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843-795-0330

1871 Bowens Island Rd. Charleston, SC 29412

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Guides

Take some time to read about the naturalists that will be guiding you on your next adventure.

Captain Joe Lotts

Joe has been guiding since the young age of fifteen. After discovering his love and tremendous passion for the outdoors, Joe attended and graduated from Brevard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. While living in the mountains of North Carolina, Joe sharpened his kayaking and guiding skills in whitewater rivers and steep mountainous creeks. After moving to Charleston, Joe worked outdoor nature programs mastering the skills needed to provide the best guiding service in the region. After 16 years of experience, Joe branched off to start Charleston Outdoor Adventures, LLC, the leading outfitter of Folly Beach, South Carolina.  “Here at COA we will create an outdoor experience and memories that will be cherished for life”.


 Captain Tripp Copeland III

Tripp, from Winton, N.C., discovered his love of the outdoors at an early age. Spending his summers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, he grew an appreciation of the East Coast and its waters especially. Tripp followed his passion to Brevard College, where he graduated with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. He started guiding naturalist kayak tours in 2003 in Beaufort, N.C. From there, he moved to Charleston, S.C., where he has been guiding ever since. Living in Charleston, he has developed a great enthusiasm for the Lowcountry and a wide knowledge of its estuaries and wildlife. Now working for Charleston Outdoor Adventures, Tripp is excited to be working with a company that shares his views on the importance of promoting awareness about local environments and ecosystems.

 Captain Luke Levanchy

Luke joined Charleston Outdoor Adventures in the spring of 2014. Prior to his commitment here at COA, he was running a logistics insurance agency in downtown Charleston. Ending his days unfulfilled, he left the insurance industry in hopes to find something more rooted to his primary passion: the ocean. Luke has described his  change as one that captivates what life should be about, being inspired to come to work rather than dreading it. Outside of COA you can find Luke volunteering for Charleston Water Keeper, a group focused on our city’s water qualities, surfing or fishing. He is simply a person that excels on the water and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.

   Chris Ellis

Chris was born in Hawaii, and grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. After high school Chris decided to join the Army as a Cavalry Scout, serving for 4 years and went to Iraq in 2008, he got out as a Specialist (E-4). After the military he attended Brevard College studying Wilderness Leadership Experiential Education and graduated in 2015. Chris was most recently a Rock climbing guide in Brevard, North Carolina at Pura Vida Adventures but he has held various jobs throughout the mountains. Chris’ interests include rock climbing, mountain biking, and surfing. He is very passionate about the environment, and enjoys traveling the world in the off season. Chris has been working for Charleston Outdoor Adventures since 2013 and is currently the Landing Manager and Eco-Tour guide.

Lucy Hawk

Lucy was born and raised on the creeks and salt marshes of Charleston, South Carolina which is where she found her love for the outdoors. In 2008 she left the Charleston area in order to attend James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Lucy realized while guiding during her summer breaks that outdoor education was more than just a hobby but rather a passion. After a few years of gallivanting around the world, Lucy moved back to the Charleston area to pursue her dream job: working as an outdoor guide on the water where she grew up! When she is not guiding, Lucy travels as much as she can with the goal of seeing everywhere in the world. She is an eco-tour guide for COA, the official sign painter, and she works in the office.

Kelly Klasnick

Kelly brings over 20 years of kayaking experience to COA as an eco-tour guide along with a true passion for the natural world. The opportunity to help individuals increase their appreciation of and comfort in the outdoors is one that Kelly finds particularly rewarding. A native of Pennsylvania, Kelly spent 15 years in the financial services industry before deciding to pursue a career change to align his professional experiences with his personal appreciation for the environment. Kelly obtained his master’s degree in resource management and then spent 8 years working for the Pennsylvania park system as an environmental educator and interpreter, park manager and operations section chief. Kelly obtained the certified interpretive guide designation through the National Association of Interpretation and applies those skills and experiences during his tours. When not on the water, Kelly enjoys hiking, bird-watching, mountain biking, music and traveling.

Ford Prioleau Menefee: Pri is a 12th generation Charlestonian and brings Southern Hospitality to a new level on Bowens Island. He currently attends Porter-Gaud, and plans to attend MUSC after graduation. Known by many names here on campus, Junior is an excellent kayak and paddle board instructor. You’ll find him on a paddle board at any point during the day clad in his favorite pink COA shirt and straw hat.

1871 Bowens Island Rd. Charleston, SC 29412
843-795-0330