One of the more unique experiences offered on Jekyll Island, Georgia (located just an hour north of Jacksonville) is horseback riding on the beach. Your adventure begins by going to the Clam Creek Picnic area on the island’s north end and signing up at the horse staging area. Hour long rides cost $65 and the 1.5 hour long sunset ride costs $75.
Once signed up simply return thirty minutes before the time of your departure. First you’ll watch a short instructional video that teaches you the basics of controlling your horse and safety precautions. After signing the liability waiver your guide will assign horses to riders based on experience level. Non-riders will get the easiest-going horses while experienced riders will get horses with a little more spirit.
Once the ride begins you will first pass through several different island ecosystems. First you will pass through a maritime forest ecosystem thick with palmettos and moss-draped live oaks. The sounds of song birds chirping and woodpeckers tapping will be the soundtrack to this portion of your ride.
Soon the view will open up as you enter a saltwater marsh ecosystem. Here you will see birds such as herons and egrets. Views across the marsh are quite relaxing and peaceful.
Next you’ll cross a creek on a wooden bridge to the beach ecosystem. Here you’re likely to see birds such as seagulls and osprey. As you ride along the water’s edge you’ll likely see jellyfish that have washed ashore and an occasional blue crab.
Finally you enter the driftwood beach ecosystem. This environment seems almost surreal with its dead, skeleton-like trees lining the beach. It is a very picturesque location for photo ops and your guide will stop here and take pictures of you on your horse for you.
You will now return back the way you came passing through all the ecosystems one more time giving you one last chance to spot and enjoy Jekyll Island’s native residents. The ride is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour on Jekyll Island and is highly recommended.