The Sea Pines Forest Preserve (175 Greenwood Dr., 843/363-4530, free) is set amid the Sea Pines Plantation golf resort development, but you don’t need a bag of clubs to enjoy this 600-acre preserve, which is built on the site of an old rice plantation (dikes and logging trails are still visible).
Here you can ride a horse, fish, or just take a walk on the eight miles of trails (open dawn–dusk) and enjoy the natural beauty around you. No bike riding is allowed on the trails, however.
As we’ve seen, Hilton Head  has a Native American shell ring, Green’s Shell Enclosure , further north off Squire Pope Road. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve also boasts a shell ring set within a canopy of tall pines, forming a natural cathedral of sorts. A combination ceremonial area and communal common space, the shell ring today is actually a series of low rings made of discarded oyster shells covered with earth.
As with Green’s Shell Enclosure, the rewards here are contemplative in nature, since the actual oyster shells are beneath layers of soil. Scientists date the ring itself to about 1450 B.C., though human habitation on the island goes as far back as 8000 B.C.