ASHLEY RIVER AT MIDDLETON PLACE
ASHLEY RIVER AT MIDDLETON PLACE- KAYAK TOURS
Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown, and experience one of the best kayak tours in Charleston. The Ashley River is one of the most significant river systems to the history of Charleston South Carolina, and it looks very much like it did hundreds of years ago. Our guided kayak tours depart from our private access along the banks of the Upper Ashley River at Middleton Place. The kayaking tour offers views of the Middleton Place Grounds as we paddle past abandoned rice fields and canals dating from the 1700s. Our location puts you right in the middle of a 22 mile stretch that makes up the lowcountry’s only waterway designated as a state scenic river corridor. This translates into a pristine feel on the water, with very little development or boat traffic. You will have a chance to explore some of the smaller tidal creeks that twist and turn away from the main channel.
No matter what time of year, the upper Ashley River can be home to abundant wildlife. Egrets, Herons, Raptors, Rails, and many more bird species can be spotted. Depending on the season, we also have the opportunity to see the occasional Bottlenose Dolphin, Manatee, or American Alligators! These guided kayak tours are offered year round on a regularly scheduled basis, or can be arranged as a private tour. This trip is suitable for any skill level paddler, and stable yet nimble single or double kayaks are provided.
This kayak trip is available year-round, but is a tidally effected area, so trips are often scheduled accordingly. We post many options online, but if you don't see your preferred date/time on our on-line calendar, give us a shout.
DECEMBER - FEBRUARY
See on-line booking calendar or contact for additional dates and times
MARCH - NOVEMBER
Regularly scheduled trips scheduled by tide. On-line calendar for specific dates and times. Groups of 6+ can arrange custom times/dates
18+ years old Choice of Single or Double Kayaks
13-17 years old Choice of Single or Double Kayak. Must have adult chaperone on trip
5-12 years. Must ride in double kayak with adult. Younger children permitted on private trips and rentals
Starts @ $54 pp with $324 or 6 person minimum
Subject to availability. All ages
*minimum rate subject to seasonal changes and options selected
WHERE DOES THIS TRIP TAKE PLACE?
This trip takes place on the National Historic Landmark property of Middleton Place. Our location at the Inn at Middleton Place offers the perfect setting for launching out in a kayak from our private kayak landing on the Ashley River. This stretch of brackish tidal marsh has been designated as a state scenic river corridor. Upon booking the trip you will receive email confirmation with directions to our location at the Inn at MiddletonPlace. *we are a gated property and reservations are required to access the property.
IS THERE A SHUTTLE REQUIRED?
Our standard 2 hour Ashley River kayak experience departs from, and returns to our location at Middleton Place. No shuttle is required, and the launch site is 100 yards away from our gated parking area. We do offer some longer seasonal and specialty trips that require a shuttle on the front end, but not unless otherwise noted.
HOW LONG IS THE KAYAK TOUR?
This trip is typically about a 2 hour event. We provide a brief orientation and paddle talk before launching our kayaks. On-water paddle time varies from 1.5-2 hours. Longer trips are typically available by request or check our special events.
WHAT IS THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL?
This trip is typically suitable for all skill levels, and can be tailored to meet your paddling demands. It is very much a tidally effected area, and we do our best to coordinate start times based on tidal conditions, but paddling against some current or wind is to be expected with most tidal waters. We are situated fairly far inland on protected waterways, and largely protected from most wind. Boat wakes, wind chop, and waves are not an issue.
DO YOU RECOMMEND SINGLES OR DOUBLE KAYAKS
Maybe a personality question more than anything else? If you really like to do your own thing, and not worry about anyone else in the boat, than a single is probably your boat. If you like the idea of having a partner to help out, or are new to kayaking, tandems can be a great way to get comfortable. All of our kayaks have high seat-backs for support, and at the time of reservation you will be asked to submit approximate heights and weights for any paddlers in single kayaks so we can provide the most comfortable fit.
The per person rates are all inclusive of naturalist guide, equipment rentals, shuttle(s), and parking. Gratuity for outstanding service by your guide helps us continue to support our professional team of naturalist. Gratuity can be added to payments already made after a trip, by cash, or venmo. *Note, our activities at Middleton Place meet at the Inn at Middleton and do not require any additional admission fees to access kayaking, but it does not include access to the gardens should you like to visit that part of the property.
WHAT ARE THE GROUP SIZES?
Our marsh/river trips range from as few as 2 people, up to 10 participants for public trips. Small trips sizes help to ensure a more intimate and personal experience on the water. Private trips can be arranged for groups of most any size, with minimum base rate applied.
WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES AVAILABLE?
We are fortunate to have an amazing space at the Inn at Middleton Place overlooking the historic Ashley River. Our activities begin at the Lodge building where we have gated parking, guest check-in, restrooms, lounge, full bar, and picnic area. We also have an area where you can leave valuables if needed.
Make a weekend of it and stay at the Inn at Middleton Place for full access to the historic gardens, nature trails, and river-side pool!
SUNSET KAYAK TRIPS
Returns June 2021- Dates Coming May 10th
As the days get longer and evenings warmer, dusk is the ideal time to be out exploring by kayak. We will time it perfect to take advantage of the golden hour, and creep back in as dark takes over. Stay tuned for new dates and times coming!
Covid-19 Notes for this outing
Our standard 2 hour river trip does not require an shuttle
Masks are required to be worn inside all buildings, and during the launching of kayaks when our staff must often be in closer proximity to participants.
All equipment is rotated out and disinfected between uses
Payment is not currently excepted on-site