21930
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
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,449
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6 days
5 nights
10 meals
5 B 3 L 2 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Charleston, South Carolina
D
Meeting Street Inn

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, meet your group leader n the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We'll have a brief safety presentation conducted by our kayaking outfitter. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.

Dinner: 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be out at a local restaurant. Enjoy a tasty plated meal with non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
2
Kayak Charleston Harbor, Salt Marsh Estuary Discussion
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L
Meeting Street Inn

Activity note: Charleston Harbor field trip Duration up to 4 hours, kayaking up to 7 miles.

Breakfast: Breakfast is continental with juices, coffee, tea and water included.

Morning: At the kayak center, we’ll have an expert presentation focusing on salt marsh estuaries as the "nurseries of the sea" and their important role in the fragile balance of the coastal plain. For an exceptionally rewarding Charleston experience, we'll see it by water. Between dolphin spotting and bird watching, we'll take in the views of the “Holy City” by kayak as our expert gives a history lesson from a distance. Stories about Castle Pickney, Fort Sumter, the Charleston waterfront, pirates, and other fascinating tales will weave together with the natural beauty of this historic harbor. We’ll gain a different perspective of this dynamic city.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch

Afternoon: Kayaking continues.

Dinner: You are in the heart of the historic district downtown Charleston. There are numerous restaurants that surround the hotel. Take time to enjoy your favorite foods. We will have a restaurant list and the group leader will be happy to assist you.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Ferry to Bulls Island, Hike Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L
Meeting Street Inn

Activity note: Bulls Island Hike approximately 5 miles round-trip, up to 6 hours; 5 uneven, unpaved surfaces.

Breakfast: B & B breakfast.

Morning: We will transfer from the B & B to Sewee Environmental Education Center for a presentation by the staff followed by an overview of our field trip. We’ll then shuttle a short distance to Garris Landing and board the Bulls island Ferry. The ferry ride will take us through the salt marsh estuary on our way out to the barrier island chain, destination Bulls Island. Covering 5,000 acres of fresh and brackish water pools and reservoirs , maritime forest, salt marsh, and sandy beaches, this is one of the most super bio-diversified ecosystems on the planet. We can’t guarantee it but have often seen dolphins, and they are certainly not shy. It’s likely that we will see more than 30 different avian species during the day. The focus of our field trip is biodiversity and fragile marine ecosystems. The ecosystems of this barrier islands are almost completely undeveloped and truly feel otherworldly. We will explore pristine Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and Boneyard Beach. Our hike will take us through maritime forest, inland trails and ponds — alligator spotting highly likely! — and stretches of the vast beach. Birding should be excellent as we move through the dynamic outlines between ecosystems. We’ll also learn about human history and its integral connection to natural history as we explore the original landing spot of ships that first landed here in 1670 on their way to settle Charlestowne, where they were greeted by the Sewee Native American tribe.

Lunch: Picnic lunch on field trip.

Afternoon: We will continue to immerse ourselves in barrier island geology, focusing on the migration of the land mass itself towards the mainland. As we hike, we’ll explore the intimate relationship between island, estuary, and ocean. Surrounded by a diverse array of bird life, playful dolphins, elusive alligators and pristine shoreline, it’s easy to imagine what early life was like in this warm subtropical paradise.

Dinner: Dinner will be on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Explore Historic Charleston On Foot, Free Time
Charleston, South Carolina
B
Meeting Street Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 1/2 mile; paved surfaces, some uneven terrain.

Breakfast: B & B breakfast.

Morning: With a local historian, we’ll go on a walking field trip along hidden passageways for glimpses through wrought-iron gates into gardens of 18th century Charleston homes. There is no better way to develop a well-rounded understanding of Charleston's history: first by water then by land.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. If you would like to continue exploring the Historic District, bike taxis are readily available to take you anywhere at very reasonable cost. It is the transportation of choice for the peninsula and a great way to get from one place to another.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. Go with new Road Scholar friends or explore the numerous possibilities independently. There are cuisines for almost every taste. If you have something special in mind, we recommend making reservations in advance.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Kayak Francis Marion National Forest on Wambaw River
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L,D
Meeting Street Inn

Activity note: Wambaw River field trip approximately 7 miles throughout the day, up to 6 hours.

Breakfast: B & B breakfast.

Morning: We will travel by van to paddle along the Wambaw River where we’ll pass through portions of the Francis Marion National Forest, comprising more than 250,000 acres of federally protected forest land protecting in particular the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. This National Forest is adjacent to Cape Romain NWR and helps create one of the largest protected wildlife corridors on the East Coast. We will glide through the black water, colored dark like tea by the tannic nature of the bordering forest, and gaze up at 1,000 year old Cypress trees on the river's edge. This is a rare opportunity to experience this largely inaccessible habitat. We will also visit one of the last remaining rice plantations, Hampton Plantation, to see the camellia gardens and gravesite of South Carolina’s poet laureate, Archibald Rutledge.

Lunch: Picnic lunch.

Afternoon: Our exploration will continue on this scenic river. As we paddle gently down watery trails, we will have opportunities to observe wildlife that may be present and fall into the rhythm of our paddling in synch with the natural world.

Dinner: At a popular restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated farewell dinner together and share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends. We have experienced nature directly and intimately. We will say farewell and hope you will continue to expand your explorations and horizons. Beverages include Water, Tea, and Coffee. Additiional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Charleston, South Carolina
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: B & B breakfast.

Morning: We hope you have enjoyed your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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