Geography

Cumberland Island is approximately 18 miles long and between one-half and 3 miles wide—or about 40 square miles.

Various Parts of the Island

Although many believe that Cumberland Island has the most beautiful undeveloped beaches on the East Coast, a visit to Cumberland is not just a “trip to the beach.” The Island is rich in history, architecture, and natural areas. Where the eastern edge of Cumberland is bounded by the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, the north, west, and south are bounded by rivers, sounds, and marshes. A sunset across the western marsh of Cumberland Island is an unforgettable view. The sight of the beautiful red sun setting over the marshes of Cumberland is one which draws visitors continually back to the Island. If possible, spend a night on Cumberland in order to see it. The marshes are very fertile areas of the ecosystem where much of the food chain begins. Georgia, and especially Cumberland, is blessed with thousands of acres of marshland teeming with wildlife, from tiny organisms to shrimp and fish, and even alligators.

Residences

Cumberland Island did not just become a National Seashore overnight. The Island was, and remains, the home of many people. Many of them are the people who worked to make Cumberland Island available as the Cumberland Island National Seashore. Cumberland Island has today over three dozen habitable dwellings which are used by owners and guests. The owners of Cumberland generally build their homes in clusters, or compounds, so that large amounts of land are left undisturbed. The various family owners have their compounds mostly facing the marsh area. Many are the descendants of the original Carnegie and Candler owners of the Island.