School and Group Field trips

Rachel Carson Reserve Field Trips

The Reserve's Education Coordinator leads two different types of field trips on the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort. We offer a 2-hour, guided nature hike across the western end of the island and a 2-hour boat ride with a short visit to our boardwalk at the east end of the island. Both trips require reservations at least two weeks in advance. Information about the different field trips is given below.

To schedule a guided field trip please contact Education Coordinator, Lori Davis, at 252-838-0883.

Guided Nature Hikes

Scheduling

Guided walking field trips by Reserve educators are subject to staff availability and low tides. Education staff will provide you with several suitable dates when you call or email to ensure availability and proper tides. Notify the staff of your instructional objectives as some activities require greater teacher preparation.

Student walking field trips are scheduled Monday through Friday from April 1 - October 31 on a first come, first served basis. The maximum number of individuals (including teachers and chaperones) that we can accommodate on the Reserve at any one time is limited to 45. Transportation to the island can be done by our boat (free of charge) with our U.S. Coast Guard Certified boat captain or by one of the ferry services on Front Street in Beaufort.

Required Attire

Closed-toe shoes are required for all participants. All participants (students, teachers and chaperones) must wear a life jacket (provided) while on the boat. Wear old clothes suitable for getting wet and muddy. Dress appropriately for the weather. Sunscreen, hats and bottled water are highly recommended. Windbreakers may be necessary during the spring and fall as the site can be considerably windy.

What You Can Expect

Please review the What to Expect: Guided Nature Hike document for more information. 

Boat Ride/Boardwalk Field Trips

Scheduling

Guided boat/boardwalk field trips by Reserve educators are subject to staff availability and low tides. Education staff will provide you with several suitable dates when you call or email to ensure availability and proper tides. Notify the staff of your instructional objectives as some activities require greater teacher preparation. Field trips are scheduled Tuesday through Friday from April 1 - October 31. Boating field trips are limited to 15 people total including teachers/chaperones.

Required Attire

Closed-toe shoes are required for all participants. All participants (students, teachers and chaperones) must wear a life jacket (provided) while on the boat. Wear old clothes suitable for getting wet and muddy. Dress appropriately for the weather. Sunscreen, hats and bottled water are highly recommended. Windbreakers may be necessary during the spring and fall as the site can be considerably windy.

What You Can Expect

Please review the What to Expect: Boat Ride/Boardwalk document for more information. 

Island Explorers Program at the Masonboro Island Reserve

The Masonboro Island Reserve is involved in a pilot program called Masonboro Island Explorers for fifth-grade students in New Hanover County. The program is a partnership between the Reserve and Masonboro.org, a non-profit promoting responsible use of Masonboro Island, and is based on a field trip Masonboro.org led for Wrightsville Beach Elementary fifth graders in Fall 2013. The Island Explorers program also incorporates many of the curriculum elements found in the Beaufort-based field trips to the Rachel Carson Reserve, and Reserve educators will develop pre-and post-trip activities and teacher training as the program develops. Masonboro.org has kindly organized many of the trip logistics and will provide boat transportation for the students to reach Masonboro Island for the field trip. For many, the boat ride and field trip will be their first experience exploring estuarine and barrier island habitats, and both partners hope to inspire students to continue learning about the natural world in Wilmington and beyond!

photo album from the Masonboro Island Explorer's program can be found on the Masonboro Island Reserve's Facebook page.