The best part of Little Tybee is the challenge. First off, you have to kayak there. Don’t even try motoring a boat, because if you don’t know the creeks and sandbars like the back of your hand, you’re getting stuck.
Little Tybee Island is about a mile south of Tybee Island, and despite its name, actually twice the size of tybee Island. Another common misconception is that Little Tybee is is one big island, which is what it looks like from Google Earth. If you look closely, it is actually an ecosystem composed of smaller islands joined together by tidal creeks and marsh. Little Tybee is home to one of, if not the most pristine beach in the Lowcountry. Being a nature preserve, there are no developments on the island, and it’s very rare to see other people backpacking on the island. This place is wild in the truest sense of the word, one of the last places in the lowcountry where you can see and understand what the first inhabitants of this part of the country dealt with on a day to day basis. In the Summer, if the wild hogs, rattlesnakes, or fire ants do not get you, the gnats will drive you to the brink of a mental meltdown. Let’s not forget about the raccoons on the island either, most of which are more resourceful and smarter than your college roommate, and will steal anything they can use from you if you’re not protecting it. Now that we’ve sufficiently warned you about the island, we highly encourage you to visit this incredible place. Oh, and if you walk around without shoes, you’re going to be thrashed by cactus and sand spurs.
What Makes It Great
The best part of Little Tybee is the challenge. First off, you have to kayak there. Don’t even try motoring a boat, because if you don’t know the creeks and sandbars like the back of your hand, you’re getting stuck. Once you paddle up to the island, you have to find a hammock, or small island, that you can camp on. Once you establish camp, the animals, bugs, and snakes come out to see what all of the fuss is about. This island feels like you’re stepping back in time to a place that has never been touched by man. The wildlife and flora of Little Tybee are built to survive, and given the opportunity, they will use an unsuspecting camper to do so. One of the greatest aspects about this place is that it provides experienced backpackers with a true test. It’s entirely possible to live on this island for a few days and enjoy yourself, but you need to know what’s out there before you go.
Who is Going to Love It
You have to truly want to camp in the lowcountry, and understand what this environment is composed of to camp here. If you love this part of the state, and want to experience how raw and wild it can be, this is the place for you. if you enjoy hopping from island to island in your kayak, exploring marsh, tidal creeks, and maritime forest, then what are you waiting on, get out here.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are zero fees and kayaking to the island is free as well. There are no trailheads, maps, or any remnants of civilization. So bring all of your safety equipment, and your smartphone with Google Earth so you can navigate Little Tybee. Launch from Tybee Island, and head across Tybee Creek to pick your campsite. Little Tybee is literally a stone’s throw away from highly developed Tybee Island, so it is a short commute, but there are miles and miles of creeks to explore within Little Tybee.