Sea Pine Forest Reserve Hiking

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Summary

The preserve is home to two main trails: the blue arrow trail, approximately 1 mile long, and the Orange Arrow Trail, approximately 2 miles long. The entirety of the preserve is criss-crossed with service roads and trail tangents that lead to various destinations within the boundary of Sea Pines.

Written by

Logan Waddell

Destination Distance From Downtown

1.9 miles

Difficulty

1 of 5 diamonds

Land Website

Link to Website

Review

Just like the rest of the lowcountry, Sea Pines Forest Preserve is rich with history dating back thousands of years ago. The preserve’s earliest settlers were nomads believed to inhabit the island in the year 2000 BC. Evidence of these settlers can be seen at the Sea Pines Indian Shell Ring, located within the preserve. The history of the preserve as it is known by today dates back to the 50’s, when the Fraser family established the preserve, and dedicated over 500 acres to wildlife and outdoor recreation. Today the preserve is one of the best places to hike, run, ride horses and bikes (though you’ll have to pay for a guided tour on horseback), and catch a glimpse of some outstanding lowcountry wildlife. Sea Pines is home to miles of trails and boardwalks dotted with observation decks and fishing piers. You could spend a long time tracing all these trails and see unique flora and fauna every day. Visitors come from miles around to experience this place, with its wild flower fields, swamps, marsh views, and tidal creeks. This is one of the best spots in the lowcountry to get a feel for local wildlife and habitats.

What Makes it Great The preserve is home to two main trails: the blue arrow trail, approximately 1 mile long, and the Orange Arrow Trail, approximately 2 miles long. The entirety of the preserve is criss-crossed with service roads and trail tangents that lead to various destinations within the boundary of Sea Pines. These destinations include the aforementioned Indian Shell Ring, the wildflower field, Fish Island, and Rookery Point. A swamp dissects the preserve almost directly down the middle, and then opens up at the west end of the property. There is no camping, fires, or collecting anything from Sea Pines allowed, so this is not a backpacking or camping destination, but one of the best places to trail run or hike and observe nature in Hilton Head. This is a highly developed part of Hilton Head, but there has been a clear effort to preserve this land long before developing started. The majority of the ponds on site were man made, and the trails are kept in immaculate condition. This is an excellent trail system to bring the entire family for a full day of hiking around, or just to get a quick trail run in.

Direction/Trailhead/Regulations The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset, and there are 3 entrances to the park located off of Cordillo Parkway and Greenwood Drive. Parking is very easy, and the preserve is well marked and easy to get to all of the points of interest. Sea Pines is located in the heart of Hilton Head, so after you’re finished exploring, head in any direction for an awesome meal, or plan your trip early so there’s time to hop in a kayak and check out near-by Lawton Creek.

Location

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

32.146041, -80.77205

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