Hilton Head Island’s true and beautiful environment can be found undisturbed in Sea Pines Forest Preserve at 175 Greenwood Drive, located inside the incredible Sea Pines community. You can hike the scenic 3.3-mile walking trail to discover historic landmarks and experience a peaceful wildlife habitat. A stroll on the boardwalk, around the picturesque lagoon, or along the shaded nature path will let you escape from today’s busy world into 605 acres of refreshingly calm outdoor space.
- Native American tribes once called Sea Pines Forest Preserve home. The nomadic Indians would hunt and fish in the Atlantic Ocean and fresh water in the maritime forest. You can visit the 4000-year-old Indian Shell Ring, a nationally registered historic landmark made from mussels, oysters, and clam shells, that has fascinated archaeologists.
- The land was later used to grow rice, indigo, and cotton, as indicated by the observation decks at Old Lawton Rice Field.
- In June 1971, Charles and Joseph Fraser recognized the natural wonder of this land and legally protected this stunning green space as an Outdoor Recreation Facility and Wildlife Preserve.
- Hiking for all ability levels is available. The wandering trails intercept many possible routes. The Blue Arrow Trail is one mile, and the Orange Arrow Trail is two miles. Usually, the hike takes less than an hour to complete. The boardwalk on the northern side of the preserve lets you enjoy a scenic walk and avoid marshland and horses.
- Fishing, catch and release at Rookery point, Fish Island, is rewarding and relaxing. Worms and minnows are excellent bait. Lake Joe has plenty of catfish that will make a challenging catch, remember to use caution near their whiskers.
- Horseback riding through the preserve is a favorite activity and begins at Lawton Stables.
- The open-air pavilion, benches, and spacious fields are ideal for family games, picnics, cook-outs, and more!
- White-tailed deer, alligators, and 200 species of birds, including heron and the barred owl, turtles, dragonflies, and more, are awaiting your exploration of the natural wildlife habitat.
- An interesting variety of ecosystems is found in the maritime forest, wetlands, ponds, and sand ridge.
- Spring and summer highlight the Warner W. Plahs Wildflower Field near Lake Thomas.
- Open year-round from dawn to dusk.
- Leashed dogs are welcome, simply use care near wildlife.
- The large picnic shelter has water and an outdoor restroom.
- If you are not staying in Sea Pines, you can visit for a gate fee.
- Sunscreen and bug spray will enhance your visit.
- The entrances are off Greenwood Drive and Cordillo Parkway.
- Some paths are shared with horses.
- Alligators are often basking in the sun; enjoy viewing them from afar.
At Hilton Head Island the outdoors awaits you! Enjoy plenty of fresh air and new memories at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
Contributed by Janice MagninPosted by Christina Galbreath-Gonzalez on