Cities Journal

Explore Georgia’s Amazing Wilderness!


Almost everything about Cumberland Island is somewhat wild.

Georgia’s largest barrier island is spreading over 9,800 acres of wilderness, including forests, marshes and more.

The Atlantic buffers Cumberland’s eastern shores, and endangered loggerhead sea turtles make their nests here. Its feral horses are the most famous inhabitants, but the island is also home to many alligators. The park website advises not to trust those floating logs.

Largely undeveloped, the island has fewer than 40 residences, a historic inn and an African Baptist Church from the late 19th century.

The War of 1812 ended when the Treaty of Ghent was signed December 1814, but Gen. George Cockburn occupied Cumberland Island from Jan-March 1815 offering freedom to 1,500 enslaved African Americans who escaped to Cumberland Island.

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