Motors Allowed?
Moderate / Class B
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
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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, but kayaking is more fun (and free) for those with the ability. 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 tidal creeks make the one-way distance more like 5 miles. The route is not marked, and navigating the marshes can be difficult. You will have to contend with tides, wind, and waves, but on a calm day a well-timed trip is suitable for just about anyone with proper guidance. You should align with the tides so that you paddle out to the island with falling tide, and back with rising tide. That way your journey will be much easier overall, though you may still have to paddle against the current for short stretches depending on the turns you take. 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 from there it's a hike of a few miles to Boneyard Beach and other highlight destinations.

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

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)





Free access to Bulls Island. Wildlife.


Limited open hours. No camping.


Picnic tables
Bird watching
Whale watching

Typically multi-day


Shuttle required


Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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