South Carolina
Charleston and Bulls Island by Land & Sea: Kayaking, Hiking and Birding
Enjoy an in-depth adventure in Charleston and Bulls Island as you explore a maritime forest, kayak through rice fields, learn about unique ecology and discover historic homes and sites.
Rating (4.57)
Program No. 21930RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Famous for rich history, splendid preserved architecture and the most polite citizenry in America, Charleston is also home to saltwater estuaries, tidal inlets and spectacular Bulls Island. Push off into Charleston Harbor in a kayak to explore the city from a whole new angle, hearing tales of its founding, fortifications and pirates. Bird watch in the pristine Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. On the Wambaw Creek in the Francis Marion National Forest, kayak through “black water,” darkened by the tannic acids of the bordering forest, and study cypress and tupelo trees and a variety of bird species. Stroll through Charleston with interpretation by a historian and hear from local experts about the ecology of the city’s salt-marsh estuary.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hike five miles over six hours across varied terrain including forest and beach trails with stops for interpretation. Kayaking seven miles in a six-hour period.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • On Bulls Island, accessible only by ferry, explore miles of pristine beachfront and maritime forest, home to more than 290 species of birds.
  • Kayak the freshwater Wambaw Creek to learn about the acidic plant tannins that have turned the water black over time.
  • Learn the human and natural history of Charleston while kayaking the harbor and hear tales of the city in Colonial times as you glimpse the beautiful gardens of 18th-century homes.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Gates Roll
With a love for everything that crawls or swims, Gates Roll grew up as a true creek rat in the woods of Georgia and the marshes of South Carolina. He has worked on fishing boats in S.C. and a sailboat in Spain, but he prefers smaller craft in the quiet backwaters, sharing his knowledge of the ecosystem and black water he loves so much. In 2013, Gates was one of six guides worldwide to be awarded REI Top Guide.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Gates Roll
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Suggested Reading List
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