Dungeness Trail – Hiking on Cumberland Island, Georgia

October 4, 2010

Difficulty Rating: Easy to Moderate (only if in warm conditions).

Length: Approximately 1.5 Miles (One Way)

Dungeness Trail or Dungeness Road is the trail that travels from the the Southern Dock and Ranger Station on Cumberland Island to the Dungeness Ruins, and eventually to the Southern end of the Beach.

There are two approaches to this road. The first approach is excellent for day trippers to the island.  Day trippers to the island will definitely want to see Cumberland’s famous Dungeness Ruins and feral horses. As such, they should get off the ferry at the first docking stop. At this dock, the Ice House Museum and River Trail, will be to the left, continue straight down the dredged road until it intersects with the main road. At the Main Road, take a right following the sign to the Dungeness Ruins. The road continues until it enters two large stone entryways with the Dungeness Ruins lying dead ahead. To the right is an open field that Cumberland’s feral horses can often be found grazing in.

Take a left walking in front of the Ruins, and follow the trail down to the Dungeness Village.

To the right of the Dungeness Village is a very short trail to the Greene-Miller cemetery where General Light Horse Harry Lee had been buried, as well as members of General Greene’s family.  Follow this trail for a beautiful view of the marshes.

When returning to the trail, take a right, and the trail will lead to the beach on Cumberland Island. Note, however, that there is multiple trails along Dungeness Trail that lead back to the Dungeness Road. The easiest is by following the wooden boardwalk.

The trail can then be followed back by the same route, or can be looped around by following the beach north to Sea Camp, and then back south along the main road or River Trail. This loop will total around 3.5 miles.

The second approach to the trail is for those staying at Sea Camp.  The best route to take for those campers, in my opinion, is by taking the Sea Camp trail to the Beach, and then heading south along the beach to Dungeness Trail. Follow the Dungeness Trail in reverse to the Ice House Museum and Dock. From there, follow River Trail back to the Sea Camp ranger station.

Features of the Trail:

Live Oak Forest – a road of dredged shells. This dredged area is a great place to find fossilized sharks teeth.

Dungeness Ruins, Village, and Cemetery -Views of the former mansion of Carnegie, and the previous homesite of General Nathanael Greene. Also see the village where the Carnegie workers were. In the village, there is a small area where visitors can use restrooms and watch a video of the Carnegies and life on their farm.

Feral Horses – The best place to see Cumberland’s famous horses are grazing in the fields around the Ruins.

Turkey – On the approach Trail from the Dock I saw three very large Toms crossing the road. Also, several turkey were in the field near the Ruins.

Armadillo – Numerous armadillo are on the island and many can be seen near the Ice House Museum.

Ice House Museum and Ranger Station – The Ice House Museum is a small museum just to the ride of the dock visitors arrive at. In the museum, there is a brief history of the island and its inhabitants.

Beach - Southern Beach on Cumberland Island.

Nearyby Trails:

River Trail


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4 Responses to Dungeness Trail – Hiking on Cumberland Island, Georgia

  1. Camping on Cumberland Island | SouthernHiker on October 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    […] Dungeness Trail […]

  2. Becky on October 5, 2010 at 8:06 am

    headed to Cumberland for a day trip at the end of the month. Thanks for the tips. Did you see the little church?

    Is it worth walking the beach at all for a day trip?

    • JP on October 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

      I didn’t get to the little church, it’s a long walk from the camp and the dock. Walking to the beach is easy from the dock, and very worth it. I’d recommend you make a loop through sea camp to the beach, then south towards Dungeness ruins, the Ice House Museum, and back to the dock along River road. That’s a good day trip that will allow you to take your time, and be most likely to see the horses too.

      Going North towards the homes and the little church ( I assume you’re talking abou the little white church JFK Jr. married in?) is a bit further.

  3. […] Greyfield Inn: http://www.greyfieldinn.com Dungeness trail: http://southernhiker.com/dungeness-trail/ Dungeness Plantation and the Carnegie family: […]

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