Finding Fall in Charleston: 4 Autumn Adventures in the Lowcountry

Fall in Charleston is a just reward for sticking out the summer.
Fall in Charleston is a just reward for sticking out the summer. Logan Waddell
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Searching for signs of autumn in the Lowcountry is like finding a needle in a haystack. Simply put, there isn't much seasonality here, and summer turns to winter in the blink of an eye.

That being said, if you’re in the right place at the right time, you can catch a glimpse of Charleston's fleeting fall glory. Mid-October through the end of November is your best chance at an incredible fall day or weekend trip. The weather is extremely mild, the humidity is down, and the mosquitos are not nearly as blood thirsty.

Below are a few RootsRated destinations that make perfect getaways for the fall season.

John’s Island Farm Tour

Fall radishes from Lowland Farms
Fall radishes from Lowland Farms Jay Bush

Fall means pumpkins, carrots, and all kinds of fresh veggies. There is a bounty of fresh produce growing on every farm on John’s Island around this time of the year, and touring a local farm is an awesome way to spend a deliciously relaxing day. Bring a crew or your significant other to walk along the rows of crops and maybe do some harvesting of your own. If you go visit our buddies at Lowland Farms , you may even find yourself in the middle of a pot luck lunch, or just kicking back with Jay and Skinny over an ice cold beer—not a bad way to spend a fall day.

Palmetto Trail

Palmetto Trail is an autumnal oasis.
Palmetto Trail is an autumnal oasis. Brenda Wiley

The Palmetto Trail is home to a variety of flora. The further north you hike on the trail starting from the coast, the more hardwoods and leaf coloration you're going to see. Fall is easily the best time of year to hit the PT for one reason alone: it is one of two times a year (winter being the other) when you can enjoy the trail without being full on attacked by gnats and mosquitos. That fact combined with the changing colors, falling leaves and beautiful scenery sets you up for a killer time on trail and a quintessential fall in Charleston experience. 

Caper's Island

Low tide on Caper's Island
Low tide on Caper's Island scpetrel

Picture this: waking up to the sound of crashing waves on a crisp autumn morning, just in time to catch the sunrise. You climb out of your tent, start a pot of coffee, and walk down a desolate beach with a steady sea breeze at your back. That sounds amazing, right?
Well, if you’re in Charleston for a weekend this fall, you can experience this on Caper’s Island . It's the only barrier island along the South Carolina coast with campsites, and if you can make it out there, you have access to one of the wildest, most beautiful islands in the Palmetto State.
Head over to Half Moon Outfitters and ask to demo one of their Hobie Pro Anglers to get you to the island. You’re going to need either a kayak of that magnitude, or a johnboat to get out to Caper’s.
Before you go, make sure you have absolutely everything you need in case of an emergency. This means extra food, water, a water pump, a cell phone that you know will have service or a satellite phone, and a PFD for everyone on board. Do your research, keep an eye on the weather (hurricane season lasts until November 30th) and don’t underestimate the trip out to the island. You need to be well prepared and properly equipped for a sea kayaking and camping adventure.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center

The trails at Caw Caw Interpretive Center are a fun place to catch a glimpse of fall.
The trails at Caw Caw Interpretive Center are a fun place to catch a glimpse of fall. Logan Waddell

If you’re into the idea of an easy trail run/brisk walk along some of the most scenic singletrack trails in the area, the Caw Caw Interpretive Center is your destination. This place is known for its pristine, well-manicured trails, and awesome views of Lowcountry forest and marsh. It is also a great place to learn about local ecosystems, and check out the wildlife common to the Lowcountry. 

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