National Take A Hike Day 2020: Top Scenic Hiking Spots in the Lowcountry and Savannah Areas
Get out into the wild and get a taste of what it means to be away from it all-- November 17 is National Take A Hike Day!
Hiking is a powerful endurance workout that boasts all of the classic benefits that you get from most conventional cardio exercises. It's also a great way to reflect, recharge, and reconnect with yourself, a spiritual and rejuvenating experience that removes that barrier between humans and the natural environment. And with over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there won't be a lack of opportunity to take a hike.
So ladies and gents, lace up your hiking boots, bring a buddy, take a bucket of snacks, and pack a camera for some snaps-- check out the picturesque scenery on these ten beautiful trails you can find in the Lowcountry and Savannah areas:
If you're in search of an off-the-beaten-path treasure, then the New River Linear Trail is a perfect match! Formerly a railway line, this rail-trail is located just a short drive away from Old Town Bluffton between Okatie and Hardeeville and offers a relatively short, enjoyable hike through an adventure-filled forest and a historic marsh. Go for a run, bike, or hike on this trail, and see beautiful wetlands, rice paddies from long ago, and maybe even an alligator or two along the way!
Enjoy six miles of McQueen's Island Trail, located on a stretch of the Savannah and Atlantic Railroad line. The popular trail offers a salt-air excursion for nature lovers and history buffs alike, as cordgrass, cabbage palms, yaupon holly, and coastal cedars line the beautiful trail. Pass through interpretive signs that list the native wildlife, including the eastern box turtle, American alligator, diamondback terrapin, bobcat, osprey, red-tailed hawk, and brown pelican. Conveniently placed benches allow visitors to pause, take in the scenery, and enjoy a picnic.
Explore four miles of easy walking, crisscrossing trails, and firebreaks as you discover the botanical wonders of the 977-acre Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve! Hike through a lush forest full of pines, palmettos, and live oak trees, and take a quick break to enjoy some extensive bird watching. (Closed for hunting season, October-December)
Take a peaceful stroll off-the-beaten oath at the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal. Located just off of Highway 204 and a few miles west of 1-95, the historic canal, which was once an important route for the coastal plantations to get their crops to market, offers its visitors several tourist attractions and various hiking trails traversed by people daily.
Known to be South Carolina's single most popular state park, Hunting Island State Park is a picturesque island near Beaufort, which attracts more than a million visitors annually. Wander through its eight miles of hiking trails and discover a vast array of land and marine wildlife. The Hunting Island State Park also boasts an exclusive view of the Hunting Island Lighthouse, where guests can stand 130 feet above the ground to take in the breathtaking, panoramic view of the Atlantic Coast and surrounding maritime forest.
Skidaway Island State Park Trails offers visitors and hiking enthusiasts four famous trails that provide scenic views of salt flats, tidal creeks, and marshland inhabitants like fiddler crabs. Explore the beautiful campground nestled under live oaks and Spanish moss, where open-air picnic shelters and an enclosed group shelter are located, as well as a boardwalk and an observation tower where visitors can watch deer, raccoon, egrets, and other wildlife.
Explore and enjoy the great outdoors from sunrise to sunset every day at Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge! Nestled between Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, the island is brimming with nature and wildlife and can serve as a literal paradise for bird-watchers and photographers. Find over 250 species of birds scattered in different parts of the island, and enjoy 14 miles of trails, should you wish to bring a bike or hike with friends.
Visit the Tom Triplett Park Trail located in the community of Pooler, only 20 minutes away from downtown Savannah. The six-mile trail surrounds a picturesque lake and is home to a bike and dog-friendly park and a disc golf course for enthusiasts.
Explore the natural wonders of Hilton Head Island from guided boat tours, horseback rides, fishing expeditions, wagon tours, or pick up a map and stroll the trails at your own pace at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve!
The Sea Pines Preserve has been a protected area for wildlife habitat and outdoor exploration since the '70s, and it has grown to include bridle paths, wetland boardwalks, bridges, and fishing docks-- giving visitors more ways to explore and enjoy this stunning and pristine part of Hilton Head Island.
Located on the banks of the Ogeechee River is the Fort McAllister State Park Trails, a peaceful nature trail 4.3 miles long, surrounded by moss-draped live oaks standing tall and strong since the days of the Confederacy. Watch a myriad of wildlife species thriving in their natural habitat, and get an invigorating mix of the past and present, leaving hikers and bikers a lasting impression.