Lake Moultrie Passage (Palmetto Trail)

South Carolina

1 Reviews

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Lake Moultrie Passage (Palmetto Trail) Facts

States: South Carolina
Counties: Berkeley
Length: 26.7 miles
Trail end points: Eadie Lane by historic Santee-Cooper diversion canal (Cross) and Swamp Fox Passage & N US Hwy 52 (Bonneau)
Trail surfaces: Boardwalk, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel, Sand
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 13287323

Lake Moultrie Passage (Palmetto Trail) Description

This 26.7-mile segment of the Palmetto Trail meanders along the shores of Lake Moultrie, a 60,000-acre lake in Berkeley County. The Lake Moultrie Passage offers spectacular views of the water and a number of scenic overlooks. The trail's surface is a mixture of gravel, crushed stone, sand, grass, dirt, and boardwalk. After heavy rainfall, the natural-surface portions of the trail can be quite muddy. The route is well-marked by yellow blazes on trees and trail signage. 

Winding around the northern and eastern edges of the lake, the trail makes use of Santee-Cooper’s service roads on the lake’s earthen levees. The northwest trailhead is on Eadie Lane by the historic Santee-Cooper diversion canal in the community of Cross. The route heads east along the north-shore dike system through a forest populated by hardwoods and pines. Curving around Bulltown Bay, the terrain becomes more swamp-like and offers a plenty of interesting flora and fauna to observe. The trail passes through Bonneau Beach and continues onto the Pinopolis East Dike, which is a perfect spot for enjoying the sunset. After a short stretch through a pine forest, the trail comes its southeastern trailhead on Highway 52 and connects to the Swamp Fox Passage section of the Palmetto Trail.

The trail is particularly popular with mountain bikers, backpackers, and birdwatchers. Dogs are welcome and are allowed to be off leash in certain areas—pay attention to the signs. There are several camping sites, but be sure to pack enough water as the hand pump wells have been removed. For more information regarding camping options, visit the Lake Moultrie Passage page on the Palmetto Conservation's website.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the northwest trailhead on Eadie Lane, off Russell Store Road by the Rediverson Canal, at Bonneau Beach, and at Canal Recreation Area (southeast trailhead).

Where the trail connects with the Swamp Fox Passage on its eastern end, there is parking just past the end of the Lake Moultrie Passage.

Lake Moultrie Passage (Palmetto Trail) Reviews

Biking Palmetto trail Lake Moultrie Passage

Wife and I live in Bonneau Beach, which is on east side of Lake Moultrie and this portion of the trail is where we ride our recumbent trikes. The southern end joins the Swampfox passage at a parking area just off highway 52 . From the parking area you cross 52 (be carefull) to begin and in about 1/2 mile you will be on the eastern dike of Lake Moultrie heading north to the town of Bonneau Beach. A better parking area is near Shortstay (military recreation area) at the end of Old Black Oak road. Here you can enter a pedestrian gate and takes you right up to the dike, no highway or railway to cross, If eligible, the Shortstay RV park is a great way to camp and enjoy the trail. Heading north , this portion of the dike is packed gravel and stone, and ends at the community of Bonneau Beach. There is a small parking area at this Black Oak RD access point. Evelyns Diner is great for breakfast and further down Black Oak Rd towards the lake is the Watermark restaurant, good food and drink. It's a 2 mile ride through the community to get to the next section of the eastern dike. The entrance and small parking clearing can be hard to find as it is tucked back off General Moultrie Rd and Martin drive (not marked). The dike is actually labeled as Pooshee Plantation Rd on Google Maps. This portion of the trail is our favorite and travels the dike along the lake with wetlands and chances to see wildlife are assured. It is a two track path made up of packed finer gravel. There is also a primitive camping area (no facilities) We like to end our ride and picnic at the Amos Lee Gourdine boat ramp and beach area. The total distance from Shortstay going north to the Gourdine boat ramp area is about 15 miles. The trail continues along side the rediversion canal, crossing over the canal, but soon becomes unrideable especially for our trikes. The portion that I have covered in this review is the only part of the trail that I have found bike ridable especially a recumbent trike.

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