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Bulls Island, SC - Postponed due to unseasonably high temps = too many mosquitos

Bulls Island, part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, is not for everyone. 

But if you like birding, hiking, beach combing, unmatched naturalist-guided tours through the estuary, the chance to get away from the harried mainland, bald eagles, alligators, bobcats, dolphins and otters, all within South Carolina's only Class 1 Wilderness Area, then this event is for you.

BIRDS:  293 migratory and resident species catagorized annually 
LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES:  The most significant nesting site north of Florida 
AMERICAN ALLIGATORS:  One of the densest populations north of the Everglades 
PRISTINE SHORELINE:  Bulls Island is part of the longest stretch of undeveloped shoreline on the eastern seaboard 
HIKING TRAILS:  Over 16 miles of maintained trails and roads intersect the 5000-acre island 
BONEYARD BEACH: Over one mile of shoreline is adorned with the skeletonized remains of oaks and cedars  

Exploring Bulls Island

Once on the island you can explore the 16 miles of trails and seven miles of sandy beach. Guests should be prepared with sunscreen, bottled water, insect repellent (not necessary in late fall & winter), good walking shoes (not sandals), and snacks to ensure a comfortable day.

A short walk from the ferry you will find bathroom facilities, a picnic area, and a 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.  

We will depart at 10:00am on the ferry to Bulls Island.  This is the only scheduled boat of the day from December 1st to February 28th.  We will spend 5 hours exploring the 16 miles of trails, including the famous Boneyard Beach.  The return boat departs at 3:00pm.  Cost of the ferry ride is $40 per person.  To guarantee spots on the boat we will need to book seats in advance.

For those staying overnight in Charleston we will plan a group dinner.  The most convenient place to stay close to the ferry is Mt. Pleasant.  Depending on where you live you may be able to make this a day trip.  

Once we have enough people sign up I'll contact everyone to arrange transportation and lodging.  We can schedule other activities as well for those staying the weekend (Ft. Sumter, plantation tour, historic house tours, . . .).

The rendezvous location for carpooling in the Triangle will be ___ Windbyrne Drive, Cary, NC near the intersection of Evans Road & Cary Parkway. Street # will be emailed to all participating members. Park off the street in front of the end townhouse or directly across the street. The Windbrooke community consists of 2 cul-de-sacs with no thru roads and only one way in-&-out (not a gated community). 

Please RSVP for this event from a laptop or desktop computer. There are questions that need to be answered when you RSVP that are not displayed on smart phones.

Whether you are biking, camping, hiking, paddling or participating in any other outdoor activity you do so at your own risk. You are responsible for choosing whether to participate in an outdoor activity, what you will wear, what equipment you may choose to use, any routes you may choose to take, and whether your knowledge, skills or physical condition are appropriate for the activity. You also take the responsibility for any guest that you may bring. Make the BEST decisions for you and your guests' personal safety.

How to Get There

Take I-26 to exit #212 and go east on I-526 for 12 miles. Exit onto US #17 north, then go northeast on US #17 for 10.8 miles. Turn right onto Sewee Road, go northeast 3.4 miles, then turn right onto Bull Island Road. Follow this road to Garris Landing. From here you can take a ferry to Bull Island. See for departure times, fares, etc.


Reservations are not required but are recommended.

March 1 - November 30 
Tuesday • Thursday • Friday  Saturday

Departs 9 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.  Returns Noon & 4 p.m. 
*If you take the morning boat, you may leave at noon or stay until 4; there is no extra charge to stay the full day


December 1 - February 28  Saturdays Only 
Departs 10 a.m.  Returns 3 p.m. 

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6 went

  • JDH +3
    member plus (WFA), Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Cristina
    member plus
  • Craig

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