The Audubon Newhall Preserve is a 50 acre nature preserve off of Palmetto Bay Road that is maintained by the Hilton Head Audubon Society. It has a series of interconnected trails that add up to about a mile total.
The Audubon Newhall Preserve is a 50 acre nature preserve off of Palmetto Bay Road that is maintained by the Hilton Head Audubon Society. It has a series of interconnected trails that add up to about a mile total. It is a great place for a leisurely hike to get a sense of what Hilton Head Island was like before being developed. Many of the local species of plants are tagged and there are informative panels about the ecosystem.
What Makes It Great
Despite being on the south end of the island (Hilton Head’s most bustling area) this quiet nature preserve goes largely unnoticed. It is tucked discreetly off of Palmetto Bay Road and is easy to miss for the non-discerning eye. Because it is maintained by the Audubon Society, There is a wealth of information on the flora and fauna of the island. There are informative panels scattered throughout the preserve that explain the various micro-ecosystems that make up Hilton Head Island, from the bog-like Pocosin to the majestic Pine Flatwoods, and you’ll have the chance to see them first hand. The trails are situated around a freshwater pond in the middle of the preserve. There are benches around the pond as well an observation deck that extends into the pond. The Audubon Newhall preserve is a fantastic spot for quiet reflection and slow, mindful walks through the woods. It is most calm in the morning hour. Right after the sun comes up there is a flurry of bird and wildlife activity.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone who needs a break from the crowded beaches and resorts of Hilton Head Island, this is the place for you. Starting your day with a morning hike through the preserve is a great way to clear your head and get some quality time in the outdoors. It is also a nature lover’s dream, with nearly every bush, flower, tree, and vine labeled you could spend hours learning Hilton Head’s local plant species. There is no better place for parents with young children who want to expose them to nature in a safe and learning friendly environment.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Audubon Newhall Preserve is located about halfway down Palmetto Bay Road. If you are heading south on 278 take your first exit off the Sea Pines Circle to connect to Palmetto Bay Road. Get into the left hand lane and watch for a small green sign and an opening into the woods, roughly a mile down. There will be a turning lane for you at the entrance. The preserve is only open from sunrise to sunset and is locked during nighttime hours.