Once upon a time (the early 1980s to be exact), a skilled craftsman set out on a mission to leave his mark on St. Simons Island. With woodworking tools in hand, he meticulously carved intricate faces into several centuries-old live oak trees along St. Simons Island

Aptly named Tree Spirits, these faces are all unique and their stories are left to your interpretation.

Spend an afternoon searching for the tree spirits and come up with your own stories along the way.

The Legend of Cora

A mermaid tree carving is the most famous of the St. Simons Island Tree SpiritsLegend holds that a mystifying mermaid named Cora has lived in the seas of the Golden Isles for centuries. This beautiful creature has rarely been seen by anyone. With sun-kissed skin and hair that shines those who do catch a glimpse will never forget her splendor. Although her outwardly appearance is magnificent, her true beauty lies within. Cora is the protector of the island's loggerhead turtles. She gently guides them with a sweet humming sound to and from the shoreline. She then leads them out to sea, protecting them from any harm that may come their way. Because of Cora's careful guidance and protection, the island's endangered loggerhead hatchlings are able to grow and survive into adulthood.


Where to Find Them

There are more than 20 Tree Spirits engraved on St. Simons Island. Many are on private property; however there are 11 in public areas waiting for you to find them. Venture into our Welcome Center on St. Simons Island for a map of the Tree Spirits.

Visitors and residents alike enjoy searching for these inspirational Tree Spirits. Many families like to make it a biking activity or a scavenger hunt with kids.

Happy hunting!