Here are a few final shots taken on the way back to the boat at Cumberland. Being on the island is truly a once in a lifetime experience. But the fun thing is this: it doesn’t have to be that way. If you live close enough, it can be enjoyed over and over again. Call for reservations. The Park Service only allows a certain number of people on the island each day. Overnight camping and backpacking are allowed in certain areas. For the most part, the facilities are primitive (There’s no Coca Cola on the island, no machines and certainly no vendors.) Bathroom facilities are few and far between but well maintained. What you pack in, you must pack out. Still it is a very worth-while trip even for families with small children. Plus, I saw lots of older people hiking on the island this time. The best thing to do is bring sunscreen, bug and tick spray (a must), a camera, and enjoy all you see and do.
There are several pathways like this on the island. Maps are given out at the visitor’s center and are easy to follow. Most people do not get lost—I don’t think. These sun-speckled routes (like the one above) were cut through maritime forests by early owners, who were made up of some of America’s wealthiest families.
The Park Service continues to prevent the ruins at Dungeness from falling in or completely being over grown by vines. However, the nearby recreation house that once contained an indoor swimming pool and racket ball court has collasped. When I first visited the island in the ’80’s, it was still standing but barely. Long time residents continue to recommend Cumberland Island: A History as a must have book on the island’s history.