Explore the wildlife in the great outdoors this season.
Enjoy exceptional hiking and biking opportunities at any or all of these area nature preserves, state parks and greenways.
Buckwalter Place Greenway Trail:
This 1.35-mile scenic trail attracts residents and visitors alike to explore. Enjoy the opportunity to explore nature at your own pace. A free interpretive walking guide is available for download by scanning a QR code conveniently located on nature trail signs located on-site. buckwaltersc.com/recreation.html.
New River Trail:
A linear recreational pathway hugging both sides of May River Road, the New River Trail is ideal for walking, running or biking. Part of the East Coast Greenway, this 5.2-mile pathway runs along a former railroad bed that once supported the Seaboard Air Railway. Wind through hardwood forests, former rice fields and grassy paths while keeping an eye out for wildlife. townofbluffton.sc.gov/engineering-department/public-works/parks.
Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge:
This National Wildlife Refuge once served as the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a prominent lawyer active in South Carolina politics from 1801 to 1815. Today, this 4,053-acre refuge offers a wide range of ecosystems—including tidal salt marshes, forests, fields and freshwater ponds which support bird and plant life and is ideal for hiking. Home to bobcats, alligators, white-tailed deer, raptors, ibis, herons and egrets, Pinckney Island offers scenic beauty and tranquility. Naturalists are available to guide tour groups through interpretive programs and exhibits. fws.gov/refuge/Pinckney_Island/about.html.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND
Audubon Newhall Preserve:
Owned and operated by the Hilton Head Audubon Society, this natural treasure is located off Palmetto Bay Road. It includes 50 acres with trails meandering through several distinct coastal ecosystems. The preserve, which is part of the Hilton Head Island Birding Trail, is a favorite for local birders as well as outdoor enthusiasts. hiltonheadaudubon.org.
Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn:
Explore this 68-acre property, which is owned by the Town of Hilton Head Island and is one of the few remaining open spaces on the Island. Highlights include the Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Enclosure, the Heritage Crops Garden, the Mary Ann Peeples Pavilion, The Tom Peeples Discovery Lab and a Camellia Garden featuring more than 130 varieties of this stunning winter-blooming flower. coastaldiscovery.org.
Sea Pines Forest Preserve:
Measuring more than 600 acres, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve is the largest tract of undeveloped land on the Island. Hike. Bike or ride horseback through lush maritime forests, beneath a thick emerald tree canopy. Explore the Wildflower Field and Butterfly Garden or the ancient Native American Shell Ring. Trail maps are available at the Greenwood Drive entrance. seapinesliving.com.