Explore the Lowcountry with These 5 Scenic Hikes

There is no shortage of beauty in the landscape of the Lowcountry. The majestic live oaks, the peacefulness of the marshlands,  and the views from the banks of the waterways beckon us to get outside and explore, and there is no better time to do so than Spring. So lace up your hiking boots or sneakers, grab your friends, your camera, and some bug spray, and check out the picturesque scenery on these five hiking trails:

1. New River Linear Trail

Following along a former railway line, this trail is great for running, hiking and biking. Along the way you will see beautiful wetlands, rice paddies from long ago, and maybe even an alligator or two. The parking lot is located on May River Road near the New Riverside subdivision in Bluffton, S.C.

Photo credit: Donna Brooks

Photo credit: Donna Brooks

2. Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve

Go into the wild at this 977-acre preserve. The four-mile trail will lead you through a lush forest full of pines, palmettos, and live oak trees. It’s a great spot for birdwatching. Access the park at Sawmill Creek Road in Bluffton, S.C., just off SC 278. Note: The park is closed to hikers from October-December during hunting season.

3. Hunting Island State Park

There is nothing like this picturesque island near Beaufort, S.C. You can wander through the forest or alongside a lagoon on its eight miles of hiking trails. And if that doesn’t make you tired, you can climb up the 167 steps to see the view from the top of the only lighthouse open to the public in South Carolina. You can also spend time in the sun at the beach or visit the nature center.

4. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

This island, nestled between Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, S.C., is brimming with wildlife, as its name suggests. It’s a literal paradise for bird watchers and photographers. With over 250 species of birds, you will find large populations of herons, white ibises, and egrets. White-tailed deer and alligators are also common on the island. There are 14 miles of trails, so you may want to bring a bike if you wish to see most of the island.

5. Sea Pines Forest Preserve

At this preserve in Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C., you’ll catch views from  boardwalks meandering through forests and an old rice fields. You also don’t want to miss seeing a 4,000-year-old shell ring built by native Americans and a wildflower field (make sure you see it in Spring!).

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