Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

 

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The Seasons of Cape Romain

 

 

 

Boneyard Beach Photography Tour on Bulls Island, September 13th- 5:15 am

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Cape Romain! This pre-dawn excursion takes you through the winding creeks and bays of the refuge to Bulls Island where you will travel safari-style to the spectacular Boneyard Beach, one of the most photographed beaches on the east coast. Along the way and on the beach enjoy the birding and other wildlife, island exploration and beachcombing. The tour is $40 per person. Register with Coastal Expeditions at 843.884.7684 or visit www.coastalexpeditions.com.com

Bulls Island Sunrise. Credit: Olga Caballero
  Boneyard Beach.
Credit: Olga Caballero

 

 

Cape Romain Lighthouses. Credit: Ben Sumrell

Historic Lighthouse Tour September 14th 9:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Explore two 1800's lighthouses on Cape Romain's Lighthouse Island. The tour begins at the Sewee Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. for a historic presentation on the lights and lightkeepers. Following the tour, caravan to McClellanville to board the Coastal Expeditions ferry for an estuary cruise through the refuge wilderness. The tour is $45 per person. Register with Coastal Expeditions at 843.884.7684 or visit www.bullsislandferry.com.

Lighthouse Island.
Credit: Ben Sumrell
 
   

 

 

 

Spring is a prime time to visit the refuge. You have opportunities to see painted buntings and other songbirds as their migration peaks in March and April. Shorebirds also return at this time. Alligators can be viewed as they sun along the banks of Jacks Creek and Summerhouse Pond.

Great Egret with Chick. Credit: Ricky Wrenn
Great Egret. Credit: Ricky Wrenn©

Summer is a hot and humid period. Temperatures sometimes reach above 100 degrees but visitors are rewarded with the possibility of seeing endangered woodstorks, fledgling royal terns and other young birds.

Black Duck. Credit: Danny Bales
Black Duck. Credit: Danny Bales©

Fall temperatures begin to cool and fall colors appear in the maritime forest. In September, ducks begin to arrive in preparation for their winter stay. In October, yellow warblers and other songbirds again pass through the refuge.

Winter is the season for hunting and fishing. Channel bass runs peak in November and deer hunts occur in November and December. Birders can observe peak waterfowl numbers in late November and early December. At this time, most of the Atlantic Coast's American Oystercatcher population is on the refuge. January and February are prime times to gather clams and oysters.

 

 

 

 

  Walking to the lighthouses. Credit: Tricia Lynch/USFWS
  Lighthouse Tour. Credit:
Tricia Lynch/USFWS
  Archery hunt on Bulls Island. Credit: Tricia Lynch/USFWS
  Archery Hunt. Credit: Tricia Lynch/USFWS
  Youth Fishing Rodeo. Credit: Tricia Lynch/USFWS
  Youth Fishing Rodeo. Credit: Tricia Lynch/USFWS

Special Events

 

Cape Romain Historic Lighthouse Tour

Four tours to Lighthouse Island are offered throughout the year to view Cape Romain's two historic lighthouses, built in 1827 and 1857. Both on the Register of Historic Places, the 1827 light is one of the oldest in the country. Contact the Sewee Center for tour information.

 

Bulls Island Archery Hunt

The refuge hosts two 6-day archery hunts for white-tailed deer on Bulls Island annually. The hunts are scheduled for November 3-8, 2014 and December 1-6, 2014. The archery hunt offers wholesome outdoor recreation and provides a management tool to maintain a healthy deer population. For hunting information, see the hunt brochure.

 

Youth Fishing Rodeo

In celebration of our National Wildlife Refuges, in the late spring the Sewee Center hosts a youth fishing rodeo for children of all ages at the Sewee Pond. Prizes and fish art T-shirts highlight this event. Contact the Sewee Center for rodeo information.

 

 

 

 

 

BULLS ISLAND WEEKEND ECO-EXPEDITIONS

 

Dominick House on Bulls Island. Credit: Weatherly Meadors

For the first time in 43 years, the Dominick House on Cape Romain's Bulls Island is once again receiving overnight guests. Hosted by Coastal Expeditions, refuge concession, the three day/two night weekend ecology trip has a focus on barrier island dynamics, the connections of human and natural history, and invasive species. A myriad of island wildlife and plants will be studied as guests explore the salt marsh, maritime forest and beach. Expeditions will be offered on the third weekend of October through March, with the first trip scheduled for October 18th - 20th.

In 1936, Mr. Gayer Dominick of New York conveyed Bulls Island to the Cape Romain NWR. Historically, from 1940 - 1969, the refuge awarded contracts to concessionaires who offered Bulls Island visitors lodging and meals at the Dominick House. During those 29 years, five concessionaires lived on the island with their families, providing quality services for those who came to the island to birdwatch, fish, photograph wildlife, beachcomb and archery hunt. Guests came from across the United States, Canada, and other countries including Finland, England, Germany, France, Sweden and South Africa. For more information and to register for an expedition, contact Coastal Expeditions at 843.884.7684 or visit Coastal Expeditions.

Dominick House. Credit: Weatherly Meadors  

 

Last updated: August 12, 2014
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