Beaufort County's best places to go for a jog


Special to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette

Pick a day, any day, and chances are you'll spot inspired people on their daily run.

Pick a month, any month, and most likely there's a running event happening in Beaufort County.

And, like the range of races -- from 5Ks to ultra marathons -- there is no shortage of different types of scenery, from the southern point of Hilton Head Island to north of downtown Beaufort.

"There's not one favorite place people like to run," said Rob Fyfe, owner of Palmetto Running Co., and founder of the Palmetto Running Club. "Runners love to explore new running routes. Sometimes we just go out for a run and see where it takes us."

Here's a list of 10 favorite public places to run in Beaufort County.


Pinckney Island: Tucked between Bluffton and Hilton Head Island off U.S. 278, the National Wildlife Refuge offers 14 miles of trails with gorgeous views. Those driving should enter at the U.S. 278 gate and park in the designated area. Only foot and bicycle travel are allowed north of the parking area. There are no amenities.

Buckwalter Parkway: The 6-plus mile, tree-lined parkway has well-maintained paved paths for runners, walkers and bicyclists. Veer off onto the Buckwalter Greenway Trail. The 1.35-mile nature trail is carved into the wetlands where paths are mostly mulch. The nearby Buckwalter Place shopping complex, home of a Publix, offers a variety of amenities.

Old Town Bluffton: The perfect way to see historic Bluffton on foot. Start on Calhoun Street, the heart of Old Town, turn left on Bridge Street and continue onto Alljoy Road (State Road S-7-13) to the public docks. From there, run along the banks of the May River. Top off your run, which is approximately six miles, with a stop at Corner Perk Cafe on May River Road.


Shelter Cove: Begin at Shelter Cove Towne Centre and head south on U.S. 278. Take Palmetto Bay Road to the Cross Island Parkway bridge. Return to Shelter Cove via Marshland Road and Mathews Drive and back onto U.S. 278. The loop is about 12 miles. There are many amenities at Shelter Cove, with more on the way.

South End Beach Run: Park near Coligny Beach Park. Run toward Sea Pines and turn around whenever the mood strikes. A run to South Beach is about 10 miles, round trip. Water fountains and restrooms await at Coligny Beach Park.

Jarvis Creek Park: Take advantage of the 53-acre park off U.S. 278 near Gumtree Road. There are pathways throughout the grounds and around a lake, creating a 1.1-mile loop. The paved trail is equipped with wooden bridges over marshy areas. Amenities include playground, picnic area, water fountains and restrooms.


Spanish Moss Trail: Built on an old railroad track, the trail connects the city of Beaufort and the town of Port Royal. The rails-to-trail greenway project has about five miles completed, with plans to develop 13.6 miles of trails. Parking is available at Depot Road, Broome Lane, Westvine Drive and Roseida Road. There are no amenities.

Waterfront Park: The bridge-to-bridge, nine-mile loop starts and finishes at Waterfront Park. Run over the Woods Memorial Bridge to Meridian Road, over the Lady's Island bridge to the Spanish Moss Trail. End on downtown Bay Street. The run offers a lot of variety with plenty of amenities downtown.

Lady's Island Country Club: The 4.5-mile loop takes runners along the golf cart paths on the old 18-hole Marsh Course. It's a popular place for cross country runners and the venue for an annual 50K Ultra night race. There are no restrooms on the course.

Hunting Island State Park: Explore the miles of trails and beaches on the 5,000-acre barrier island 15 miles east of Beaufort. There are eight miles of newly refurbished trails through a maritime forest and along a lagoon. There are no amenities.