Nature Activities

Learn about Loggerhead Turtles

Turtle nesting runs from mid May until mid August. The hatching runs from mid July until the end of October. The Kiawah Turtle Patrol (an all-volunteer group operating under a permit from the state) locate and mark the turtle nests on the beach. Learn More

baby loggerhead turtle
Visit the Nature Center

Open daily, the Heron Park Nature Center is located in Night Heron Park. The Nature Center is the heart of the Resort’s Nature Program and is a great first stop to get information about the various activities, or to make reservations for nature tours and programs. Inside the Heron Park Nature Center, you will find exhibits of the local wildlife, interactive displays and information about the ecosystems that comprise Kiawah Island. Resort naturalists and staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have and help direct you to Kiawah’s nature hot spots.

Towers

Check Out Some Terrific Views of the Island from the two towers that overlook the marsh. Marsh View Tower is located at the end of Marsh Hawk Lane. It overlooks the Cougar Point golf course and the marsh. If you look off into the distance, you can see the Kiawah Island bridge, the only car access to the island.

The second tower, the Marsh Island Tower, is located in Vanderhorst Plantation, behind the second gate, off Governor’s Drive, just past Persimmon Court. You can access this by bike. Marsh Island is actually a little nature park. It has a nice boardwalk over the marsh that takes you to the island and the tower. This is a great place to take a little picnic lunch or just to pause and reflect on all the beauty surrounding you.

Nature Paths

Tour the Nature Paths at the East End of the Island at Cinder Creek, by walking or with a bike.

View Vanderhorst Mansion

Located off Governor’s Drive, in Vanderhorst plantation (just past the second gate – you can bike into Vanderhorst, but you need a special pass to drive into it), this old house was originally the home of one of South Carolina’s first governors. The plantation house has since been reclaimed and is now privately owned.

Walk or bike down the Allee of the Oaks. This is the path that the Vanderhorsts used to reach the beach – it is a straight path that leads from the Vanderhorst Mansion, through the woods, to the beach – be sure to stop and read the plaque that tells you more about it.

View Egret’s Nesting Ground (Rookery)

This is a terrific place to watch the Egrets roost – there are normally several dozen of the graceful white birds perched in the trees right over the lagoon. Located at the west end of Sea Marsh Drive.

Enjoy Dinner at Mingo Point

These dinners are held at Mingo Point every week during the summer. There’s an oyster roast, BBQ and all the fixin’s for a wonderful Lowcountry cookout. Mingo Point is located between the Kiawah Island bridge and the first guard house. It is a very special place to enjoy the sunset and dance to the live music. Even the kids have a great time at Mingo Point!

Go Kayaking

A fun way to tour the island – from the water! During the summer, you can join the group and Kayak the Marsh Creek. Family kayaking is also offered.

Visit the Shoolbred Gravesites

Bike up to the Rhett’s Bluff area and while your there, be sure to look for two historic gravesites of the Shoolbred family. The area also has a wonderful boat dock off the Kiawah River and a very nice gazebo, perfect for a picnic. Also, ride down the streets and view the lovely homes.

Festivals

Enjoy one of Kiawah’s Festivals at Freshfields Village or in Night Heron Park – Featuring live entertainment, face painting, a jump castle and lots of fun food – come join the fun!