17 Dec 2021
While many think of going to the beach when you visit Hilton Head, there are a lot of great places to hike on and off the beach! Embrace the warm air and diverse ecology when you embark on an adventure exploring the best places for hiking on Hilton Head Island!
Hike through maritime forests shaded by or along sandy beaches studded with seashells. Read on to discover what adventures lie in store for you. Then, check out our free 7-Day Insider’s Guide for the best local insight on where to go and what to do around Hilton Head!
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The Best Places to Hike on Hilton Head
From the sprawling, sandy beaches of the coast to the winding, nature trails of the forest, there are so many different experiences to explore! We have curated five of our favorite areas with multiple trails, paths, and secrets all to explore on your next vacation to Hilton Head Island!
Sea Pines Forest Preserve
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a protected wildlife habitat that has everything from bridle paths, wetland boardwalks, bridges, and fishing docks. Established in the 1970s, Sea Pines Forest Preserve has expanded over the years to include the various paths, wetland boardwalks, and fishing docks you can explore today. The preserve is most famous for hosting the 4,000-year-old Sea Pines Shell Ring, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, you’ll see acres of natural landscapes, local flora and fauna, rice fields, swamps, and more. While the walking trails here are perfect for hiking, you might also like to opt for guided boat tours, horseback rides, fishing expeditions, or wagon tours.
What is a shell ring? The shell rings are steep basins with walls made of shells. These archaeological discoveries date back to thousands of years ago. They were most likely used for ceremonial purposes by ancient Native Americans.
If you want a hiking trail with a healthy dose of the ocean, consider hiking along the seaside trails at Burkes Beach. This quiet, peaceful place is centrally located on Hilton Head and has an amazing sunrise and sunset view. If you are bringing your furry friend on your vacation then you will enjoy walking them on Burkes Beach! This is an especially lovely beach for those looking to stray further away from development and enjoy the natural beauty of South Carolina’s coastal island.
Fish Haul Beach Park
Situated in Bay Gall a Hilton Head Island Gullah neighborhood, Fish Haul Beach Park is a great place for a quiet walk overlooking Port Royal Sound. You can accomplish some bird watching and excellent suntanning after your walk, and the park features free parking and restrooms.
Audobon Newhall Preserve
If you consider yourself a bird-watcher, then you have to visit the Audubon Newhall Preserve. Established as a nature preserve in 1965, the 50 acres of nature are a joy to hike. Rated as an easy trek, the two-mile adventure is both free and beautiful. The trail features numerous markers highlighting local wildlife and flora such as the iconic wax myrtle.
History buffs will not want to miss a visit to Fort Howell. This unique Civil War earthworks fort was named after Union Army Brigadier General Joshua B. Howell and was erected to protect the Freedman town of Mitchelville. It was named to the National Register of Historical Places in 2011 and as a member of the Civil War Discovery Trail!
While the structure itself no longer stands, you can hike over the above-ground mounds that signify the original location of the fort’s walls. From there, you can continue your hike through the woods and enjoy the shade of towering pines, cypresses, and oaks in the summertime.
Make Yourself at Home When You Stay With Beach Properties
Hiking along some of the most scenic walking trails on Hilton Head Island is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. All that walking, running, or jogging can leave anyone tired and in need of a great place to stay! Stay near the best attractions, on beautiful beaches, and in some of the island’s top-rated communities when you stay with Beach Properties!
Larger families can find refuge in one of our bigger beachfront homes. Smaller groups might prefer a cozy, luxury condo overlooking the water. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly accommodations, homes with a private pool, or properties with enough room to house your family reunion, rest assured that you’ll find just what you need! We go above and beyond to ensure that your dream vacation becomes a reality.
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