Explore the Otherworldly Landscape of Bulls Island

By Kailash Maharaj
January 5, 2016

Exploring The Boneyard (Boneyard Beach) at Bull Island with Coastal Expeditions

Exploring The Boneyard (Boneyard Beach) at Bull Island with Coastal Expeditions. /K&S Media


A naturalists delight, this uninhabited island boasts trails, wildlife and a distinctive beach.

We wait at the pier of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (a short drive from downtown Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) for our ferry ride to Bull Island aboard Coastal Expeditions ferry. Captain Wil Christenson and first mate Nick Johnson explain that the 66,287-acre uninhabited island from which they’ve just returned for a wedding is a naturalists dream.

With many bird species in the area permanently and several others migrating, there’s lots to see on the short ride. As a barrier island, the landscape on Bull Island is remarkable with shoreline, salt marsh, and forest. There are also picnic tables, a cabin (which can be rented for overnight stays) and lighthouse on the island.  “Street” signs at various points help keep visitors from getting lost on the many trails.

One of the most interesting inhabitants is the red fox, an animal whose exploits include swimming the tidal channel. The varying topography (marshland, forest and estuary) makes for interesting exploration especially at Boneyard beach. Over time, the sea has encroached on the forest leaving this otherworldly landscape. We spotted horseshoe crab shells, sand dollars and turtle eggs on the beach.

This piece is based on an original article that initially appeared in the Winter 2015/16 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.  Looking for 8 Great Eats in Myrtle Beach?