Sea Pines Forest Preserve
Trail Activities: t
Trail Features: t
- Point of Interest
- Scenic Observation
- Picnic Area
- No Camping
An easy walk or ride through a maritime forest and marshland in well-protected preserve. The preserve has a 4,000 year old Indian shell ring, a wild flower meadow with dozens of flower varieties, fresh water lakes suitable for fishing, and a bountiful bird habitant. Shade is plentiful during the summer months. Restrooms, drinking water, and a picnic area are available in the center of the preserve at Fish Island.
It is the prized possession of every Sea Pines property owner. It has been cared for and protected since Sea Pines was founded by Charles Fraser and his family - it is the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
The land has been sculpted by changing sea levels over the past 15,000 years and traces of the first inhabitants still remain. The Indian Shell Ring is 4,000 years old and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1700, the preserve was used to grow rice, indigo and cotton. As recently as the 1950’s hunting and timber harvesting occurred in the preserve.
The 605 acres of land are now a place of peace and tranquility for owners and guests. Covenants protect the preserve and prevent homes or commercial buildings from being erected on the land. It is the largest tract of undeveloped land on Hilton Head Island and provides a valuable oasis of habitat for wildlife as well as outdoor recreation for humans. Bird watching is a popular activity – the National Audubon Society designated the preserve an Important Bird Area in 1998. Other popular activities in the preserve include fishing, hiking, picnicking and photography.
Length: Approximately 2 miles of walking/hiking nature trails and 6 miles of multi-purpose trails
Fees: If you are not a guest of a permanent or temporary resident of Sea Pines, there is (per car) fee to enter Sea Pines Plantation.
Note: Bicycles are not allowed on the nature trails. The preserve is closed after dark. No smoking or collecting of plants or wildlife is allowed on trails.
The H2O Nature Center provides guided tours of the pristine lakes of the Forest Preserve. Get a close-up view of Hilton Head’s indigenous plant and animal life including native American Alligators. Call (843) 671-4386 for more information.
The Sea Pines Resort Recreation Department hosts several eco-adventures that discover the hidden treasures of the preserve. Relax on a wagon ride, catch a catfish in Lake Joe or enjoy a walking tour of the 4,000-year-old Indian Shell Ring or the 18th century Lawton Rice Field. For more information, call (843) 842-1979.
Lawton Stables offers one-hour guided trail rides for adults and children (8 and older). Experience the preserve from horseback while being immersed in the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. Trails wind at a leisurely pace beneath a canopy of moss covered oaks and are suitable for novice riders. You can reach Lawton Stables at (843) 671-2586.
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your support allows the foundation to fulfill their mission and insures this valuable and unique Sea Pines’ gem is given the care it deserves. Contributions are tax-deductible and can be sent to:
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve Foundation | 175 Greenwood Drive | Hilton Head Island, SC 29928Directions:
From the entrance to Hilton Head Island: Drive on SC 278 and turn right onto the Cross Island Parkway (toll fee required). Continue to the traffic circle on Palmetto Bay Road and turn right onto Greenwood Drive. The Sea Pines gate is in 0.2 miles and the preserve is 1 mile from the gate on the left.