(Map produced using Microsoft Streets 98)
Gould’s Inlet/East Beach, St. Simons Island: East Beach on St. Simons Island, which includes Gould’s Inlet, is a residential area with some county owned land as well. It is a prime birding area for shorebirds, gulls, and terns. The best time to bird is in or around high tide, especially in the afternoon with the sun at your back. The slough area, west of the mouth of the inlet, is always changing and interesting. The surrounding upland areas are great place to see Painted Buntings. Birds regularly seen here include Black Skimmers, Laughing Gulls, Royal and Caspian Terns, American Oystercatchers, Willets, Ruddy Turnstones, Double-crested Cormorants, and Brown Pelicans. Rare birds have been sited here, also, like the Reddish Egret.
Gould’s Inlet has limited parking and is hard for a recreational vehicle to maneuver, plus there are no restrooms. There are, however, approximately 12 parking spaces for cars. Large groups and vehicles and those needing rest rooms should park in the U.S. Coast Guard parking area.
Hours: This area is not a formal park and therefore there are no set hours and is open all year. Please be mindful of the residents. There is a .35 cent toll to get on the island but no fee for East Beach or Gould’s Inlet.
Directions: From I-95 take Exit # 8, Spur 25, southeast to US 17 and head south on US 17 to the FJ Torras Causeway and turn left. Midway on the causeway pay a toll of .35 cents and proceed onto the island. The name of this road changes to Demere Road. Proceed straight on Demere Road through two stop lights and continue following Demere Road around a curve past the Bloody Marsh National Monument (or stop here to learn about the Battle at Bloody Marsh). Take the next major road to the left. This road is East Beach Causeway and is well marked. Drive straight until you are in the Coast Guard area parking lot. For single cars or those who don’t want to walk far, turn left just before the Coast Guard Station parking area onto Bruce Drive. Gould’s Inlet is at the end of Bruce Drive.
Text provided by Mary Elfner