Brickhill River Anchorages (Cumberland Island, Statute Mile 696)
On 9/22/09, as part of a “Georgia Wish List,” I posed the following question:
35. Has anyone departed the Waterway just north of flashing daybeacon #41, and run the Brickhill River as an alternate passage south, rejoining the Waterway near flashing daybeacon #60A? This river cuts into fabulous Cumberland Island, but the principal access to the land is found farther to the south. What depths did you find? Did you anchor on the Brickhill? If so, please describe your overnight haven.
We spent 3 nights in the Brickhill river back in mid October. Entering from the south from the ICW you need to stick close to the North shore. My Raymarine chartplotter showed deep water in the center of the river but it was actually about 3 ft. After you get about 100 yards into the river move back to the center.
Anchoring in front of Plum Orchard mansion is awesome. In the evening there are usually wild horses grazing in the lawn. We even saw a flock of wild turkeys.
The hike across the island is on the Duck House trail. It is right at 3 miles but is a great hike. You pass through the maritime forest, cross a marsh (with gators), pass over a set of pine covered dunes and finally reach the beach over the sand dunes. You will probably encounter an empty beach but I did see one pickup going by.
The trout fishing by the dock is very good. I watched several fishermen get their limit on sea trout from the dock. I was told fishing under the dock light at night is very good. Shrimp is the bait of choice.
Subject: Brickhill River, GA
Cruising News: There are several anchorages in the Brickhill River that are very well protected and have fair to good holding. Our favorite is off Plum Orchard. The river is wide enough for a 45-50 footer to swing although if you get too close to the marsh side the falling tide can ground you in the mud. Since the current can be fairly swift best to make sure to back down and set your anchor well. You can leave your dink at the floating dock while you go ashore, just don’t block the South end where the rangers, ferry etc dock. We’ve been told the house is open on the 2nd and 4th weekend of each month, but I can’t confirm that. There is MUCH less pedestrian traffic here compared to the Sea Camp dock at the Southern end of the island and usually you’ll have it to yourself. The hike across to the beach is about 2 miles and at places the trail in covered in fallen trees, but you will probally find the beach deserted.
The Park Service runs a tour to Plum Orchard by ferry on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, I believe in the afternoon. If you get there some other way, you can still go through the house. The latest news is that the Park Service has a plan to run a north island tour using ground transportation. There will probably be an extra charge for the tour. They plan to take 15 people daily to visit Plum Orchard, Stafford, the chimneys and the Settlement (the first African Baptist Church and a settlement home which will be a museum/ restrooms). The planning has been done; now they are waiting on the vehicles. They spent $6 million renovating and preserving Plum Orchard last year.
Jean Thomason (DOVEKIE)