Two Wheels Required: Cycling Jekyll Island
Before we left for Jekyll Island, my husband purchased a bike rack for the car so we could take our super awesome Sun Bicycles with us.
The purchase was, perhaps, the best decision of the trip.
I adore the bike paths on Jekyll Island, absolutely adore them. With almost 25 miles of trails, you can cycle the perimeter of the island, through the historic district, along the beach, beside the marsh, and within the woods. The routes take you through some of the most serene, wild, and architecturally interesting parts of the island.
Cycling on Jekyll Island isn’t new, as evidenced by this photo found in the Jekyll Island Museum. The people in the photo have cycled to Horton House, one of the oldest buildings in Georgia. Built by Major William Horton in 1743, the structure was already well over 150 years old when this picture was taken. But guess what?
You can still cycle to Horton House today and maybe even climb in the windows to recreate the picture above.
Take time to walk inside the ruins. Little is left but the walls of this four-room dwelling, the roof and balcony in the rear are long gone, but it isn’t hard to imagine the Horton family, and then later the DuBignon family, living inside.
From Horton House, the route meanders towards the north end of the island. Follow Clam Creek Road down to the fishing pier, where you’ll find another bike path, horse riding trails, and a view of St. Simon’s and the bridge to Brunswick.
From the pier, you can cycle on the beach or on the trail that runs through the marsh.
Whether you head south through the marsh or straight down the coast next to the ocean, you’ll eventually run into Driftwood Beach, a forest sticking out from the sand. (If you take the marsh route, turn left at the fork at the south end onto the sandy trail. Turning right will put you back on Beachview Drive.)
The dirt trails leading away from Driftwood Beach are equally as beautiful…
…and a nice place to seek shelter in the event of a little rainstorm.
Heading south from Horton House along Riverview Drive, you’ll be greeted by various oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss, as the trail snakes beside the creek. Watch out for crabs scuttling across your path, and don’t stop for too long, unless you’re doused in a good bit of bug spray.
Riverview Drive eventually connects with Old Plantation Road at the edge of the historic district, which is mostly free from motorized traffic.
You’ll find yourself cycling in front of mammoth “cottages,” holiday homes of the wealthy during the early 1900s, and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Make your way to Pier Road, where you can stop for some lemonade and sweets at one of the local shops.
And if the tide is low, take your bike down to the beach. The sand is packed hard and perfect for cycling. Just try not to run over any sand dollars.
For more, visit www.jekyllisland.com. Bicycle rentals are available at the bike barn next to the Great Dunes golf course and putt-putt course on Beachview Drive. Prices are by the hour, day, or week, depending on type of bicycle.