Inform the park staff leading your tour immediately. Park staff will take appropriate actions to deal with emergencies.
Duration: 5-6 hours
Location: Sea Camp Ranger Station
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 back.
Discover the Lands and Legacies of Cumberland Island
The Lands and Legacies Tour is a motorized tour to the north end of Cumberland Island starting at the Sea Camp Ranger Station. Visitors get to 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 five- to six-hour trip that is open only to those visitors who take the 9 a.m. ferry to the island or who are campers already staying on the island. Don’t look any further for Cumberland Island tours…this is the only one!
Plum Orchard Mansion
- Built in 1898, Plum Orchard is a 20,000 square foot, Georgian Revival mansion. It was built by Lucy Carnegie for her son, George and his wife, Margaret Thaw. It is almost eight miles from the Sea Camp dock to visit Plum Orchard. Access is by foot, bicycle or the Lands and 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 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 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.
First African Baptist Church in the Settlement
- Located approximately 17 miles from the Sea Camp dock, visitors can explore the First African Baptist Church. During the 1890s, the Settlement was established for African American workers. The First African Baptist Church was established in 1893 and then rebuilt in the 1930s. It was the site of the September 1996 wedding of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.
- 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, showing the truly 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.
Groups tours may 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 can be accommodated on the same tour route at the same time. All tours will see the same locations each day.
Refunds for purchased tickets will be made up to 14 days prior to the tour.
The tour will not run on Christmas Day and Tuesdays and Wednesdays between December 1 and February 28. Tours operate rain or shine but may be canceled due to extreme conditions on the island.
Reservations are strongly recommended as seating is limited. You can make reservations up to six months in advance.
- 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 five to six 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 installation 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 two wheelchairs is available. Inform the reservation agent of your need for the lift van while making your reservation. This will ensure 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?