Top RV Destinations: Cumberland Island National Seashore

Understanding how far you can go in an El Monte RV in a single day begins with a single example. When you purchase an RV from the El Monte dealers in Orlando, Florida, there are many day trips you can take in multiple directions. However, a very popular destination to the north of the Orlando El Monte dealers is Cumberland Island National Seashore. Before you buy a used RV for sale from El Monte and take this short trip into the Georgia state area, read about the trip here.

Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island is a national park in Georgia. You can only get to it via ferry. RVs cannot go there, but camping on the mainland close to the ferry dock is available. Most people park an RV on the mainland and ferry across to the island for tours, tourist attractions, and time on the beautiful coastal shore.

You can camp on Cumberland Island, but only by reservation and only in tents. Most campsites are wilderness sites and “roughing it” is required. Strict rules require that all tent campers here clean up after themselves and take their garbage with them, plus food has to be hung from the trees to avoid issues with local wildlife. Still, many people venture here during the day and return to their RVs on the mainland at night. 

Crooked River State Park

As for the RV parks closest to the island ferry dock, Crooked River State Park offers RV camping. Reservations are required for all campsites as this park only has 63 total sites for camper, RV, and tent camping. In terms of Georgia camping, it is one of the prettiest state parks with the most amenities.

Fort Cinch State Park 

Fort Cinch State Park is in Florida across the way from Cumberland Sound in Georgia. RV sites book up fast here, so it’s best to make a reservation early. If your RV is trailing a boat, that’s smart because you can drop the boat in the water and maneuver up the sound to the Cumberland Island beach.

Big Wheel RV Park

Big Wheel RV Park is probably the furthest from Cumberland Island, but it’s also why you’re more likely to find an RV camping spot here. Like most RV campgrounds in late spring, summer, and early fall, reservations are not just recommended, they’re required. Full RV hookups, pull-through spots, firewood, free Wi-Fi, and onsite coin laundry are some perks of this RV camp. Georgia camping at its finest exists at Big Wheel.

Preparing for an RV Camping Trip to Cumberland Island National Seashore Area 

The area around this island park is typically muggy and humid, although breezes coming off of the ocean and Cumberland Sound make it a little more comfortable. Hurricane season is from late spring to October, but if you watch or listen to the news while camping, you should have enough advance warning to evacuate if need be.

Tropical rains in the afternoons are quite common during the really warm months but subside during November and December. In December, the weather is much cooler, making campfire activity in an RV park very enjoyable.

A very limited number of people are allowed to board the ferry to Cumberland Island each day (300 – no more). Reservations to board the ferry are required, and failure to report to the dock 30 minutes in advance results in the negation of your reservation. In short, be on time!

If you are traveling with Fido or Fluffy, they are going to have to stay at camp. Pets are not allowed on the island ferry nor on the island itself. If you are going to fish while on the island, purchase a Georgia fishing license in advance.

The island is a wilderness. No garbage is allowed, no trash cans are available, no food for sale is present, and only water-filling stations are located on the trails. If you were going on a three-mile hike through dense brush, pack as though that is your intended activity. This includes:

  • Sunscreen
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Backpack
  • Bug repellant (ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, biting flies, etc., are reality here depending on the season)
  • Sunglasses
  • Food
  • Hats or other head covering
  • Garbage bag for all your personal trash
  • First aid kit (optional, but recommended for wilderness hikers)

Whatever you bring with you to the island has to leave with you on the departing ferry in the late afternoon.

Things to See

Besides the 16 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, this island once belonged to the Carnegie family (yes, that Carnegie family). The ruins of their mansion are here to tour, and there are miles of trails for which you may rent a bike and roam. Natural habitats like salt marshes and maritime marshes are on the island. Wild horses, armadillos, and even alligators are present, so be careful when spotting and observing these animals.

Check out all the great RVs El Monte has available now!

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