Fort Pulaski Hiking

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Summary

This is an amazing place to trail run and/or hike. Go here for an easy, flat run that will still provide all the benefits of running through the lowcountry: marsh views, sandy trails, shady lanes, and ocean breezes.

Written by

Logan Waddell

Destination Distance From Downtown

15.0 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Land Website

Link to Website

Review

Fort Pulaski sits upon Cockspur Island, and could fill a history book with the amount of historically significant events that have taken place there. Long story short, the fort was built just after the War of 1812, and served as protector of the Savannah River until its downfall in the Civil war. The fort is surrounded by trail systems, and the island is a testament to how aggressive barrier island vegetation can be. Cockspur originally consisted of two extremely small islands just inside the mouth of the Savannah River, separated by rising tides. The recent dredging of the Savannah River led to the formation of the island as it exists today, dumping the excavated soot in between the two islands. If you enjoy hiking/trail running, and are interested in American history, then visiting Fort Pulaski is a win-win for you. You can feel the history upon stepping into the fort and the trails are awesome.

What Makes it Great The shorter trails surrounding the fort are the Historic Dike Trail, a 2 mile loop over dikes designed by Robert E. Lee to manage tides during construction of the fort, the Lighthouse trail, a 1.7 miler that leads you directly into viewing the Cockspur Island Lighthouse, and the Fishing Pier Trail, a 4 mile out-and-back trail that leads you over the Savannah River and along marsh lands to a pier at the end of the trail, and yes you can fish on it. The largest trail is the Hiker/biker Trail. This is a 13 mile out-and-back rails-to-trails route built on the historic Central Georgia Railway. Just like the majority of trails this close to the coast, the trails will change from soft sand to hard, compacted sandy soil seemingly whenever they want to, with virtually zero roots interrupting your steps. Trails around the fort are well manicured, and also include bridges to help you get to the end destinations of each trail.

Who’s Going to Love It This is an amazing place to trail run and/or hike. Go here for an easy, flat run that will still provide all the benefits of running through the lowcountry: marsh views, sandy trails, shady lanes, and ocean breezes. You will definitely not be roughing it along the Hiking/Biking trail. There are benches every quarter mile, and a bathroom about 3 miles into the trail. You’ll be following the Savannah River along this trail, and cross it at the beginning and end of your run.

Directions, Trailhead, Regulations| The visitor center at Fort Pulaski has parking, maps, and information about the trails, as well as the fort. This is a super easy destination to drive to, hop out of the car, apply as much bug spray as humanly possible, and hit the trail.

Location

Fort Pulaski National Monument

U.S. Highway 80 East
Savannah, GA, 31410
32.031731, -80.964584

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