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Connect with History - Travel the Underground Railroad

This week I want to let you know about a special trip coming up later this year. One of the companies I work with has put together this very special journey through history. This Savannah-to-Charleston active adventure will take place in October.

Backroads is known for its group trips around the globe that get travelers moving – walking in Vietnam, biking in Slovenia and Croatia, and hiking in Patagonia, to name a few. The tour operator is sticking close to home with its latest offering: a biking, hiking, and kayaking adventure that immerses travelers in the Black history and culture of the Southeast U.S. Outdoor Afro, a Black-founded, conservation- and diversity-focused nonprofit, partnered with Backroads on the six-day, Savannah-to-Charleston itinerary.

Outdoor Afro seeks to connect people to the outdoors and to conserve and protect nature through local meetups, hiking trips, and other group activities. Founder and CEO Rue Mapp connected with Backroads after taking a similar trip in the Southeast U.S. with the outfitter – she was pleased with how the region’s Black history was “presented in triumph and joy as opposed to through the lens of pain and suffering.” Regional leaders from Outdoor Afro worked with the team at Backroads to curate the cultural experiences and active pursuits featured in this new Underground Railroad itinerary. The result is an adventure that aims to help foster more diversity and inclusion in the outdoor space, while focusing on authentic exploration of the area’s history and culture.

The tour kicks off in Savannah, where travelers bike along the May River and meet with a local historian to learn about the city’s former enslaved people before spending the night at the nearby Montage Palmetto Bluff. From there, South Carolina stops include the Penn Center on Saint Helena Island (which celebrates the legacy of the area’s Gullah community), the town of Beaufort for a Low Country boil, and the Caw Caw Interpretive Center, a wildlife reserve where formerly enslaved Africans established rice plantations in cypress swamps. Another highlight: A kayaking excursion in the Ace Basin – a 1.6-million-acre watershed along the Atlantic Coast, home to white ibis and blue heron, and an opportunity to learn about Harriet Tubman’s nearby Underground Railroad missions.

The trip ends in Charleston with city tours, bike rides across Mount Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island, a plantation visit, and a farewell dinner. Adventures range from casual walking tours to low-impact, three-mile hikes to slightly more intense 29-mile bike rides. Each day, travelers choose the level of activity they prefer.

Backroads’ Underground Railroad tour departs from Savannah on October 3, 2021; a portion of proceeds from every trip sold will go to organizations in Georgia and South Carolina that are working to help Black youth access the outdoors.

The highlights:

  • Follow the footsteps of Harriet Tubman as we discover areas once crossed by Underground Railroad routes, led by historians and local guides

  • Immerse yourself in the historic ambience of old-town Savannah and Charleston with guided walks focused on the history of enslaved people

  • Indulge in the rich heritage of the region at a Low Country boil, and learn about the Gullah culture through storytelling and songs

  • Enjoy a unique blend of edification and adventure as we bike, hike and kayak our way through the landscapes of American history

Who do you know that would throughly enjoy this experience? There is history, adventure, activity, and all at the best time of the year for enjoying the southeastern U.S. Feel free to connect with me to discuss the details. An email link is below.

'til next week.


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.

I create indulgent, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you don't have the time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are simply longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.

Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder

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