Skidaway Island State Park is 47 miles west of Hilton Head Island, and just minutes outside of Savannah, GA. The park is home to 588 acres of marsh, maritime forest, hardwoods, and tidal inlets. Skidaway is a great place to set up camp and take advantage of the 6 miles of trails, including the interpretive center available within the park’s boundaries. Though Skidaway is not a destination for traditional backpacking, this is a great spot for car camping, or ditching the car altogether and pitching a tent on one of the 87 available campsites. Don’t let the fact that this park is more of a campground than a backpacking trail deter you from planning a trip here. The trail systems here lead you through some of the most beautiful parts of the lowcountry that are extremely hard to get to in other parts of the area, unless you have a flats boat and can access marsh from the water.
What Makes it Great The 6 miles of beautiful trails are composed of compacted, sandy soil and boardwalks. The longest of these trails is the 3 mile Big Ferry Trail, a loop which starts from the campground and leads you along the marsh of Skidaway Narrows. This trail loops back on itself twice, forming a figure 8 towards the eastern boundary of the park, and offering a few different routes along the same trail. A couple hundred yards from the entrance to The Big Ferry Loop and on your left side is the 1 mile connector trail that leads you to Avian Way Loop, a one mile trail that lies in between the connector trail and the Sandpiper Nature trail. In short, from the entrance to the connector there are three miles of trail that lie on the eastern half of the island.
Who’s Going to Love It Runners and hikers who love to run for the scenery, with little interaction between others on the trail. These trails are dotted with observation decks and overlooks of beautiful scenery, and for how popular Skidaway is, you’ll probably have very little interaction between other campers due to the sheer size of the park. This is the perfect weekend camping or trail running getaway, and nice change of pace if you’ve exhausted every other trail on Hilton Head.
Directions/Regulations Getting to Skidaway is simple enough, and an awesome drive once you've passed Savannah. From Hilton Head Island, head west on 17 until you turn on to 516, where you’ll start to go deep into the lowcountry. From there, follow directions provided on the Skidaway Island State Park Website to the park entrance. While you’re there, stop in Savannah and walk around the city, or head back east on your way out to Tybee Island. Skidaway is situated in a beautiful part of the lowcountry, and a real treat for area trail runners. Don’t forget your bug spray, you’re going to need it if you plan on visiting when it’s warm out.