Hiking and Biking
- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
Despite the Lowcountry’s, well, lowness, biking opportunities abound. It might not get your heart rate up like a ride in the Rockies, but the area lends itself to laid-back two-wheeled enjoyment.
Many local B&Bs provide bikes free for guests, and you can rent your own just across the river from Beaufort in Lady’s Island at Lowcountry Bikes (102 Sea Island Pkwy., 843/524-9585, Mon.–Tues. and Thurs.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m., about $5/hr). They can also hook you up with some good routes around the area.
Bicycling around Beaufort is a delight for its relative paucity of traffic as well as its picturesque beauty. Port Royal is close enough that you can easily make a circuit to that even-less trafficked little town. To get to Port Royal from Beaufort, take Bay Street west to Ribault Road (U.S. 21) and veer left onto Paris Avenue into downtown Port Royal, where the biking is easy, breezy, and fun.
For a visually delightful ride, the bridge over the Beaufort River also features a pedestrian/bike lane with some awesome views. You can either turn back at the base of the bridge and go back into Beaufort or push on to Lady’s Island and St. Helena Island, though the traffic on U.S. 21 can get daunting.
An interesting, if long (about 20 miles round-trip) bike route on St. Helena Island begins at St. Helena Elementary School on U.S. 21. From there you take Land’s End Road past the Penn Center, all the way to—you guessed it—land’s end, whereupon you circle back on Seaside Road. Cut back to Land’s End Road and the school via Club Bridge Road.
Some good, if marshy, hiking is at the large Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (843/844-8957, www.dnr.sc.gov, Mon.–Sat. dawn–dusk Feb.–Oct.). To get there, take U.S. 21 north out of Beaufort to U.S. 17 north. Take a right on Bennett’s Point Road and continue south about 13 miles. The entrance is about a mile on your left after crossing the Ashepoo River.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition