The Roller Coaster Trail is probably my favorite trail on Cumberland Island. I had traveled seven hours by car, then another hour by ferry, then trekked ten miles just to reach it. I was hoping to find a quiet footpath in the wilderness, an undisturbed hike immersed in the wild heart of Cumberland Island. Instead, I found four wheelers.
The Roller Coaster Trail is nestled deep in the heart of the Cumberland Island Wilderness. The trail skirts the Sweetwater Sloughs, undulates past Lake Whitney, and threads together some of the wildest habitats on the island. No houses, residences, campsites, or park structures are located anywhere near the trail.
Unfortunately, as the tracks in this photo reveal, four-wheelers (and bikes) are being using commonly on this wilderness trail. Not even the wildest and most remote trail in the Cumberland Island Wilderness is free from abuse. Will the Park Service do anything to address it? Will it choose to ignore or enforce wilderness law?