Shark's Tooth Beach at Jekyll Island is a great stop to add on your trip if you have the time, can hike some, and don't mind getting a headache from looking through millions of oyster shells for a special piece of history... yes... sharks teeth! We camped at Jekyll Island Campground (review on the site soon!) for 5 nights over the Christmas holiday 2017, and we picked the perfect day to go explore this beach; it was overcast and almost 76 degrees. Can't ask for better weather to go digging around for teeth!
Accessing Shark's Tooth Beach
When I looked up how to get here online, I didn't realize that it would be an unmarked trail, unlike most of the other trails around Jekyll Island which have nice markers. I wanted to take my family on a gentle hike to a beach that promised to deliver the opportunity to find a some historic shark teeth. I did some research in advance and didn't find a whole lot, but thankfully I found a video of the trail (by Dabbler's Den, thanks!), packed up the wagon with lots of snacks and drinks, then took off with the girls to try our luck. We contemplated using the hike pack vs. the wagon, but the wagon was definitely the better choice because it would have been too long for Ava to make it there and back without having to be carried as well.
To access the trail head, you will go south past the Summer Waves water park (on right side) and then about 15 seconds past the park entrance you will reach a very small service road with a single gate that is typically locked. Park where you can and walk around the gate. The hike is relatively easy; mostly flat and with a brisk pace, dragging a wagon filled with kids, we made it to the beach within 25-30 minutes.
Hiking the Trail to Sharks Tooth Beach
The trail was relatively well maintained, meaning it was mostly free of debris and easy to drag the wagon along. There were a few sections of downed limbs or shrubbery (maybe from the recent Hurricane Irma) but it seemed someone had cut most of it out of the trails. Most of the walk was sandy with a few bumpy roots or tight squeezes, but nothing that made us regret going with the wagon.
Although I wanted to arrive at low tide, I knew there was no way we would be dressed, fed, and at the beach around 6:30am, so we made our best efforts to get down there as soon possible, which meant we arrived on the beach around 8:45am. Once we got to the beach, we left the wagon and couldn't contain our excitement so we immediately started searching. It was hard to comprehend how many oyster shells we were looking at and digging through, and walking on. I was starting to get a headache at the end from using such intensity to look for teeth. We focused our efforts on looking for anything black - which unfortunately there are some mini black rocks mixed in so you end up bending over more than you'd like to.
We walked up and down the small area, since both ends put you in a soupy, swampy mud mess and we weren't prepared to play in that. It was neat because two dolphins crested the waves right next to us, then chased something in the shallows a little north of us. As we were turning around to head back to the wagon, we were all getting tired and Marlowe was fussy, and BAM - found a sharks tooth! Ben also found one, his was a darker brown and had the serrated edges still, so maybe it wasn't as old but not sure. I read that the oyster beach was natural, and a passerby said it was dredged - either way it was absolutely amazing that we found two teeth in the shell mess! We really enjoyed our time, but I'm glad I actually found a tooth - I totally geek out on shell collecting and metal detecting, so the underlying disappointment would have been there if I would have walked away empty handed. A great adventure and experience, but just a heads up that you won't walk up and be able to roll around in endless selections of shark teeth... Ha....
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES VISITING SHARK'S TOOTH BEACH? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!