Sitting at the southern tip of the Georgia coast, Crooked River State Park is nestled on the south bank of the Crooked River just a short ferry ride across the Intracoastal Waterway from Cumberland Island National Seashore. With this gorgeous coastal setting, proximity to Georgia’s largest barrier island, spacious campsites, miles of hiking trails, and excellent boating opportunities, Crooked River State Park is an obvious choice for your next RV adventure.
This 500-acre park has something for every kind of visitor: Crooked River State Park has four miles of hiking trails, a boat ramp and new floating dock, guided kayaking trips, boat rentals, miniature golf, a nature center, a bait and tackle shop, and bird and wildlife blinds. Those interested in exploring the history of this area can check out the ruins of a nearby tabby mill, which was built around 1825 and used as a starch factory during the Civil War. Those eager to explore nearby Cumberland Island—Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island, famous for its wild horses and secluded beaches—can head down the road to catch the ferry to the island.
Crooked River State Park has 63 RV sites, with about half offering full-hookups and the other half offering water and electricity. Given its southern coastal location, the park enjoys warm weather year-round—with a mean temperature of 54 degrees in January, and a mean of 82 degrees in July—and makes for a great adventure any of time of year.
RV Rentals in Crooked River State Park
Transportation in Crooked River State Park
Crooked River State Park is located just a few miles east of I-95 and a few miles north of the town of St. Marys, so reaching the park in an RV or car is fairly simple. Once inside the park, visitors will find the roads easy to navigate as well: the park roads are all paved and are wide enough for big rigs. The campground has both back-in and pull-through sites, so there are manageable options for rigs of all sizes.
Crooked River State Park has a gift shop as well as a bait and tackle shop, but for more extensive supply runs, visitors can head seven miles south to the town of St. Marys, which has several restaurants, fast food chains, gas stations, and a grocery store. Those eager to explore the gorgeous surrounding area and the famous Cumberland Island National Seashore can simply head down the road to St. Marys to catch the Cumberland Island Ferry, which runs seven days a week all year, except for the winter months of December through February, when it runs five days a week.
Campgrounds and parking in Crooked River State Park
Campsites in Crooked River State Park
Crooked River State Park Campground
Crooked River State Park has 63 spacious RV sites, which are surrounded by palmettos and Spanish moss-draped oaks. The campground offers a mix of full-hookup sites and water and electricity sites: 38 of the sites are considered “premium sites,” offering water, sewer, and electric hookups, while the remaining 25 sites are “standard sites,” offering just water and electricity. The campground includes both back-in and pull-through sites, with sites accommodating up to 130 feet of equipment—meaning even the largest rigs will be able to find a suitable, easy-to-navigate site. These sites offer easy access to restrooms, a playground, the Nature Center Trail, and the wildlife blind. Visitors can make site-specific reservations online, so make sure to choose your perfect site while planning your trip.
Seasonal activities in Crooked River State Park
Visitors looking to get on the water during their visit to Crooked River State Park will be happy to know that boating opportunities abound at this southern Georgia state park. The park offers a boat ramp, a new floating boat dock, boat tours, and guided kayaking trips. Visitors are allowed to bring their own boats, or can rent them from the park. Paddlers can enjoy beautiful coastal kayaking, and can hop on one of the park’s three designated kayak trails, which range from the four mile Cherry Point Trail, to the eight mile Grover Island Trail, and which all offer opportunities for great wildlife viewing—including dolphin sightings. Private boats are permitted and there are no horsepower restrictions, but water skiing is not recommended due to the tidal currents and hazards in the river.
Those looking to adventure on land can take advantage of Crooked River State Park’s four miles of hiking trails, which take hikers through pine flatwoods, old-growth hardwoods, evergreen wetlands, and golden marsh grasses. Those looking for a short and easy stroll can hop on River Trail, which is only a few hundred yards long and takes visitors along the bluff and down into the marsh, leading to a great spot for fishing and bird watching. Those looking for a longer hike can check out Palmetto Trail, which stretches for around two miles and highlights south Georgia’s pine flatwoods, which are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.
Anglers will have plenty to keep them busy at Crooked River State Park. Visitors can stop by the bait and tackle shop located within the park, where they can pick up a large variety of saltwater bait and fishing tackle, and can then head out on the water and try their luck at catching jack crevalle, ladyfish, sea bass, flounder, and redfish. For those hoping to fish from shore, hop onto River Trail and take it down into the marsh: sheepshead, whiting, trout, black drum, rays, and small sharks can all be caught from shore. Anglers should be aware that a valid fishing license is required for anglers 16 years and older.
Birding & Wildlife Viewing
Crooked River State Park is home to a diversity of wildlife that can be spotted all throughout the park. Visitors can take advantage of the park’s birding platform and wildlife blind, and can also look out for wildlife while on the park’s trails and along the river. On Palmetto Trail, visitors can look out for bluebirds, nuthatch, osprey, woodpeckers, warblers, endangered indigo snakes, and gopher tortoises—Georgia’s state reptile, which dig burrows in sandy soil and feed on small grasses. On Sempervirens Trail, look out for raccoons, armadillos, feral hogs, and orb weaver spiders; and on Bay Boardwalk Trail, look out for barred owls, great horned owls, and pileated woodpeckers. On the river, visitors can look out for dolphins and river otters.
Visitors hoping to unwind in a different way during their stay at Crooked River State Park can take advantage of the park’s miniature golf course, located close to the riverfront in the northwestern section of the park and just a short walk from the campground. For a small fee, visitors can enjoy a friendly game of mini golf after a long day of hiking, paddling, fishing, or biking, while soaking in the stunning surrounding scenery of being just steps away from the river.
Crooked River State Park boasts an impressive diversity of plants and animals across varied landscapes, so visitors itching to learn more about the nature of this Georgia state park can revel in the park’s Nature Center, which can be reached from the campground along the Nature Center Trail. The Nature Center features fish, snakes, turtles, and other animals native to coastal Georgia, offering a great opportunity for visitors to deepen their understanding of this Georgia gem’s natural features.