Wildlife Enthusiasts Take Note!
Just a couple hundred yards from the sheltered bend in Broad Creek lies Kayak Hilton Head. It’s paddlers glide quietly through the saltwater estuary that runs through the center of the Island. Away from the open ocean, rough water and strong tides, this is where dolphins feast on fish and shrimp and then celebrate by playing! The kayakers drift slowly as their guide points out “Nick,” “Blackbeard,” “Big Bob,” “Ziggy” and “Stripes.” These local stars swim by unbothered by their audience. Says founder and tour operator Dave Kerns, “We get some really cool experiences out there paddling with the dolphins. We also still see an occasional manatee into the fall months, a random otter as the weather cools and lots of great birdlife: pink Spoonbills, wood storks, egrets, herons, a few bald eagles and many, many more!”
Indeed, Hilton Head is teeming with wonderful wildlife. Kayakers learn about the Island’s intracoastal waterways and ecosystems, secrets of the salt marsh, local history and legend. Kayak Hilton Head even offers insider tips on where to get the best seafood! “Our ultimate goal,” says Kerns, “is to give our kayakers a leisurely, fun and educational experience.” With a TripAdvisor “Certificate of Excellence” for each of the last 7 years, it seems they are doing just that. Tour-goers from beginner to expert report safe, comfortable, and easy-to-paddle kayaks, knowledgeable and professional guides and a desire to repeat the experience! Kerns credits his “very solid” management team, which oversees its top-notch personnel and well-maintained equipment. But his favorite part about it? “Definitely trading in the suit, tie and cubicle for life and work in the outdoors.”
Kerns calls fall “the best time to be in Hilton Head.”
Kayak tours depart around 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and last about two hours. Both single and double kayaks are available and visitors can choose between recreational family kayaking and nature dolphin tours. Kayak Hilton Head also runs multiple boats — both shared and private — all day everyday, plus sunset, beachcombing and fishing tours, in partnership with Guaranteed Dolphin Boat Tours. Also, don’t be surprised if Kerns’ Goldendoodle, Mango, makes an appearance on a tour!
Though kayaking is naturally socially distanced, Kayak Hilton Head has implemented a number of measures to keep employees and visitors safe. Employees wear masks off the water, equipment is disinfected after each use and check-in is entirely outside. All tours and rentals require reservations, so call us today to book your spot. Hilton Head’s lush waterways await!
By Dani Ray
Kayak Hilton Head
18 Simmons Road, Hilton Head