Cannon’s Point Preserve offers history and nature to visitors.
In September, 2012, following an 18-month fund-raising effort, the St. Simons Land Trust acquired a 608-acre tract of undeveloped land. This tract in the northeast portion of the island is the Cannon’s Point Preserve. The acreage includes maritime forest, salt marsh, tidal creek and river shore line. Ancient shell artifacts and eco-facts associated with past human occupation remain on the preserve to this day. The remains of the early 19th century’s John Couper plantation are on the preserve, as well.
The preserve is also is linked to the lower Altamaha River delta which is one of the most biologically rich systems and considered by The Nature Conservancy as a coastal area of highest priority, even internationally. The Altamaha River’s drainage basin is about 14,000 square miles in size, qualifying it among the larger river basins of the US Atlantic coast
A marker erected in 2010 by the Georgia Historical Society reads the following:
In 1793 John Couper, with his partner James Hamilton, purchased Cannon’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 Cannon’s Point Plantation gained the nickname “Georgia’s Experimental Station.” Public-spirited John Couper also donated the land for the St. Simons lighthouse on the south end of the island. Cannon’s Point was the ancestral home of many Gullah Geechee still living in Coastal Georgia.
The Preserve is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, 9AM-3PM, for hiking, bicycling, bird-watching and picnicking. The Preserve also features a launch site for kayaks, canoes and paddleboards, and an observation tower at the north end. Cannon’s Point offers a rustic wildlife experience. Bathrooms are limited, and you will want to bring everything you may need with you.