Historical Southport Bicycle Tour
March 30 • 2:00 p.m.
807-A Howe Street • (910) 454-0607
We did it! Finally, there is no more suffering due to the slightly cold winter weather. It’s time to get outside again (despite the pollen) and enjoy what we’ve so humbly been given. The Adventure Kayak Company welcomes us to get our bike on. Yet, it’s more than a lollygag stroll … err … roll. They provide the great outdoors with a heaping of history to back it.
The Historical Southport Bicycle Tour, paired with the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, is offering tours for those want to not only feel their thighs a burnin’ but learn about the past and present of the sleepy coastal town. Geared toward the rider’s interests, the tour ensures each trip remains different. They will host discussions from the 1700s onward about pirates, pilots and the Civil War. All things that have affected Southport will be brought to life, including Fort Johnston, the longest operating facility in the U.S. Yet, Adventure Kayak also will appeal to those fascinated by pop culture, especially Southport’s filming industry. They’ll ride around to spot locations from the most recent movie filmed there, “Safe Haven.”
They also cater to tourist’s needs, should the call arise. North Carolina Maritime Museum Educator Lori Duppstadt tells, “The tour is weather-dependent; if it’s horribly hot, we can make it shorter. It’s at a leisurely pace where we stop and talk, so we aren’t constantly pedaling.”
The tour itself covers a 3- to 5-mile loop of the historical district of Southport. Folks will get to pass the old Southport Jail, the Smithville Burying ground, the Brunswick Inn and the Cape Fear River and Southport waterfront, the Southern gothic “Crimes of the Heart” house and more. “Southport is rich in history and has so many historical buildings, landmarks and events that make this tour very interesting for new comers, vacationers and locals,” Emma Thomas, owner and founder of The Adventure Kayak Company, says.
A topic many enjoy is the architectural history of Southport. With a number of structures having been built in the 1700s (like Fort Johnston), bikers will see how time has affected the town and landscape. Colonial America has made its mark on our region, apparent throughout many of the tours.
The Adventure Kayak Company has been hosting the tours for the last 12 years and has never lacked a place to journey and discuss. Duppstadt, who also acts as a trusty tour guide, reminds, “People have been coming here for over 200 years. It’s so full of history and such a beautiful town, anyone interested in history would enjoy the tour.”
Sponsored in conjunction with the NC Maritime Museum at Southport, the museum provides the tour guides and in return a portion of the participant fee is donated back. Tours depart once a month starting on March 30th and last through November 9th, and open to ages 13 or older. Each tour is given on Saturdays; however, requests are accepted for those wanting private tours on Sundays or Mondays. There is a minimum requirement of four people and a maximum of 12 per tour.
Tickets for those who bring their own bike and helmet will cost $15. If attendees need equipment, for $20 they will be provided with a single-speed beach-cruiser and helmet. The tour starts and ends at The Adventure Kayak Company, Inc. (807 N. Howe Street, Southport).
Participants must pre-register and prepay by calling The Adventure Kayak Company at (910) 454-0607. The Adventure Kayak Company also offers a wide range of kayak tours on local salt marsh creeks, black water rivers and out to local barrier islands. Along with kayak lessons, rentals, guided fishing tours and a retail shop, it’s all available for those looking to get a little fresh air. For more information visit: www.theadventurecompany.net.