People who visit the Lowcountry notice many different things that make this area unique. One is the magnificent Live Oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Another is the vast number of waterways, creeks and marshes. Another is the architecture. And yet another is the smell, I mean fragrance, of pluff mud at low tide!
What I noticed when we moved from NJ to Beaufort, SC is the seemingly endless flat terrain. At almost sea level, Lowcountry roads meander through pine barrens and small coastal towns and along magnificent coastal marshes. With the exception of an occasional bridge traversing a river or creek, a hill is a rare thing. This is very good news for those of us recreational cyclists!
In a previous post Got Bike? 10 Awesome Fall Bike Rides I mentioned how much I enjoy my big girl bike. It is a road bike with skinny tires and those wonderful curly handle bars that reach toward the ground. It is an “I want to look serious” about cycling kind of bicycle. And she is so pretty! Generally, I ride within the safety of our community roads where there is very little traffic. I want to be courageous enough to ride the open road. I don’t have that in me yet.
I found a very nice alternative to the open road idea. Recently, I took my bicycle out for a ride along with my friend Patricia on the Spanish Moss Trail – The Lowcountry’s Rails to Trails – a public/private community project located in Beaufort and Port Royal.
The Spanish Moss Trail is currently 7 miles long with views of the Lowcountry marshes, spots for fishing and benches for just ‘being’ with nature. It get high marks from locals and visitors. When complete the trail will be 14 miles in length.
There are many different access points along the trail’s seven mile stretch of roadway. All of them have parking and pretty entrances like the one pictured. We rode a 14 mile loop at an easy pace with stops along the way to enjoy the beautiful water views.
I thoroughly enjoyed being on the trail. The sight of the marshes and creeks along the way and the friendly folks walking, running and cycling makes the trail a wonderful and fun experience.
I’ve also walked the trail with my friend Deb. Walking and talking together, the experience is just as lovely, at a much slower pace! The trail provides a safe, off road experience to get some exercise and enjoy the Lowcountry’s natural beauty. It is definitely worth a visit!