A Real Georgia Beach
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Q: Where can I find good beach camping in Georgia other than Cumberland Island?
— Chris Greenawalt, Bethlehem, PA
A: There’s no other place on the Georgia coastline with Cumberland’s perfect mix of eco-protection and accessibility. But Skidaway Island State Park (912-598-2300) comes pretty close. You can escape the overdeveloped campground (88 RV-friendly sites, swimming pool, etc.) by exploring the nearby tidal creeks, where freshwater and saltwater come together to form a tasty slurry that draws all sorts of birds and land-dwelling critters. Another highlight: the 3-mile Big Ferry Loop Trail, which takes you through pine forests and sloughs to a Prohibition-era liquor distillery and other historical landmarks. Gator sightings aren’t uncommon on this trail. Neither are mountain bikers.
For a more remote adventure, you might try Little Tybee Island. The former nature conservancy property is protected by a conservation easement, which means there aren’t any facilities for visitors. Since it’s only accessible by boat, paddling is the way to go (be careful though– tricky tides can make landings a real challenge). You can set up camp on the beach, not far from the where rare shorebirds and loggerhead sea turtles come to nest. Then choose from a long roster of barrier island entertainment options: shell collecting, fishing, napping, bird watching, aimless wandering . . . For information call the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: 770-761-3035.