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Bulls Island Sea Kayaking

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

Lowcountry, South Carolina

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Bulls Island Sea Kayaking

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  • Pelicans taking a break from fishing.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • Oyster shoals are exposed as the tide retreats, so watch out for sharp scrapes.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • You will see an abundance of bird life in the marshes.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • Tidal creek views.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • Dolphins love to swim up these creeks to hunt for fish.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • Wide, sandy beach on the ocean side of Bulls Island.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • Boneyard Beach is near the north end of Bulls.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • View from Bulls Island over the creeks and marshes.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • When the ferry is gone, you'll have the dock all to yourself, besides maybe a flock of gulls.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • Navigating back to the mainland requires just as much attention as the way out.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
  • This is Sewee Bay, where the English who would establish Charleston first moored their ships.- Bulls Island Sea Kayaking
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Free access to Bulls Island. Wildlife.
Cons: 
Limited open hours. No camping.
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Region:
Lowcountry, SC
Congestion: 
Low
Site characteristics: Water: 
Ocean
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Shuttle required: 
No
Total Distance: 
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Water difficulty: 
Moderate / Class B
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Pro Contributor

Bulls Island is a popular wildlife-viewing and beach-going destination known for its quiet coastline, forested trails, and abundance of birds and alligators. The easiest way to get there is via ferry, kayking is more fun (and free). The trip is through tidal creeks and marsh between the mainland and this barrier island at the edge of Bulls Bay.

From the public launch at Garris Landing it is only about only about 3 miles shore to shore, but twists and turns of the creeks make the one-way distance more like 5 miles. You will have to contend with tides, wind, and waves, but on a calm day a well-timed trip is suitable for all abilities with proper guidance. The route is not marked, and navigating the marshes can be difficult. Depending on the turns you take, you may have to paddle against the current for short stretches; as long as you paddle to the island with falling tide and back with rising tide, the trip will be much easier overall. If you are at all uncomfortable or unsure about sea kayaking and/or tidal creek navigation, consider hiring a guide or going with a more experienced group.

You can paddle to the location of the island's ferry landing, though the dock is private so it's best to pull up on shore nearby, which will be muddy at low tide. Be sure to store your boats well out of the way of ferry guests and staff. Alternatively, you can paddle a more straightforward route on the Intracoastal Waterway to Price Creek, which lands you on the sandy beach of Bulls' western shore. Trails connect this less-visited end to the rest of the island, but it is a hike of a few miles to Boneyard Beach and other highlight destinations.

Note: Pets and camping are not permitted on Bulls Island.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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