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Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA

Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2016 -- $1250 ★, Only 1 Spot Left

Cumberland Island National Seashore is 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 lose weight (or more accurately, improve body composition).

Cumberland Island is one of Fitpacking's least strenuous offerings and is highly recommended for beginners. 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. However, on days we get into camp early, we'll head to the beach to beachcomb and enjoy the surf rolling in.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. February temperatures average in the mid-70s, which is perfect for backpacking, but we might also experience blazing heat or even frost at night. The water temperature will probably be too cold for anything but wading, but overall, expect a warm respite.

Trip Leaders

Bruce Cannon
Donna Farber
Deb Lusk


$1250 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 and any restaurant meals.

Covered expenses include 2 nights in a hotel, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.

Important Note

Cumberland Island National Seashore does NOT accept campsite reservations in advance. Sites are awarded on a first come, first served basis when we reach the Island. Therefore, the park advises us to be prepared to hike as much as 10.5 miles the first day to reach our campsite. This is somewhat unlikely since most visitors to the island don't backcountry camp. We have always been able to obtain the Stafford Campsite, just 3.5 miles away on our first night, but we may have to go further. Our itinerary is predicated on the ability to stay various campsites on particular nights, but you should be aware of the possibility that we may have to make last minute logistic changes. Most trips do not deviate at all from the original plan due to campsite contention.

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Important Note
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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fly or drive into Jacksonville, FL (JAX)

Take free airport shuttle to Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville Airport 13551 Airport Ct, Jacksonville, 32218, FL, 904-741-4001

Equipment shakedown

Obtain any last-minute equipment participants forgot at Gander Mountain, 13075 City Square Drive, Jacksonville, FL, 32218, (904) 714-3557

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go out for dinner

Monday, February 15, 2016

Second set of "before" body composition measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage. You'll also have the opportunity to take one last shower

Free breakfast in hotel

Shuttle to St. Marys, GA

Take the 9AM Cumberland Island Ferry

Arrive at Sea Camp Ranger Station at 9:45AM

Ranger will give us a mandatory presentation about the island and regulations

Hike 3.5 miles via the Parallel Trail and Pratts Trail to Stafford Beach Campsite

Spend some time on the beach

Camp at Stafford Beach Campsite, campfires allowed

Miles today: 3.5. Total miles: 3.5

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hike 2.0 miles on the Parallel Trail to Hickory Hill.

Hike 1.5 miles on the Willow Pond Trail to the beach

Hike 1.1 miles along the beach to the Duck House Trail

Hike 1.5 miles on the Duck House Trail to Yankee Paradise

Set up camp at Yankee Paradise Camp

Day-hike 1.0 miles to Plum Orchard Mansion

Fill up water containers

Day-hike 1.0 miles back to Yankee Paradise Camp

Miles today: 8.1. Total miles: 11.6

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hike 1.4 miles on Tar Kiln Trail.

Hike 1.4 miles on 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 to the Main Rd.

Hike 0.5 miles to Brickhill Bluff

Camp at Brickhill Bluff

Miles today: 8.7. Total miles: 20.3

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Day-Hiking only today

Hike 0.5 miles to Main Rd.

Hike 0.9 miles on Main Rd. to Terrapin Point Trail

Hike 2.0 miles on Terrapin Point Trail to Wharf Ruins

Hike 0.8 miles to North Cut Rd

Hike 1.7 miles on North Cut Rd

Hike 0.5 miles to the beach for lunch

Hike 0.5 miles back to Roller Coaster Trail

Hike 1.7 miles on Roller Coaster Trail to South Cut Trail

Hike 1.0 miles on South Cut Trail to Main Rd.

Hike 0.6 miles on Main Rd. and Brickhill Trail to Brickhill Bluff

Camp at Brickhill Bluff

Miles today: 10.2. Total miles: 30.5

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hike 0.6 miles on Brickhill Trail and Main Rd. to South Cut Trail

Hike 0.5 miles on South Cut Trail

Hike 0.5 miles to Roller Coaster Trail

Hike 1.5 miles on Roller Coaster Trail to Lost Trail

Hike 1.5 miles on Lost Trail to Duck House Trail

Hike 0.5 miles to Yankee Paradise Trail

Hike 1.5 miles on Yankee Paradise Trail to Hickory Hill

Important Note: We will be splitting the group in half. 8 people will be at Hickory Hiil, the rest will be at Yankee Paradise.

Camp at Hickory Hill or Yankee Paradise

Miles today: 6.6. Total miles: 37.1

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hike 6.5 miles to Sea Camp Beach.

Hike 0.5 miles to boat dock.

Day-Hike 1.0 miles on River Trail to the Dungeness Ruins

Day-Hike 1.0 miles back to the boat dock

Miles today: 9.0. Total miles: 46.1

Catch 4:45PM Cumberland Island Ferry

Arrive at St. Marys, GA at 5:30PM

Shuttle back to Hampton Inn & Suites Jacksonville Airport 13551 Airport Ct, Jacksonville, 32218, FL, 904-741-4001

"After" measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner not included in trip cost)

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 21, 2016

Free Hotel Breakfast

Take free airport shuttle

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