Blackbeard Island

Dried up rattlesnake

Each year, my friend has a fishing trip with the guys from college at a house on the north end of Sapelo Island, the part that is completely wild with hogs and rattlesnakes and alligators. Except for one other small house owned by  Georgia’s DNR, my friend’s house is the only house on the north end, and it is in the woods at Raccoon Bluff. The wild hogs and other animals come right up to the house, especially at night.

The house is only occupied a limited number of days per year because the island is protected and access to the property is limited by DNR for good reason. The ecological and historical and cultural value of this wilderness barrier island is enormous.

Sapelo Island
Blackbeard Island trail heading north. Blackbeard shelters the north end of Sapelo from the open sea, and so there are larger live oak groves on Sapelo, but there are also larger pine burns thickly regrown with palmettos. 

Each year, a few of us always kayak across to Blackbeard Island on the last day, which is even more isolated than Sapelo. Blackbeard is smaller and is a protected National Seashore. We paddle down to the strand of beach at the southern tip of Blackbeard and then back up the river a mile or two to the dock at the ranger station. Then we hike north from there to the northern tip.

On the bluffs at Blackbeard Island.
On the bluffs at Blackbeard Island. We saw a glimpse of what the southeast coast looked like before the Europeans came. Just up the bend the bluff is steeper, and the trees taller.

Continue reading “Blackbeard Island”