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Lands & Legacies Tours

Pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes whisper the stories of both man and nature. Natives, missionaries, plantation owners, enslaved people and wealthy Industrialists have all left their mark.

The Lands and Legacies tour is a motorized tour to the north end of Cumberland Island starting at the Sea Camp Ranger Station. Visitors will see both cultural and natural landmarks including the remains of Robert Stafford’s plantation and cemetery, Plum Orchard Mansion, Cumberland Wharf, The Settlement and First African Baptist Church. This tour is a rugged 5 to 6 hour trip that is open only to those visitors who take the 9:00 AM ferry to the Island or who are campers already staying on the Island.

Reservations are strongly recommended as seating is limited. You can make reservations up to six months in advance.

Tour Pricing

$45.00 per ticket

Buy Tickets

TOUR SCHEDULE

Time: Tours depart daily, shortly after the 9:45 a.m. ferry arrives

Visitors planning to leave the island the same day as the tour can take the 4:45 p.m. ferry.

Location: Sea Camp Ranger Station

Tour will not run on Christmas Day, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays between December 1 and February 28. Tours will operate rain or shine but may be canceled due to extreme conditions on the island.

Groups Tours
Groups tours will try to be accommodated within the abilities of the tour guides. Up to two tours operate per day using multiple passenger vehicles – there is no guarantee that groups larger than 10 will be accommodated on the same tour route at the same time. All tours will see the same locations each day.

Cancellations
Refunds for paid tickets will be made up to 14 day prior to the tour.

What to bring

Please be aware that there is NOTHING to purchase once you get to the Island. This can make for an unpleasant trip if you do not come prepared. You are allowed to bring coolers and any backs that you can carry. All of your trash is pack in, pack out.

You will need to bring water, food, sunscreen, walking shoes, rain gear, a hat and sunglasses.

The ferry does sell ice, firewood, potato chips and drinks. The sale of these items is limited to only when the ferry is docked at Sea Camp. Please plan accordingly, we want everyone to have a great experience.

Tour Highlights

Plum Exterior (75)
PLUM ORCHARD MANSION

Built in 1898, Plum Orchard is an 20,000 square foot, Georgian Revival mansion. Built by Lucy Carnegie for her son, George and his wife, Margaret Thaw. It is almost 8 miles from the Sea Camp dock to visit Plum Orchard. Access is by foot, bicycle or the Lands & Legacies Tour. Plum Orchard is open when volunteer caretakers are on site and as a stop on the Lands and Legacies tour.

The mansion is currently open Thursday -Monday 9:00 am -12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. The free tours are offered on the hour and last about 45 minutes. Be sure to ask at the Sea Camp Ranger Station for more information.

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FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCH IN THE SETTLEMENT

Located approximately 17 miles from the Sea Camp Dock, visitors can visit the First African Baptist Church. During the 1890’s, the Settlement was established for African American workers. The First African Baptist Church was established in 1893 and then rebuilt in the 1930’s. It was the site of the September 1996 wedding of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.

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WILD ISLAND

Between visiting historic landmarks, get a glimpse of the wilder side of the Island. Under a canopy of Spanish Moss, single lane roads cut through the Wilderness, truly showing the rugged side of one of the largest undeveloped barrier islands on the Atlantic coast. The island has one of the largest maritime forests remaining in the United States

PLUM ORCHARD MANSION

Built in 1898, Plum Orchard is an 20,000 square foot, Georgian Revival mansion. Built by Lucy Carnegie for her son, George and his wife, Margaret Thaw. It is almost 8 miles from the Sea Camp dock to visit Plum Orchard. Access is by foot, bicycle or the Lands & Legacies Tour. Plum Orchard is open when volunteer caretakers are on site and as a stop on the Lands and Legacies tour.

The mansion is currently open Thursday -Monday 9:00 am -12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. The free tours are offered on the hour and last about 45 minutes. Be sure to ask at the Sea Camp Ranger Station for more information.

Prepare for Your Tour

Attire

Wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather conditions and getting in and out of a passenger van. In addition, shoes should be sturdy for walking on sand and uneven surfaces. Bring insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes and ticks.

Road Conditions

Visitors should be prepared for extreme conditions including heat, humidity, insects, rain, thunderstorms. The tour includes long drives on rough roads with frequent jarring bumps and may be delayed unexpectedly by things like downed trees and flooded roads. While the vehicle is climate controlled, our historic buildings and environment is not.

Provisions

There are no provisions available on Cumberland Island, so you will need to bring all of your daily supplies with you including lunch, a refillable spill-proof water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellent. Visitors are allowed to bring a small backpack for bag for personal items including their lunch. All personal items will need to fit under the seat or on your lap.

Water

You can refill water containers at Sea Camp and Plum Orchard. The water at the Settlement (at the North end of the Island) is NOT potable.

Transportation

We currently utilizes both enclosed vans with bench seats and a single side entry. We also has an enclosed van which is equipped with an ADA standard lift to accommodate wheelchair users. You should be prepared to ride in any of these vehicles.

Space is very limited in the tour vans so please only bring what you can hold in your lap or under the seat. No Large back packs, hard sided coolers, tripods or any other large containers.

Restrooms

Bathrooms are few and far between. The restrooms are located at Sea Camp, Plum Orchard and the Settlement area. There will be several hours between bathroom stops.

Campers

Campers who want to take the tour must plan to arrive the day before their scheduled tour time. Tours will leave from the Sea Camp Ranger Station shortly after the arrival of the 9:45 ferry and this will conflict with the mandatory camper check-in orientation.

Medical

Visitors who have trouble sitting for a long period, are bothered by riding in a vehicle on a rough road with frequent jarring bumps, or who may experience car sickness should take their conditions into consideration before taking the tour.

FAQ's
Can I check in for camping and take the tour on the same day?

No. Campers who want to take the tour must plan to arrive the day before their scheduled tour time. Tours will leave from the Sea Camp Ranger Station shortly after the arrival of the 9:45 ferry and this will conflict with the mandatory camper check-in orientation.

Will this trip also include a tour stop to the Dungeness Ruins?

No, at this time this tour only includes stops north of Sea Camp.

Can children participate?

For safety reasons, this trip is not recommended for children under three. Children over the age of three are welcome, but it will be a difficult trip for them. They will be inside a vehicle for 5 to 6 hours with stops at historic sites along the way. There is no planned free time for visitors, including children to explore the historic areas on their own.

Does my child need a car seat or booster seat?

Yes, according to Georgia state law, if they are under the age of eight or less than 4’9” they must be in an appropriate child restraint device.
For more information on the GA state law, please visit www.gahighwaysafety.org
This device will not be provided by the NPS and parents/guardians will be required to install this seat in the tour van prior to departure from the Sea Camp Ranger Station. NPS staff will not be available to assist in the instillation of the child restraint device.

Can I use my cell phone on the tour?

Cell phone use is not permitted in the tour van or inside historic structures. Cell phone use is permitted during scheduled stops. Cell reception is inconsistent at best on the island.

Are there accommodations for wheel chairs?

Yes, a van with a lift and space for 2 wheel chairs is available. Inform the reservation agent your need for the lift van while making your reservation. This will insure the van is available when you arrive on the island. Many of the historic structures and natural areas may not be wheelchair accessible.

If I am camping in a backcountry or wilderness campsite can I use the tour for transportation to and/or from the camp site?

No. All tour participants must begin and end the tour at the Sea Camp Ranger station on the same day.

Are there any stores or restaurants on Cumberland Island?

No. You cannot buy anything on the island you must bring what you need with you.

Are there bathrooms?

Yes, but they are few and far between. The restrooms are located at Sea Camp, Plum Orchard and the Settlement area. There will be several hours between bathroom stops.

Can I refill my water containers?

Yes, you can refill water containers at Sea Camp and Plum Orchard. The water at the Settlement (at the North end of the Island) is NOT potable.

What if there is a medical emergency?

Inform the park staff leading your tour immediately. Park staff will take appropriate actions to deal with emergencies.