Little Tybee Island
Little Tybee, Williamson, and Cabbage islands are sparkling young jewels on Georgia’s coast, reachable only by boat and open to outdoor recreation. If you can reach these islands, you will be treated to a barrier island in its unspoiled state. On Little Tybee and Williamson islands, shelling, picnicking, nature hiking, bird-watching, and fishing are first-class experiences. Little Tybee, with 6,780 total acres including marsh, is actually more than twice the size of Tybee Island to the north. Its beach is as long as Tybee’s, but its upland is half the size of Tybee’s with only 600 acres. Williamson is a recently emerging island that has evolved from a sand bar. Cabbage Island, located south of Wilmington Island and west of Little Tybee, is mainly marsh with some beachfront.
Little Tybee, owned by the state of Georgia, is an uninhabited barrier island lying just to the south of Tybee Island. It is made up of salt marsh interspersed with hardwood hammocks and fronts the Atlantic Ocean with pristine beaches. It is an undisturbed nature preserve with no hotels or other dwellings on the island, but camping is allowed.
The only way to get to Little Tybee is by boat or kayak. Many local charter services on Tybee will take you to tour the island or to camp and kayak rental and tours are available.
Rarities that have been sighted on Little Tybee include: roseate spoonbill, reddish egret, and the curlew sandpiper. Osprey and bald eagles nest on the island. In the winter large numbers of shorebirds gather to rest on its beaches including whimbrels, dowitchers, and piping plovers. Egrets, herons, ibis, and storks are numerous and there are a few nesting spots on the island for these birds. In the summer oystercatchers, Wilson’s plover, and the endangered Least Tern nest on its undisturbed beaches. These birds are easy to see but you are requested to stay away from the posted nesting sites.
Want to get there yourself? Rent a Kayak and spend the day or the night. Just remember to leave only your footprints and take your trash with you.