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St Marys Water Trail Hidden Gem

Georgia River Network

Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM - Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 6:00 PM (EST)

St Marys Water Trail Hidden Gem

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket
Participants must be physically fit with sea kayaking experience and able to paddle from the mainland to Cumberland Island (7 miles) on Friday and make the return journey on Sunday. Ticket includes T-shirt, Map, NPS Day Use Fee, Camping Fee, ACA Insurance, Chartered Gear Ferry, Educational Programs, Live Entertainment, Dinners, Lunches, and Hot Breakfasts.
Nov 24, 2017 $303.82 $16.18
Island Ferry Hidden Gem Ticket
This ticket is for those who would like to participate in the weekend event by taking the ferry to/from the mainland to Cumberland. Ticket includes T-shirt, Map, NPS Day Use Fee, Camping Fee, ACA Insurance, Chartered Ferry, Educational Programs, Live Entertainment, Dinners, Lunches, and Hot Breakfasts.
Nov 24, 2017 $303.82 $16.18
VIP Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket
Participants must be physically fit with sea kayaking experience and able to paddle from the mainland to Cumberland Island (7 miles) on Friday and make the return journey on Sunday. Ticket includes Saturday gourmet local farm to table dinner and tour at the Carnegie house, Stafford Place plus transportation, T-shirt, Map, NPS Day Use Fee, Camping Fee, ACA Insurance, Chartered Gear Ferry, Educational Programs, Live Entertainment, Dinners, Lunches, and Hot Breakfasts.
Nov 24, 2017 $400.05 $19.95 Add to Waitlist
VIP Island Ferry Hidden Gem Ticket
This ticket is for those who would like to participate in the weekend event by taking the ferry to/from the mainland to Cumberland. Ticket includes Saturday gourmet local farm to table dinner and tour at the Carnegie house, Stafford Place plus transportation, T-shirt, Map, NPS Day Use Fee, Camping Fee, ACA Insurance, Chartered Gear Ferry, Educational Programs, Live Entertainment, Dinners, Lunches, and Hot Breakfasts.
Nov 24, 2017 $400.05 $19.95
Staff/Volunteer Nov 24, 2017 Free $0.00

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Event Details

St Mary's Water Trail Hidden Gem 

Dec 1, 9AM - Dec 3, 5PM



Join Georgia River Network on the St Marys Water Trail for our 16th Hidden Gem Event. Participants will enjoy paddling or taking a chartered ferry through the Golden Isles of Coastal Georgia from the historic town of St Marys through marsh, open/blue water, and along the south end of Cumberland island to our destination at Dungeness. We will camp at 'Sea Camp' Friday and Saturday night. The campsites are primitive without electricity or plumbing however it is only a short walk to the bathhouse which has cold showers. We will travel over to the island Friday afternoon, set up camp, relax and enjoy a delicious catered dinner. We will spend Saturday on Cumberland exploring by foot/ bicycle and enjoy a number of educational presentations/programs followed by dinner and live entertainment. We will pack up Sunday morning and return to the mainland after enjoying our last hot breakfast on the island!

Tickets are available to accommodate physically fit sea kayakers desiring to join the group paddling from the mainland to Cumberland Island, as well as for those who would like to take the ferry across and enjoy the weekend event. 


untamed

SPECIAL PROGRAM - CAROL RUCKDESCHEL

A special program will be given by Carol Ruckdeschel referred to as the “Road Kill Eating, Bareback Riding, Wild Woman of Cumberland Island” in the 2014 biography Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island, by Will Harlan. Ruckdeschel was instrumental in the creation and preservation of Cumberland Island National Seashore and does ongoing research on sea turtles and endangered and extinct species around the Georgia coast.

 

FULL MOON NIGHT HIKE - DR. BARRY O'NEILL

Dr. Barry O'Neill, a long time Cumberland Island enthusiast, will provide a 3 mile full moon night hike to Dungeness dock and mansion Friday night. Wanna know how to sniff out wolf spiders, enjoy the bioluminescence of dinoflagellates in the intracoastal waters, identify the major winter constellations, learn how the zodiac constellations were selected by the ancients, understand the navigational importance of the North Star, and even find out if you are a truly altruistic soul? Then join us!

VIP FARM TO TABLE DINNER - CARNEGIE HOUSE/ STAFFORD PLACE -   SOLD OUT

Lucy Foster-Flight and the Foster family have graciously allowed Georgia River Network to offer a special VIP gourmet farm to table dinner at the Carnegie house, Stafford Place, c1900 for a limited number of participants (tickets available on a first come first serve basis - 14 spots available.)

We are extremely grateful for their kindness and generosity! Transportation to and from Sea Camp included.

 


 

Ticket Details & Options

Tickets are available to accommodate experienced sea kayakers desiring to join the group paddling from the mainland to Cumberland Island, as well as for those who would like to take the ferry across and enjoy the weekend event. While paddlers will be led by experienced local guides, none will be prepared to pull paddlers who tire from lack of fitness. Paddlers must have an intermediate level of physical fitness. 

Registration Fees include T-shirt, Map, NPS Day Use Fee, Camping Fee, ACA Insurance, Chartered Ferry, Educational Programs, Live Entertainment, Dinners, Lunches, and Hot Breakfasts.

 

$320 (Adult/Child)

Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket: Participants must be physically fit with sea kayaking experience and able to paddle from the mainland to Cumberland Island (7 miles) on Friday and make the return journey on Sunday. 

Island Ferry Hidden Gem Ticket: This ticket is for those who would like to participate in the weekend event by taking the ferry to/from the mainland to Cumberland.

 

$420 (VIP Adult/Child) 

VIP Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket*: Participants must be physically fit with sea kayaking experience and able to paddle from the mainland to Cumberland Island (7 miles) on Friday and make the return journey on Sunday. 

VIP Island Ferry Hidden Gem Ticket*: This ticket is for those who would like to participate in the weekend event by taking the ferry to/from the mainland to Cumberland.

*VIP Ticket includes a special VIP gourmet local farm to table dinner and tour at the Carnegie house, Stafford Place plus transportation.

Lucy Foster-Flight and the Foster family have graciously allowed Georgia River Network to offer a special VIP gourmet farm to table dinner at the Carnegie house, Stafford Place, c1900 for a limited number of participants (tickets available on a first come first serve basis - 14 spots available.)

We are extremely grateful for their kindness and generosity! Transportation to and from Sea Camp included.

VIP Itinerary Saturday Dec 2

4pm               Group transport from Sea Camp to Stafford Place
4:30pm          History of Stafford and Tour of Grounds
5–6pm           Oyster Roast
6ish–7:30pm  Buffet Dinner Stafford Dining Room
7:30pm          Departures for Sea Camp



Meals

Meals provided by Creative Catering. Saturday VIP Farm to Table dinner provided by Sweet Grass Dairy, Uncle Don’s Local Market, local farms TBD, and prepared by Chef MiMi McGee.

Friday Night Dinner

-Pulled Pork
-BBQ Chicken
-Potato Salad
-Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
-Baked Beans
-Peach Cobbler with Whipped Cream
-Rolls and Butter
-Iced Tea and Lemonade

Saturday Night VIP Farm to Table Dinner
Stafford Yard:
Local Christmas Creek Oysters & Clams with Farm Drawn Butter
Sweet Grass Dairy Handcrafted Cheeses, Artisanal Crackers & Breads
Crudité with Savory Dip (Uncle Don’s Local Market)

Stafford Dining Room:
Local Pig Pickin’ and BBQ Chickin’ (local farm)
Greyfield Garden Veggie Sides and Salads
Richmond Rum Cake, Rum Pastry Cream Filling, Rum Whipped Cream (local dairy)

Saturday Night Dinner
-Low Country Boil to Include: Shrimp, Sausage, Corn on the Cobb, and Red Potatoes with Old Bay Seasoning and Butter
-Coleslaw
-Roasted Vegetable Salad with Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette
-Banana Pudding
-Rolls and Butter
-Iced Tea and Lemonade

Friday, Saturday and Sunday Bag Lunches
-Wrap Sandwich with Lettuce and Tomato and Choice of: Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, Turkey, Roast Beef, or Veggie
-Chips or Popcorn
-Cookie or Brownie
-Piece of Fruit

Saturday Breakfast
-Breakfast Strata with Sausage and Cheese
-Potatoes with Peppers and Onions
-Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches
-Fresh Fruit Tray
-Asst. Muffins and Danishes
-OJ and Coffee

Sunday Breakfast
-French Toast Casserole
-Ham and Cheese Croissants
-Vegetable Frittata
-Fresh Fruit Tray
-Asst. Muffins and Danishes
-OJ and Coffee



 

Liability Waiver

Don't forget to fill out your ACA waivers online! Once you have completed your online waiver(s), you will receive an email. Within the email, you will need to click on the included link to finalize submission of the form.

Adult ACA Liability Waiver

Minor ACA Liability Waiver

If you are paddling please bring water, hat, sunscreen and anything else you may need to stay happy on the water. Wear clothes you don't mind getting wet - no cotton (or jeans). If you are bringing your own boat, please note that ACA required you to wear your life jacket at ALL times while on the river. 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How many people participate?

50 tickets are available for both experienced open/blue water paddlers and for those who will not paddle and instead take the ferry to the island. Participants of any age can join us for the event and take the ferry to/from the Cumberland Island.

Can I go for just part of the trip?

Yes, but all registration fees are the same, regardless of how many days you attend. Those not attending all three days must make their own ferry arrangements.

What time do I need to arrive on Friday Dec 1st? When will we return on Sunday Dec 3rd?
 
We will hold a mandatory check in and safety briefing on Friday, Dec 1st at 9:30AM. Plan on arriving in St. Marys at the Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center (park at the free Cumberland Island parking area) no later than 9:00AM. paddlers will depart Cumberland Island at approx. 1:30PM on Sunday arriving in St Marys around 5:30pm.  Those taking the return chartered Ferry will also arrive at this time.

What does my registration fee include?  

Your St Marys Hidden Gem registration fee includes a T-shirt, map, National Park Service Day Use Fees (3 days), camping at Sea Camp, ACA Insurance, chartered passenger/gear ferry to/from island, entertainment, activities, and educational programs. Breakfast, dinner and sack lunches are also included in your registration fee. This includes two dinners for Dec 1-2, three lunches for Dec 1-3, and two hot breakfasts for Dec 2-3.

How much does it cost?  

How much would you pay for an all-inclusive educational adventure vacation to an island? This Georgia River Network Island Hidden Gem getaway adventure costs only $320/$420 VIP. Registration fees include T-shirt, Map, NPS Day Use Fee, Camping Fee, ACA Insurance, Chartered Ferry, and Dinners, Lunches, and Hot Breakfasts.

Are there sponsorship opportunities for my business or as an individual?

Yes! We would be delighted if you or your business would like to become an event sponsor! Please complete this sponsorship form. Your company logo will be included on promo material, the t-shirt, social media, newsletters, plus other perks based on your level of sponsorship.

In what ways can I volunteer during the trip?

There will be a number of volunteer opportunities available during the trip ranging from assisting with hauling boats and gear, collecting firewood, to helping the chef and kitchen staff. Please email gwyneth@garivers.org if you are interested in signing up to assist. Nightly volunteer prizes will be available!

Do I need to be an experienced open water paddler? 

Yes and if you wish to paddle then purchase the Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket and if you dont feel comfortable with your open/ blue water paddling skills and fitness then please purchase the Island Ferry Hidden Gem Ticket. You will be  paddle 7 miles from the mainland to Cumberland Island you MUST be physically fit and have an intermediate level of open/blue water kayaking experienceWhile paddlers will be led by experienced local guides, none will be prepared to pull paddlers who tire from lack of fitness. However, you do not need any paddling experience if you purchase the Island Ferry Hidden Gem Ticket which is available for those who would like to join us on Cumberland for the weekend event but not paddle. 

We will have a mandatory safety briefing in the morning before launching on Friday. If you have never sea kayaked before we ask that you purchase the Island ferry Hidden Gem Ticket or take a sea kayaking instruction class and gain some experience prior to signing up for this event. Contact the Georgia Canoe Association to find out about classes/trips being offered.

Do I need to take the mandatory safety briefing?

YES! The safety briefing is manadatory and your attendance is required if you purchased the Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket and expect to paddle. If you miss the safety briefing you must take the ferry. No one is permitted to make the trip by themselves - they must be part of the guided group.

What do I need to bring?  

If you purchase an Island Paddler Hidden Gem Ticket you are responsible for bringing a sea kayak, paddle and a personal floatation device. Your sea kayak should be of a size and weight that you and another person can carry. Kayaks should be at least 13' and have front and rear flotation (bulkheads or float bags). Sea kayaks or Transitional kayaks only -- no recreational kayaks.

Georgia River Network does not supply or rent boats. See our full list of outfitters to secure your rental boat. Local area outfitters include: Darien - Altamaha Coastal Tours (912) 437-6010; St Simons Island - SouthEast Adventures (912) 638-6732; St. Mary’s - Up the Creek (912) 227-0414; Fernandina - Kayak Amelia (904) 251-5702. All participants must bring standard camping gear including a tent and personal items.

In our efforts to make this an environmentally conscientious/friendly event, we ask that you bring your own water bottle (we will have igloo coolers with water for you to fill them with). Please bring your own reusable eating cutlery, plate, and cup. Dishwashing facilities are available at the bathhouse. Please DO NOT bring cooking appliances or food (other than snacks unless you have special food preferences/ needs and have received special permission from GRN) as space is limited for gear on the ferry.

 

What are some recommended accomodations for Thursday, Nov 30 before the event?

 

Crooked River State Park
Address: 6222 Charlie Smith Sr Hwy, St Marys, GA 31558
Phone: (912) 882-5256

 

Riverside Hotel
Address: 105 Osborne St, St Marys, GA 31558
Phone: (912) 882-3242

 

 

Where do we camp on Cumberland?  

During the St Marys Hidden Gem we will tent camp for 2 nights on Cumberland Island at Sea Camp. The campsites are primitive without running water or electricity however there is a bathhouse (with cold showers and toilet facilities) ¼ mile away. Learn more about Sea Camp and Cumberland Island on the National Park Service Website.

Do I need to bring food?  

Breakfasts, dinners and sack lunches are included in your registration fee. The Cumberland Ferry, which drops off/picks up island visitors in the mornings/ evenings, has snacks and sodas for sale. There are no grocery stores on the island. The nearest supply point with grocery stores, restaurants and other amenities is on the mainland. Please DO NOT bring cooking appliances or food (other than snacks unless you have special food preferences/ needs and have received special permission from GRN) as space is limited for gear on the ferry.

Where do I leave my car? 

After unloading your gear (and boat, if you are paddling), you will park your car on Friday morning by 9AM at the free Cumberland Island parking area (30.7208885,-81.5514559   https://goo.gl/maps/sCP4q4KE2vz) for the entirety of the event. Once we return to the mainland on Sunday you will retrieve your vehicle, load your gear and return home. 

Can I bring my bicycle?  

Bicycling is allowed on the island however due to limited space on our chartered gear/passenger ferry, we ask that you rent a bicycle on the island rather than bringing your own. Find more details about bicycle rentals here.

 


 

For your safety and the safety of others

  1. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed.
  2. All participants must attend the pre-launch safety briefing. Participants must adhere to the safety guidelines presented.
  3. Paddling participants must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device at all times on the river.
  4. Participants under age 18 are the responsibility of, and must be accompanied by, a parent or guardian.
  5. Sorry, no pets allowed.
  6. All participants must sign a Medical and Emergency Contact Information sheet and a Waiver of Claims and Release of Liability form. Parents must sign for children under the age of 18. 
  7. Person-powered watercraft only.
  8. All paddling participants must have intermediate open/blue water paddling skills and be capable of self-rescue in the water.
  9. No more than 2 children under the age of 12 per adult guardian.
  10. Georgia River Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip.

Violations of these policies can result in the participant being removed from the event without refund.

Refund Policy

Any registration cancellations made by November 15 will incur a 10% processing fee. After November 15, no refunds will be granted. If you have questions or need assistance, call our office at 706-549-4508.

Note: We will paddle rain or shine except in the event of a severe thunderstorm.

 


  

Donate or Become a Georgia River Network Member

GRN's ​mission ​is ​to ​engage ​and ​empower ​Georgians ​to ​protect, ​restore ​and ​enjoy ​our ​rivers ​from ​the ​mountains ​to ​the ​coast. ​One ​way ​in ​which ​we ​do ​this ​on ​our Hidden Gem Events ​is ​through ​educating ​participants ​on ​the ​river's ​animal ​life, ​plant ​life, ​water ​issues, ​and ​much ​more. ​GRN ​believes ​that ​if ​you ​enjoy ​your ​rivers, ​you'll ​care ​about ​your ​rivers. ​And ​if ​you ​care ​about ​your ​rivers, ​you'll ​want ​to ​learn ​more ​about ​them ​and ​how ​you, ​too, ​can ​help ​protect ​and ​restore ​them. ​

Support our work by becoming a GRN Member or donating!

  • Registration:​ You ​will ​have ​the ​opportunity ​to ​donate ​at ​the ​end ​of ​your ​registration. ​ 
  • Check: ​Send ​to ​Georgia ​River ​Network, ​126 ​S. ​Milledge ​Ave., ​Ste ​E3, ​Athens, ​GA ​30605 
  • Online: ​Go ​to ​www.garivers.org ​and ​click ​on ​the ​big ​red ​button ​in ​the ​top ​right ​corner. ​ 
  • Call: ​706-549-4508

Some ​companies ​have ​a ​matching ​program ​through ​which ​they ​will ​match ​employee ​donations. ​Check ​with ​your ​employer ​to ​see ​if ​this ​is ​a ​possibility!


This is an ACA-sanctioned event. 

 

 


Thank you, and we look forward to exploring this Hidden Gem with you!

If you have any additional questions, please contact:

Gwyneth Moody

Director of Programs & Outreach
gwyneth@garivers.org
706.549.4508

St Marys Riverkeeper logo

 

GRN logo

 

 




Have questions about St Marys Water Trail Hidden Gem ? Contact Georgia River Network

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When & Where


Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitors Center
113 Saint Marys Street West
Saint Marys, GA 31558

Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM - Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 6:00 PM (EST)


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