Spanish Moss Trail Part 2

Northbound from Robert Smalls Parkway to Clarendon Rd.

spanish moss trail
Today’s journey started at Beaufort Plaza on Robert Smalls Pkwy. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Spanish Moss Trail is an expanding rails-to-trail greenway running from Clarendon Road in northern Beaufort County to Port Royal along the historic Magnolia Line Railroad, which once connected Yemassee to Port Royal. This was an active railroad line from 1870-2003.  This 10-mile greenway has become a must-experience activity for locals and tourists alike. The 12-foot-wide paved trail is a great space for walking, running, biking, skating, scooting, strolling or even fishing. The trail is handicap accessible, and parking lots are provided.

spanish moss trail
Lowcountry river views are spectacular along the Spanish Moss Trail. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Spanish Moss Trail offers spectacular views of Lowcountry marshes, waterways, coastal wildlife and historic points of interest. Points of interest are well marked along the trail. Pets on a leash are welcome on the trail.

spanish moss trail pick pocket plantation
Pick Pocket Plantation. Photo found on Pick Pocket Facebook page. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Heading west, from Robert Smalls Parkway passes along Pick Pocket Plantation. A historic marker tells the history of this mid-19th century plantation with the funny name. According to the marker, little is known of the original owners, or how it got its name. The property changed hands many times before George W. Trask bought the farmhouse and its 214 acres. From this location, Trask and his sons ran the most prosperous truck farming businesses in Beaufort County. The property stayed in the Trask family until 2006. The house and 15 acres of the property sold to John H. Keith. He restored the dilapidated farmhouse and moved eight other historic buildings to the site.

spanish moss trail
A tunnel is a rarity in Beaufort. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The trail travels along Highway 21 for a while. Lowcountry natives like this stretch because it includes a hill. The trail dips beneath a driveway and under a tunnel. Hills are a rarity in this part of the state. Biking down a hill is a real treat!

spanish moss trail
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The trail pulls away from the highway and over a trestle that has lovely views of Albergotti Creek.

spanish moss trail boardwalk
A boardwalk leads toward the Marine Corps Air Station.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Roseida Road Trailhead is next. It has ample parking spaces and a trail map. Handicap spots are available. There is also a Parker’s Gas Station at this access point that has public bathrooms. The trail next heads over a wetland area and accessed by a beautiful boardwalk. This leads directly in front of the Marine Corps Air Station entrance. Cross at the light and head further up the trail.

spanish moss trail albergotti creek
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

This area was also the site for the Battle of Port Royal Island. This battle was one of 250 military engagements fought in South Carolina. Under the direction of General William Moultrie, 300 SC militiamen defeated the British in this area in 1779. This American success gave a needed boost to our troops after the fall of Savannah the previous year. On a side note – two signers of the Declaration of Independence fought in this battle: Captain Edward Rutledge and Captain Thomas Heyward, Jr.

spanish moss trail hwy 21 drive-in
The Hwy 21 Drive-In entrance can be seen from the trail.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Another historic site located along this path is Beaufort’s famous Hwy 21 Drive-in. This family fun attraction has been around since 1978. It closed briefly from 2003-2004, then reopened with much fanfare. It now has two screens and is one of only three drive-ins in South Carolina. The 80-ft tall screens have a digital format and show movies year-round. This is an attraction enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

spanish moss trail
The pavement ends and the “road less traveled” begins.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

As you travel further along the trail the pavement ends and a dirt and gravel section begins. This will be paved in the future. Pavement begins again as you near the Clarendon Road access point. This is the spot of Clarendon Plantation. In 1928 H.W. Corning bought 5,000 acres overlooking the Whale Branch River which he called Clarendon Plantation. This estate contains the remains of SC governor Paul Hamilton, who also served as Secretary of State during the War of 1812. Due to its proximity to the Magnolia Line Railroad, the property has been used as a sawmill, turpentine production, timber, cattle ranching, quail hunting, hay and other crops. It has also seen its share of fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities.

spanish moss trail clarendon road trailhead
The Clarendon Trailhead has ample parking.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The Clarendon trailhead is the end of the journey – for now. It has a great parking area and for anyone wishing to complete the entire trail in one day, it’s a great place to park and start. The plans call for additional pathway to be added that will lead through and end at the river. The master plan map also shows additional path at the opposite end leading into Port Royal, and a path into downtown Beaufort.

spanish moss trail map
Future extensions can be seen on the map. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

These additions will be a great asset for what is already a wonderful Beaufort attraction. Plan on spending at least two hours to bike the northern side of the Spanish Moss Trail. Give yourself more time if you’re walking. Be sure to pack supplies for your journey. Make sure to stop along the way to read historic markers and enjoy views from the trestles. If you get tired just take a break on one of the many benches provided. Stay tuned for a future post on additions to the trail.

butterflies along the spanish moss trail
Butterflies flock to wildflowers along the Spanish Moss Trail.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The south bound portion of the Spanish Moss Trail can be saved for another day. For more information on Beaufort attractions visit Other Lowcountry nature trails and wildlife preserves can be found at .

Carmen Pinckney Lowcountry Tourism Commission

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The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Region of South Carolina includes the four, southern-most counties in the state, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton, which are bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.

Discover at your own leisure at the coastaldiscoverymuseum 🌳  From century-old buildings with storied pasts, to wooden boardwalks that stretch into the Jarvis Creek salt marsh, there's always something to explore!
simplysoutherncottage keeps us in awe with each her projects. This bed swing refresh is one of our favorites!
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Spanish moss drapes the live oak trees that are ubiquitous to the Edisto Island area. Did you know that Edisto gets its name from the native Edistow people? The Edistow Native Americans were a sub tribe of the Cusabo indians, a group of Native Americans who lived along the Atlantic coast in South Carolina.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: Stop by mid-morning. That way you can explore the island, grab lunch, and stay for the amazing sunset if you choose.🏖️ Things to do while there: Edisto Environmental Learning Center, Boneyard Beach, Scott Creek Inlet, Big Bay Creek, SeaCow Eatery.☀️ Things to visit in the area: Jungle Road Park, Bay Creek Park, Otter Islands, Spanish Mount Point.📆 Best time of the year to visit: For warmer weather come anywhere from March-August.🏨 Where to stay: Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort (frippislandrsrt), Seabrook Island Club (seabrook_sc), The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (kiawahresort), Charleston Kiawah Island/Andell Inn (andellinn).Photo by qcphotographer
Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
The shore gently recedes beneath the stunning Pawleys Island Pier. The unique island town, located about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston, exudes laid-back, beachy vibes. Locals have definitely adopted an island state of mind and encourage visitors to as well. When you go, make sure to relax on the beach, explore the famous sand dunes, or fish in one of the many adjacent creeks.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: We guarantee that you’re going to want to spend a whole day here. We recommend getting to the beach at around 10am.🗓️ Best time of the year: Pawleys Island has the best weather during the spring and early summer months.🏖️ Things to do while there: Pawleys Island Nature Park, Pawleys Island Chapel, Hopsewee Plantation.🐠 Things to visit in the area: Brookgreen Gardens (brookgreen_gardens), take a walking ghost tour, Myrtle Beach (mymyrtlebeach), Harborwalk Marina, South Carolina Maritime Museum (southcarolinamaritimemuseum).🏨 Where to stay: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn (oceanfrontlitchfieldinn), Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (litchfieldbeachandgolf), Sea View Inn (seaviewinn), 620 Prince (620prince).Photo by qcphotographer
A visitor takes a leisurely stroke under a canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss in the Palmetto Bluff (palmettobluff) neighborhood of Bluffton, South Carolina. Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque community that sits in the heart of Lowcountry. Nestled along the May River, it’s abundant with beautiful walking trails, historic sites, and stunning views.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: There is no wrong time to visit Palmetto Bluff. However, we highly recommend sticking around for one of their spectacular sunsets.🛶 Things to do while there: Stop by Cole’s for some regionally inspired Southern fare, paddle board, kayak, or canoe along the May River, go saltwater fishing, take a tour at Bluffton Jack's Old Town Tours.🌊 Things to visit in the area: Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, Old Town Bluffton, Bluffton Oyster Factory Park, May River Sandbar, Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center (heywardhouse).📆 Best time of the year to visit: For the best weather, we recommend visiting between March and May or from September to November.🏨 Where to stay: The Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort (montagepalmettobluff) is the only resort in Palmetto Bluff. However, there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding areas including: Old Town Bluffton Inn (oldtownblufftoninn), The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (theinnandclubatharbourtown), Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (sonestahhi).Photo by jpgriceoz
Beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry
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The resplendence of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze, and this painterly sunset over the May River doesn’t disappoint. We look forward to the days when we can relish views like this one at the MontagePalmettoBluff resort in South Carolina’s picturesque Lowcountry. 📸: montagepalmettobluff.
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🔴“Gentle Creek”, 12x12,  oil on canvas. hortonhayesfineart hortonhayesfineartstudio markkelvinhortonstudio #sclowcountry #skyscape #skyporn #charlestonsc #charlestonartist #landscapepainters #landscapeoilpainting #creek #mtpleasantsc #wintermarsh #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #vasaripaint #artistsandcraftsmansupply #holbeinoils #gamblinoilcolors
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Thankfully done and sold🔴! “Reflections”, 24x18, oil on canvas.  hortonhayesfineart markkelvinhortonstudio hortonhayesfineartstudio #sclowcountry #charlestonsc #skyscape #skylovers #oiloncanvas #mtpleasantsc #lowcountry #southeast #marshpainting #marshpaintings #skylover #kiawahislandsc #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #limitedpalette #tonalistpainting #tonalistlandscape
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🔴“Approaching Showers”, 12x12, oil on canvas.  hortonhayesfineart hortonhayesfineartstudio markkelvinhortonstudio #sclowcountry #charlestonsc #charlestonartist #charlestonartists #tonalism #tonal #marshpainting #mtpleasantsc #hobcawcreek #limitedpalette #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #skyscape #stormsky
Completed commission, 🔴”Off in the Distance”, 36x48.  hortonhayesfineart markkelvinhortonstudio hortonhayesfineartstudio #sclowcountry #charlestonsc #southcarolina #charlestonartist #landscspe #landscapepainting #contemporaryart #oilpainting #gamblinoilcolors #studiopainting
Why didn't someone tell me they also have dead trees at the beach?
What were your weekend views today? #DiscoverSC 📸📍Botany Bay Beach: charlestonshopcurator
No filter & it was so beautiful I didn't want to make it fit Instagram! #pawleysislandsc #onlypawleys #pawleys #arrogantlyshabby #eastcoast #coastalcarolina #sclowcountry #lowcountry #borntobeach #somebeachsomewhere #peaceloveandsandyfeet #inmymindimgonetocarolina
Riding into the weekend like...Isn't this live oak tree tunnel beautiful? Live oak, draped in Spanish moss, is emblematic of South Carolina and many of the Southern states. We love these iconic trees, not only for their beauty, but their history as well. The average lifespan of a live oak is 300 years!Photo by qcphotographer
Reposted from coastaldiscoverymuseum Hilton Head Island has the second highest tidal range on the East Coast, second only to Canada’s Bay of Fundy. The average tidal range here is 7-9 feet between high and low tides.The Salt Marsh is one of our area’s most prominent features, not to mention an essential resource. Most coastal creatures depend partially or even fully on the Salt Marsh for survival as it serves as a nursery, as well as a water filter vital for the functioning of the entire coastal ecosystem.Explore the Lowcountry up close with a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum and head out into the marsh via the Osprey Outlook floating dock on a self-guided tour or register for the weekly Salt Marsh Discovery program to learn from an expert how and why this particular environment is so important. (843) 689-6767 ext. 223 or
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The Hampton County Museum at the Old Jail was built in 1880. It served as the jail until 1976, when the new Hampton County Jail was constructed.It is open daily from 10:00am - 2:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm.#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry #hamptonsc #hamptoncountysc
Our kind of #MondayMotivation 😍 #DiscoverSC 📸📍Bluffton Oyster Company: daniymathews
Hope you’ve had a beautiful Saturday in South Carolina! #DiscoverSC 📸📍: Botany Bay: donniewhitaker
“Summer Skylights”, 30x30,  oil on canvas. #sewe2022 #sewe #hortonhayesfineart #hortonhayesfineartstudio #sclowcountry #skylovers #skypainters #skyporn #skylovers #skypaintings #lowcountry #southeasternpainters #contemporaryart #contemporaryartist #tonalism #tonalistpainter
Some shadowy, Spanish moss covered views for your Monday! Have you ever visited the Chapel of Ease? #DiscoverSC 📸📍Chapel of Ease, Beaufort: summitridgephotos

The South Carolina Lowcountry Guidebook is filled with many things to see and do in the beautiful Lowcountry of South Carolina. Please fill out the information and we will send you a FREE GUIDE BOOK.