Explore two Historic Lighthouses Accessible Only By Boat
Four times each year, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge offers a tour to Lighthouse Island where you can view two historic lights. The event begins with a slide presentation on the history of the two lighthouses at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center.
Following the presentation, participants will drive to the McClellanville boat landing and board the Coastal Expeditions Caretta Ferry to travel to the Island. Winding though the estuary to Lighthouse Island, 6 miles offshore, is part of the adventure, and skilled naturalists will provide interpretation of the flora and fauna that surrounds the boat en route to the destination.
Built in 1827, the conical lighthouse stands at 65 feet. Its light, powered by a whale oil wick lamp, was visible from a distance of 14 miles under the most favorable circumstances. In 1857, a 150-foot octagonal lighthouse was built. Installed on the 150-foot tower was a prismatic lens that was visible for approximately 19 miles and dramatically reduced the number of shipwrecks off the Cape. The 1857 light was taken out of service in 1947 when coastal navigation techniques made it obsolete.
The lights are a significant maritime landmark and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1827 lighthouse is the oldest of its kind still standing in the United States.
This is an incredible outdoor adventure that combines a fun-filled boat eco-tour with exploration of the lighthouses, perfect for all ages!
Book your ticket today and embark on this seldom-offered expedition!
IMPORTANT: In order to gain access to Lighthouse Island, participants depart the boat via a ramp and wade though a section of marsh before it becomes solid ground. Please dress appropriately for this part of the expedition. If you have questions or concerns about this, please call and we will provide more information.
Activity Level:Participants will depart directly from the boat onto Lighthouse Island on a ramp; Once on the island, participants will walk to the lighthouses and be able to enter one of the structures.
Participants will have to walk through a section of marsh to get to solid ground. If you have limited mobility or do not want to walk through the marsh, you may stay on the boat.
Note: Lighthouse Island is located in a National Wilderness Area. Therefore, there are no facilities or dock on the island; participants will wade ashore and walk a dirt path to the lighthouses. Wear appropriate footwear (shoes that will stay on your feet, like boots) for water and pluff mud! Bring insect repellent, water and snacks and dress for the weather.