Marsh at Middleton Kayak Tour

Kayak Tours on the Ashley
“Beautiful morning on the Ashley River!”

We could not have asked for a better experience kayaking on the Ashley river in the vicinity of Middleton Place than the one offered by Charleston Kayak Co. First off, the Middleton Inn is a quiet, natural and architecturally unique destination within walking access to the river and “boat launch”. Our guide was easy to contact and communicate with, making the set-up process a snap. Solid paddling skills introduction and quality equipment, including dry bags, were provided. The guide offered exceptional insight on the local flora/fauna and the history of the area while proceeding at a leisurely paddling pace.

Visited June 2016
Mitchell D

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 today much like it did hundreds of years ago. Our guided kayak tours depart from the banks of the Upper Ashley River at Middleton Place. This 2 hour tour offers views of the Middleton Place Grounds as we paddle past abandoned rice fields 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 river.

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, Mantee, or American Alligators.(Note: Alligators are not a specific safety concern, and we do not have any problems with alligators. They are not found all the time in the areas we kayak, but is certainly not out of the question. We would not be paddling these areas if they were a safety issue!).  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 very stable single or double kayaks are provided. If you have are an experienced kayaker, and would like to have a bit more of a challenge, let us know and we can try to arrange a guided tour more tailored to your skill level.

Schedule:  Available Year Rounddaily by reservation.
  • Times may vary based on tide and seasonal weather conditions.
  • Check online calendar or call for specifics.
  • Summer Months of June-August, our regularly scheduled trips take place in the morning to get out and beat the afternoon heat.
  • Afternoon trips can be arranged at no additional cost, but due to seasonal weather patterns morning is strongly recommended.
  • If you don’t see a time/date that your looking for, don’t hesitate to ask, we can usually accommodate any departure time with advance reservation.
Cost: $49 per person 
  • Children $34  *12 and under when riding in a double kayak with an adult 
  • Family tours are typically arranged independent of groups without kids to ensure the best experience for everyone. However during peak seasons this may be unavoidable. Prior notice will be given when possible.
  • Includes guide, gear, and tax.
  • Optional gratuity may be added at the conclusion of your trip if you feel your guide provided exceptional service.
  • No additional entrance fees or parking are required. *Access to the historic gardens does require additional fees if you want to visit that portion of the property
How Long: 2 hour event
  • All activities include basic safety briefing and paddle instruction
  • Can be tailored to suite the skill level of the group
  • Suitable for both beginners or seasoned paddlers.
  • 3 hour trips are generally available by request at an additional cost of $15 per person for those who just want a bit more on water time.
  • Begins at Lodge building at the Inn at Middleton Place.
  • Gated Parking, restrooms, storage locker and food and beverage service available
  • There are 2 entrances to Middleton Place, if coming from Charleston be sure to take the first entrance, labeled The Inn at Middleton Place, not the entrance for the plantation and gardens
Group Size: To maintain the quality of this tour and its intimate feel, we try and keep the tours to a range of 4-8 participants. There may be occasional exceptions during peak seasons.
  • Larger groups will be scheduled as a private tour
  • Small groups may request private trip, but additional cost may be associated.

Tides: 4 to 7ft changes from high to low tide.

The tidal current usually runs fairly mild, and is typically very manageable regardless of tide. Low-tide typically provides more wildlife viewing opportunities, while high tide offers more options for exploring smaller tidal creeks. Both have there advantages, and the estuary has a very different look and feel on the different tidal conditions. Full moons sometimes require additional considerations, but we try and plan for that, so you don’t have to.

Reservations: Reservations are required for all of our programs.

  • We advise making reservations as far in advance as possible to ensure availability for the activity and time/date your interested in.
  • We do our best to accommodate last minute reservations but can not guarantee availability without a reservation.
  • You can book some programs on our online calendar, or give us a call or email.

*all images on this site are taken on location during actual outings in the areas we explore, and are the property of Charleston Kayak Company and its agents.