Nature & history at the Cannonâ€™s Point Preserve on St. Simons Island
St. Simons island is wonderful for many reasonsâ€”the beauty of the ocean, the temperate climate, and the relaxed atmosphere all come to mindâ€”but certainly one of the primary reasons is the sheer beauty of the natural world on the island. And one of the best ways to get in touch with nature is to hike the 600-acreÂ Cannonâ€™s Point Preserve on St. Simons northern end.
Hiking is relatively easy on St. Simons island because it is relatively flat. Cannonâ€™s Point Preserve has luxuriant wild native species, beautiful mature maritime forest, and six miles of marsh-upland area. In addition, the preserve is connected to the lower Altamaha River delta, one of the most biologically rich delta river coastal in the world.
There are numerous shell rings and middens indicating that St. Simons Island was occupied by humans as early as 2500 BCE.
In addition to the natural beauty, Cannonâ€™s Point Preserve contains ruins of an 18th- and 19th-century plantation, known as Cannonâ€™s Point Plantation.Â The Georgia Historical Society has erected a marker near the remains of the buildings.
To quote their citation: â€œIn 1793 John Couper, with his partner James Hamilton, purchased Cannonâ€™s Point in northeastern St. Simons Island. In addition to the production of cotton, Couper experimented with citrus trees, grapes, date palms from Persia, mulberry trees for silk production, sugar cane, and olive trees from France. He became known as a leading agricultural innovator, and Cannonâ€™s Point Plantation gained the nickname â€˜Georgiaâ€™s Experimental Station.â€™â€