Palmetto Islands County Park

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This 943-acre park offers two unpaved trails that are great for both running and walking- and for family use.

Written by

Lunden Herron

Destination Distance From Downtown

8.0 miles


1 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

15 minutes to all day


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits

$1 per person

Land Website

Link to Website


Just a few miles outside of downtown Charleston is Palmetto Islands County Park. It’s 943 acres of outdoor fun right in the heart of Mt. Pleasant. Miles of bike paths, boardwalks, trails and open fields make this park ideal if you want to go for a trail run with the pup, or perhaps bring the family for a day to cool off in the Splash Island Water Park. Either way, with an admission of only $1, it’s a good deal for an afternoon of fun.

For the trail running options, you have a few short trails to choose from. The Marsh Trail is a 1 mile long stretch of unpaved path that winds you in and out of the sub-tropical forest that surrounds the salt marsh. This trail is pretty sandy, so be prepared for that. The Osprey trail is also approximately 1 mile long as well and is pretty similar to the Marsh Trail. Both are good options for a short run. The Nature Island Trail is a 1.2 mile trail that leads you out to a tidal marsh island, with nothing but sand (and the occasional boardwalk) under your feet.

Whatever trail you choose, this park is ideal to bring the family or just get some nature in after a busy work day. There is always the option to explore the whole Park and connect the trails for a longer run. Don’t forget to bring bug spray in the warmer months, and it’s always a good idea to bring Fido along!

What Makes It Memorable

Pick up a map at the Interpretive Center and explore all the park has to offer. There are 4.6 miles of interconnected trail, paved and not, that make up the Palmetto Islands County Park. If you tire of walking, or perhaps want to see the whole area at a bird’s eye view, check out the 50-foot observation tower. This allows you to see a 360o view of the lowcountry.

What Type of Runner Will Love It?

Someone who wants a short trail run with rewarding vistas. The boardwalk is beautiful to run on, and although it’s not technically a trail, you still have to focus a bit to watch your footing. These trails are a great way to explore the saltmarsh and surrounding maritime forests just a few minutes from downtown Charleston.  

Parking, Trailhead and Hours

Parking for Palmetto Islands County Park is inside the front gates of the park.

Hours for Palmetto Islands County Park are:

January-April 8 a.m. to Sunset

May-Labor Day 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

September-December 8 a.m. to Sunset

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Palmetto Islands County Park

444 Needlerush Parkway
Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464
32.861624, -79.831886

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