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Camping Georgia: Sapelo Island
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Sapelo Island enables visitors to see virtually every facet of a barrier island’s natural community, from the diversified wildlife of the forested uplands, to the vast expanses of salt marsh and the complex beach and dunes systems. The Visitor Center, located near the mainland ferry dock, brings to life both the natural and cultural history of Sapelo, while guided tours of the island enable visitors to experience the African-American community of Hog Hammock, the University of Georgia Marine Institute, and the Reynolds Mansion.
Guale Indians, Spanish missionaries, English freebooters and French royalists fleeing a revolution all occupied Sapelo Island before Thomas Spalding purchased the south end in 1802. Innovative planter, architect, businessman and statesman, Spalding developed Sapelo into one of the deep South’s most productive antebellum plantations. Ruins of his tabby sugar mill and other buildings remain on the island.
In 1912, Detroit automotive engineer Howard E. Coffin purchased Sapelo and established agricultural operations, a seafood business and an ambitious construction program, including restoration of the mansion in 1925. Tobacco millionaire Richard J. Reynolds, Jr., owned Sapelo from 1934 until his death in 1964. Reynolds donated land and buildings to the University of Georgia for the creation of a marine research facility.
* 6,110 Acres
* Visitor Center
* Guided Tours
* Marsh and Beach Walks
* Bird and Wildlife Observation
 * Camping
 * Guided Tours
subject to change - for current prices, contact the park office listed below
Lodge Rooms
* Reynolds Mansion Lodging: Group accommodations for conferences, workshops and retreats for up to 28 persons. Minimum two nights. Rates include three meals per day, meeting facilities and transportation.
Call (912) 485-2299
Group Camps
* Pioneer Camping: Groups may camp near the beach on Sapelo’s Cabretta Island. Minimum two nights for up to 25 persons. Comfort station with hot showers available.
Call (912) 485-2299
Nearby Attractions
* Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site
* Fort King George State Historic Site
* Historic Darien, Ga.
* St. Simons Island
* Fort Frederica National Monument
* Jekyll Island Historic District
Contact Information
Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve
P.O. Box 15
Sapelo Island, GA 31327
(912) 485-2251
(912) 437-3224 (visitor center)
Guided Tours: September - May: Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
From June through August, an additional tour is offered Friday 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
For reservations, call (912) 437-3224.
The Sapelo ferry dock and visitor center are located in Meridian, 8 miles northeast of Darien, off Ga. Hwy. 99.
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