Days
<1
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
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Little Tybee is the island just south of Tybee Island, and despite its name, is actually much larger. You wouldn't know it, however, without studying a map or attempting to paddle around it. From Tybee Island, you can see only a small part of Little Tybee, which looks like a collection of marsh and trees with just a small spit of sand near the end. This near side is only about a mile away from Tybee's south end, separated by Tybee Creek at its mouth.

Paddling across and standing on Little Tybee reveals more of its true size. In addition to a fairly large beach on the ocean side, the interior is a complex network of tidal creeks that can be further explored by kayak. A simple trip there and back to the nearest beach on Little Tybee is about 2 miles round trip, and it makes a satisfying endeavor for casual paddlers. Experienced kayakers may want to venture farther down the shore or up a meandering backwater. Camping is even allowed on Little Tybee, though it may be hard to find a suitable spot above the high tide line.

The paddle to Little Tybee is technically across a river, but it still requires close attention to the tides. Currents are channelized in the river mouth and may actually be stronger than along the beach, especially when the tide is going out, so be prepared to paddle against some current. Waves are not usually strong in the river, however, unless the day is especially windy or the tide especially high. Sandbars at the river mouth provide a natural breakwater. These are revealed at low tide, providing a mini-island retreat for birds to catch fish and for paddlers to take a rest.

Begin the trip from Back River Beach or any other public beach access on the south end of Tybee. No fees apply other than the city-wide $2 per hour to park at the beach. Several outfitters in the area offer rentals and guided tours to Little Tybee, and they can also advise on the day's tides and weather conditions.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Undeveloped island. Easy access.

Cons

Tides can be strong.

Features

Backcountry camping
Fishing
Bird watching
Wildlife
Family friendly

Access

Vehicle

Site characteristics: Water

Ocean

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

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