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Woodbine, GA

King George RV Resort is a park that serves a particular need and should be taken that way. It is hardly a resort. The spaces are very close together, the pool is small, the “clubhouse” is closed during the evening, no campfires are allowed, and it is not the sort of place that engenders the usual RVer walk, stop, and chat. They lock the gates at 6pm so be sure you arrive before that. They provide the lock combination during check-in so you can get in and out while staying there.

What the park is, is an extremely convenient place to stop overnight on the way in and out of Florida and a good place to stay to visit both Okefenokee Swamp and Cumberland Island National Seashore. It is very easy to find this park just off the I95, there is a gas station very close, Walmart Supercenter is only about 8 miles away, the seashore is about 12 miles and the swamp about 35 miles. It accepts nearly all discount clubs including RPI, Good Sam,  and Passport America so there is no reason for anyone to pay full price.

The prospect of seeing wild horses led me to St. Marys, Georgia to grab the ferry to Cumberland Island and National Seashore. There are currently no bathroom facilities or food sellers on the island so you should use facilities at St. Marys before leaving, bring water and a sack lunch. An expensive sack lunch and water can be purchased at a store nearby to the ferry dock. Consider also bringing a plastic poncho in case of rain, sun block, a heavy coat, hat and sunglasses. It can get very cold on the ferry and island with lots of wind. To park for this all day excursion, you must park down the street near the beige building rather than in front of the park and ferry dock. They make an exception for those with a handicapped tag displayed. Tickets for the ferry can be purchased in the Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor’s Center.

On the island, I first visited the old Carnegie ice house. Most of the island was owned by the Thomas Carnegie family (brother of Andrew Carnegie). Before the invention of ice makers, they shipped large blocks of ice in from the north during winter for the summer. I then joined the ranger walk to the ruins of Dungeness, former mansion of the Carnegie family. It was a huge lovely home in its time and idyllic setting for the 9 children to grow up in. Poor Thomas died only a year after its completion leaving his wife Lucy to raise the children alone and run the home and lands. As they married, Lucy gave each money to build their own homes nearby. 2 of the boys never married and kept apartments in the indoor pool house. At one time as many as 300 people worked for the family as servants, grooms, running the livestock operations, etc.

Wild horseDungeness1Dungeness2Cumberland National Seashore

Today the island is a combination of enchanting forest and white sand beaches with wild horses, pigs, turkeys, etc. calling it home. The horses were brought there by Spanish explorers and some are from the Carnegie stock. They are wild and not to be petted no matter how gentle they seem grazing in the fields. Be careful if you hear the thunder of hooves. A horse came bounding past me and whinied while I was there. I also spooked a wild pig while walking through the forest. The flock of turkeys completely ignored me as they chatted. There are numerous snakes there, though I did not see any, so be very careful in the brush or around rock or concrete which they love. On the beach, you will see lots of unusual shells and crabs. I saw my first horseshoe crab. The water is warm and inviting.

Cumberland forestWild turkeysHorseshoe crabBeach

The Carnegie family cemetery is on the island and still actively used. However, it is gated and locked off with high brush keeping out all peeking. There is also a small cemetery of cars formerly used by the residents. Though severely rusted away, the luxury cars and roadsters of another era are clearly identifiable.

There is tent camping on the island if you are willing to hike. To have a car on the island requires a special permit and is only for residents and other special use.

Do not miss the last ferry back. They don’t wait or come back for you. I am told the cost to get a local to take you back to the mainland by boat is $200 or more and there are no hotels.

I went back to St. Marys later that week to do some easy geocaching (scored 4), get pictures of the numerous pumpkin scarecrows around town  for the Scarecrow Festival, and to tour a typical southern antebellum home in the Greek style, Orange Hall.

Windy day pumpkinCamping pumpkinsBen FranklinOrange Hall

For more pics click here.





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