BOAT ECOTOUR & ISLAND EXPLORATION
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BULLS ISLAND FERRY

BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE

ABOUT BULLS ISLAND FERRY

The adventure  begins as you board one of our four passenger ferry boats. As we navigate through the fields of Spartina that edge the estuary creeks to the island, the captain and mate share their knowledge and passion about the refuge, the wildlife and it's history. 

The ecotour to the island takes about 30 minutes, and it is not uncommon for us to see loggerhead sea turtles, pods of gregarious bottlenose dolphins, bald eagles and some of the 293 bird species that live in Cape Romain. While on board, you'll be able to move around to take in the pristine views and examine the natural specimens (like an alligator skull and loggerhead sea turtle ribs) on the "touch table".

EXPLORING BULLS ISLAND

Once on the island, you'll be on your own to explore the 16 miles of trails and seven miles of sandy beach. Guests should be prepared with sunscreen, bottled water, insect repellent, good walking shoes (not sandals), and snacks to ensure a comfortable day. 

A short walk from the ferry you will find bathroom facilities, picnic area, and storm shelter.  From there, you can decide to walk straight to the beach, meander down Turkey Walk Trail or head over to the freshwater impoundments of the island's interior.

The well-tended roads and trails and large expanse of pristine beach make Bulls Island perfect for exploration by foot or bike.  Because there are no cars on the island, you can quietly approach a covey of ducks on Jacks Creek or alligators basking in the sun.  Bring your binoculars and a birding book to take full advantage of the observatory platforms on the island.

The jewel of the island is the magnificent Boneyard Beach.  Located at the north end of the island, Boneyard Beach is a forest stranded in the surf.  This majestic area is reason enough to go to Bulls Island and many visitors go directly to the beach to witness this beautiful sight.  If you are planning to enjoy Boneyard Beach, we recommend that you spend a full day on Bulls Island.

The Boneyard is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch as you watch the waves roll over sun-bleached oaks. This three-mile stretch of beach at the northeast corner is the result of the surf that is steadily moving sand away from this end of the island.  The hundreds of oaks, cedars and pines that are left behind are weathered by the salt and sun to create a skeletonized forest in the sand.

American-Alligator

 

 

TRIP DETAILS

COST 
$40/Adults
$20/12 & under

Families of 5 or more:
1 child free of charge

SCHEDULE & DIRECTIONS

RESERVATIONS
Reservations are highly recommended.

WHAT IF THE FERRY IS SOLD OUT FOR THE DATE/TIME THAT I WANT TO GO?
Call us up to see if there will be a second trip that day.  When we can, we will will offer an additional departure.

ARRIVE EARLY
The Bulls Island Ferry departs Garris Landing promptly at scheduled times.  Please allow yourself time to walk to the end of the pier by arriving at least 15-30 minutes before scheduled departures

WHAT TO WEAR
Bulls Island is a 5,000-acre remote barrier island, so dress for hiking.  Dress in layers and wear a hat for sun protection.  Once you get to the beach, you can ditch your shoes and dip your toes in the Atlantic, but you'll want closed-toe walking shoes while you are hiking the roads and trails of the island

WHAT TO BRING
Small backpack to carry drinking water, lunch and a few necessities.  Insect repellant and sunblock are recommended during warmer months.  Binoculars, a birding book and a camera are also suggested.
Sunblock, insect repellant and bottled water are available for purchase on the ferry.

ACTIVITY LEVEL
Following a 30-minute eco tour to the island, participants explore the island by foot; There are 16 miles of trails and over 7 miles of beaches.  Your guides can help you plan a route that fits your expections and time on the island.

ACTIVITIES INCLUDE
Boat Eco-tour, Hiking, Charleston History, Wildlife, Beach combing, Shelling, Dolphin-Watching, Birding, Photography 

SHELL COLLECTING

One small bag of unoccupied shells may be collected per person.  The bag may be no larger than a plastic grocery bag.  Do not remove any driftwood, living shells, plants or artifacts from the beach.  This privilege may be suspended if participants are not respectful of collection guidelines, so please be considerate.

BICYCLES 

Bicycles are a great way to explore the island, and are welcome on the ferry but you must have a reservation.  If you do not have a reservation for your bike, you may have to leave it behind.
Fat-tired bikes are recommended as they easier to navigate on island roads.   Look under the FAQ's for more information about bikes on the island.

DEPARTURE POINT

Garris Landing 
498 Bulls Island Road
Awendaw, South Carolina
Shrouded in oak, palmetto, magnolia and pine and populated by a staggering variety of creatures both local and migratory, this increasingly threatened stretch of oceanfront wilderness is considered the crown jewel of the 66,000-acre Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge."
-New York Times