get bikes out to the island. If a charter is the only way, which one is the cheapest to use?