Field Trips

Environmental Science Programs

General Information

Help your students discover their place in nature and nature’s place within themselves. At Saluda Shoals Park, our Rangers are enthusiastic teachers guiding young learners as they discover the beauty, wonder, and intricacies of the natural world. So, whether you’re looking for a lesson on life science, physical science or earth science, our 400-acre classroom and qualified staff can spark the spirit of discovery in students and teachers alike. Come experience the wonder of nature! Where we put science in the hands of students.

Our Basic and Advance programs are inquiry-based and developed to address and meet the South Carolina and National Science Standards. All include the following four components:

  • a classroom lesson to establish the principle;
  • an interactive component including a visit to the Exhibit Hall;
  • an “immersion learning” nature walk; and
  • pre-visit and post-visit activity sheets.

Each classrooms can hold up to 25 children. Teachers must be with the class. Additional chaperones are welcome. Arrangements can be made for schools bringing more than fifty students.


All programs must be reserved in advance and reservations are accepted in the order calls are received. Please note – April and May are peak months so call early! 

Basic Program - $4 per student

Advanced Program - $6 per student

Interpretive Saluda River Trip - $10 per student

Conservation Teambuilding - $4/$6 per student

To reserve your date, call Zach Pensa 803-213-2057 between 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.


Basic Science Program

Click HERE for programs for each grade!

Advanced Science Program

Click HERE for programs for each grade!

Students participating in the Park’s Advanced Environmental Science programs will have the opportunity to explore six different habitats found in Saluda Shoals Park including: cold and warm water rivers, wetlands, uplands, flood plains, and meadows. These habitats are home to hundreds of fauna and flora species. Using both outdoor and indoor labs, park staff will facilitate field studies utilizing the scientific method. Specific questions will be presented for each program allowing students to test hypothesis, conduct experiments, measure air and water temperature and take pH readings. Students will also construct and extrapolate graphic information, present mathematical models that support their hypotheses, reach conclusions and report their solutions.

Program Fees and Information

Advanced education programs are $6.00 per student (there is a minimum charge of $60.00 per group).  This program is a year commitment to accomplish the 4 program curriculum. Chaperones are free of charge. Programs are 1 ½ hours in length. Each classroom /lab holds 25 children and teachers must be with their class.Programs can accommodate approximately 100 students. Teachers must accompany their groups.

Interpretive River Canoe Trip

Guided by a Park Ranger, paddle a water trail on the Saluda River to the confluence of Rawl's Creek and discover the effects of cold water meeting warm water.Explore the shoals and understand the unique habitat they form. Do all this and learn the basics of canoeing and river navigation.

Fee: $10 per student (max of 20 students)

Required student/chaperone ratio

Grades 6-8: 1 chaperone per boat with 2 students

Grades 9-12: 1 chaperone to 5 students 

*additional chaperones are $10 each

Conservation Teambuilding

In this highly interactive program for 6th-12th grades, students will learn problem solving and environmental science concepts on our Real Team Challenge Course.  All challenges are led by rained, professional staff. Fee: $4 per student when booked with another education program; $6 per student as a stand alone program