Explore Coastal Beauty at Awendaw Passage - Palmetto Trail
The Awendaw Passage is a hidden gem nestled in the coastal region of South Carolina, serving as the coastal starting point of the Palmetto Trail. This seven-mile stretch offers a picturesque and easily accessible trail for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, including walkers, hikers, runners, and bikers. Embark on a journey through a diverse natural landscape, immersing yourself in the beauty of the Lowcountry salt marsh and the maritime forest.
The trail begins at the Buck Hall Recreation Area trailhead, where you'll be greeted by the magnificent Awendaw Passage trees. From there, the trail meanders westward, leading you through the enchanting maritime forest and offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding salt marsh along Awendaw Creek. Immerse yourself in nature's wonders as you traverse this easy walking/biking section of the Palmetto Trail.
As you make your way through the trail, be sure to stop at Walnut Grove, where a scenic overlook and boardwalk await. Take a moment to soak in the panoramic views of the area and the Intracoastal Waterway. It's an ideal spot to pause and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
One of the highlights of the Awendaw Passage is the opportunity to explore the waterways. At the end of Rosa Green Road off U.S. 17, you'll find the Awendaw Canoe Launch, where you can embark on a canoeing adventure along Awendaw Creek. It's a great way to experience the creek from a different perspective and connect with nature.
Throughout your journey, you'll encounter a variety of flora and fauna that call this coastal region home. Keep an eye out for shorebirds and other lowland wildlife, offering fantastic birdwatching and wildlife spotting opportunities. The trail provides a serene habitat for these creatures, adding to the overall charm of the Awendaw Passage.
It's important to note that while the trail is relatively easy, featuring flat terrain along a single-track dirt road, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you choose to visit during the warmer months, make sure to bring bug spray, as mosquitoes can be prevalent in the salt marsh. Additionally, if you're cycling, be prepared for sections with roots that may cause some bouncing on your seat.
Awendaw Passage is not just a standalone trail; it marks the starting point of the Palmetto Trail, a cross-state trail system that spans across South Carolina. It's an exciting opportunity to explore the beauty of the coast before venturing further into the state on the Palmetto Trail.
As you plan your visit to the Awendaw Passage, it's worth mentioning some additional amenities and attractions in the area. Restrooms are available at Buck Hall Landing, providing a convenient facility along the trail. If you're in need of supplies or a tasty lunch, make a stop at Sewee Outpost on Hwy 17, where you'll find a great selection of outdoor accessories and a delicious menu.
In conclusion, Awendaw Passage is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking coastal beauty and a gateway to the Palmetto Trail. Whether you're walking, hiking, running, or biking, this seven-mile trail will captivate you with its diverse natural surroundings and awe-inspiring views. Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the maritime forest and salt marsh, and create lasting memories along the Awendaw Passage.
Directions and Access Points to Awendaw Passage:
To reach the Buck Hall (eastern) Trailhead, drive north on US Hwy 17 from Charleston. After approximately 30 miles, turn right onto Buck Hall Landing Road (Forest Service Rd 242). Continue for 0.5 miles until you reach the trailhead and parking area on the left.
To access the Steed Creek (western) Trailhead, drive north on US Hwy 17 from Charleston. After about 27 miles, you'll reach the intersection with Steed Creek Road (SC 1032) on the left side of the highway. Continue past the road and drive to the next crossover, make a U-turn, and continue back to the parking area on the right.
Remember to follow the trail's revised route, as it no longer goes down Sam Thompson Road. Instead, use US-17 and Rosa Green Road to access the trail.