A Sea Kayak Trip around Oak Island!
Oak Island and Little Oak Island
We depart from the Folly Beach Public Boat Landing and into the glistening salt-water of the Folly River , heading towards the protected marsh lands of the creek, abundant in sea life. This trip should be started when the tide is reaching high water and finished with the first of the outgoing tide. This allows a more enjoyable paddling experience and gives you more water in the marshes. It generally takes 2-3 hours to complete this trip depending on the speed of your paddling group.
As you leave the landing, I like to turn right under the bridge and paddle the trip in that direction. I find it is easier to navigate with the incoming tide and you dont have to contend with marinas right away. As you turn off the Folly River into the marsh and Little Oak Island Creek you need to watch for the oyster shell banks. Generally if you stay left as you go around Little Oak Island you should be able to cleanly navigate these hazards, however, having someone with you who knows the route the first time is a big help.
This is a great trip for beginners as it is mainly protected water and pretty relaxing to paddle. This tour typically provides us ample opportunity to view resident bottlenose Dolphins in the water, mussel and oyster beds along the shorelines, and Egrets, Herons, Osprey, and Brown Pelicans, and American Oyster Catchers and other shorebirds gliding effortlessly in our South Carolina azure skies, or perched on the shoreline.
Based upon our Google Earth map, the Blue Basic Tour is 3.4 miles. You may extend the tour an additional 3 miles by following the Yellow route. The Red 'short cut' is only passable near high tide.
The red route could be risky at anything other than the highest tides due to numerous oyster beds situated within the waters itself.
Folly River is paddled for part the trip and it can get choppy due to wind. Make sure to check your local forecast prior to launching.
Its important not to park in trailer parking spots as tickets will be issued. You should park up against the back wall of the parking lot instead.
SUGGESTED ROUTES [yellow and blue]
Printable Google Earth Map with highlighted routes for this trip.
View the website on Sullivan Island Lighthouse
MeetUp Photo Gallery from 2009 Oak Island Paddle
SKC Weather Forecast links
Lake Moultrie and Pinopolis Locks
Wando River and Cat Island
Garris Landing to Bull Island
Oak Island Marsh Tour (below)
Sol Legare to Sandy Point via the Mighty Stono River
Capers & Deewees Island
Don't miss Sea Kayak Carolinas Resources page for information on tides, weather and other critical information to help you plan your kayak trips in Charleston and other coastal areas in South Carolina.