Beaufort County, SC
Parks and recreation areas
- Arthur Horne Nature Park
This wetland area has been preserved as a public park for many years. A short walking path here takes you from the parking lot to a picnic area. This little jewel is located in a residential area on the south end or Beaufort, almost into Port Royal. It's not a place to go for a long hike, but you can see a huge variety of plant and animal life here.
- Audubon Newhall Preserve
This interesting and unusual inland park on Hilton Head Island has a number of nice hiking trails winding their way through the woods, with benches along the way. Near the center you will find a scenic pond and a wetland with a boardwalk.
- Coligny Beach Park
In the heart of downtown Hilton Head, Coligny Beach Park provides public beach access in the midst of a major shopping area. Conveniences such as restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and vending machines will be found here. Beach equipment may be rented here during the tourist season.
- Driessen Beach Park
This wooded location provides parking and beach access. Showers and restrooms are available here. The forested land around it provides a nice break from the heavily-developed portions of Hilton Head. This is also a nice picnic place, with picnic tables, shelters, and grills.
- Edgar Glenn Boat Landing
Located in the Bellinger neck, this boat landing offers some nice views of the Chechessee River.
- Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park
South Carolina's second-oldest city has a wonderful historic downtown district, anchored by the Chambers Waterfront Park. From here, you can get a great view of the river as you stroll along or enjoy the swings.
- Hunting Island State Park
This popular park is a large barrier island with a historic 1859 lighthouse as its centerpiece and a semi-tropical abundance of plants and wildlife. Plenty of beaches and hiking trails will keep you occupied during your visit.
- New River Linear Trail
This little-known piece of the East Coast Greenway passes through some wonderful scenic and historic areas near Bluffton, SC. The south end of this unpaved rail-trail terminates at the New River. Signs and markers along the main trail describe some features of the area's history. You can hike the trail or use an off-road bicycle.
- Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Way out in rural Beaufort County between Beaufort and Yemassee you will find the remains of this old church building, which was formerly known as Prince William Parish Church. Its rich history goes back to the first worship service in 1757. Since then it has burned down, been rebuilt, and burned again. Many graves still surround the remaining walls. Large oak trees and flowering plants add to the site's beauty as well. Several picnic tables are provided for visitors. There is a water pump here, but it was not working when I visited. Click here for more information and more pictures.
- Pigeon Point Park
This is a great park in an older neighborhood of Beaufort. Spanish Moss is abundant here, hanging from the big old trees which dot the park. Several walkways wander around it with numerous swing benches along the way. There is a wonderful playground here as well. In the springtime, this park comes alive when the flowers burst out.
- Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
Thousands of people zoom across this little island every day on their way to Hilton Head, but only a few of them stop to visit. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge offers plenty of gravel roads and grassy dikes for walking, bicycling, and nature observation. Miles and miles of hiking trails offer opportunity for wildlife observation. The south side of the island features the C. C. Haigh, Jr. Boat Landing, with a picnic area and a popular fishing pier. Several smaller islands are included in this wildlife refuge, but they are not open to public use.
- Sands Beach
Way down on the southern tip of the town of Port Royal, you will find this wonderful area where Battery Creek flows into the Beaufort River. From the sandy beaches you can get some great views of the river and of the estuaries. A ramp here lets you launch boats onto the rivers. A long boardwalk runs along Battery Creek, and is a popular place for strolling and for fishing. Near the end of the boardwalk is a large observation tower. You can see for miles around from the upper levels of the tower,
- Spanish Moss Trail
This rail-trail in beaufort is only one mile long, but it has some really nice scenery along the way. Several historic buildings, including an old depot, will be found. The trail, paved with concrete, also goes past a marsh, a technical college, and several upscale neighborhoods. It is a popular place for walking, running, and bicycling.
- Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve
Located only minutes from Hilton Head Island, the Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve in Beaufort County provides a great place to escape from the crowds and enjoy nature. Fire beaks serve as hiking trails through the pine-saw palmetto flatwoods community.
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For more information about Beaufort County, see https://www.sciway.net/cnty/beaufort.html.