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The Spanish Moss Trail (sometimes referred to as the Beaufort Rail Trail or the Magnolia Line Trail) follows the former Port Royal Railroad that was constructed in 1870. The planned sixteen-mile scenic pathway will one day run through Beaufort County between Port Royal and Yemassee.
In November 2012, the first mile was completed, from Depot Road to Allison Road in Beaufort, the second-oldest city in South Carolina. It runs through a beautiful marsh and by several historical buildings, including the Beaufort Depot, built in 1901, which sits off Hermitage Road at the trail's northern end.
A year later, 2 more miles of trail were added. The extension seamlessly connects with the inaugural section at Allison Road and heads south through tree-lined neighborhoods to end at US 21/Ribaut Road in Port Royal. Subsequent phases have extended the trail north from Depot Road through the town of Burton, to Roseida Road, and later, up to Clarendon Road. As of 2022, the completed segments of trail total just over ten miles.
Six parking areas are available along the Spanish Moss Trail (listed below from north to south), and each provides accessible parking:
12’ wide, smooth concrete for 10+ miles. WOW. Easy, leisurely ride. Beautiful and interesting points of interest. We’re very glad we made this choice.
we started at broome lane parking lot (small - but had a bathroom) - rode right almost to the end - turned around and went back all the way and then retraced the mile or so back to broome lane - very lovely ride - just about 17 miles - some very scenic sections - the middle of the ride had a couple of busy/traffic-lighted intersections (no worries if you're careful) and a bit that was right next to the highway - but the pros way out-weighed the cons - good ride - would do it again if ever in the area again - just for those who are interested in the value of rails to trails in your town - we rode here and then spent the night / ate / spent money in beaufort ... RTT do bring economic gain to their host towns !!
pro’s: I love when towns invest in trails, especially as a biker who likes to explore. This trail is a cement, flat path which is nice for easy going. For cyclists, you can do an easy and safe out and back 20ish miles. There is a nice section at Depot Road where you can take a trip into Beaufort- highly suggest! Con’s: this is not a pretty, scenic trail. It goes through depressed areas, is often next to major roads and is littered w/trash.
February 16, 2023: Started in Beaufort at the parking lot near the Depot. A water fountain was working; port-a potty was nearby, on the north side. Trail in very good shape. Not crowded and roadways were easy to cross. Very friendly locals. Beautiful scenery and waterfowl. Fighter jets in the north taking off from the Marine Base. After completing the trail, we drove to the Fish Camp Restaurant a short distance away in Port Royal on the water front. Can walk out on the pier. Fresh shrimp and oysters cooked to perfection. We loved every minute of the ride and
Paved and well marked. Several benches set up along the route for relaxing and viewing the tidal creeks and wildlife. Bathrooms are just a few port-a-potties set up….so plan accordingly. We ride the trail and then ride the city streets down to Waterfront Park and marina. These streets are wide with speed limit of 30MPH.
I love the historic markers. It’s fun to see the locals fishing on the trestles. The marsh is beautiful. I rode from beginning to end and back!
Beautiful, scenic, flat, with wide smooth concrete trail with some shade and great views. Not many other riders or people on the trail on a Saturday in mid June. Plenty of trailheads and parking, but few restrooms on trail (plenty of gas stations, convenience stores just off trail) Some newer hotels actually on the trail as it passes close to Hwy 21. Worth the trip if you’re in the Savannah area
Quiet scenic trail around Beaufort.
We parked along Bay View and jumped on our bicycles heading southwest thru Depot Rd taking the trail south passing by the train station and riding about 3 more miles. The trail is flat, clean and beautiful views! Easy level, perfect for families that just want to have fun biking. I hope Beaufort extends it through more neighborhoods.
10/9/21 Trail was closed near mile 5. Could see a truck and bulldozer. First time riding this trail and had no prewarning that it was closed. Will try it again one day.
I rode this trail 11 May 2021 on my Catrike. At that time there was no construction on the trail itself although it appeared that there may have been some minor work being done on one of the trailhead parking areas on the southern end. The trail is absolutely delightful. Super smooth, the trail is a full 12 feet wide with a nice center lane marking for the full length of the trail. The only bump on the entire trail was in the bottom of an underpass where there was a length of grating to allow drainage. They could have done a better job of matching the heights on that!
I was staying at a B&B on Bay Street about a mile from the Depot so that is where I got on the trail, by biking from my home away from home. Hitting the trail I headed north until I ran out of trail, then reversed course until I ran out of trail on the southern end, then reversed again back to my starting point at the Depot. By the time I got back to the B&B my GPS told me I had gone just over 25 miles., I didn’t see many military jets while on the trail but I certainly heard them. The trail goes quite close to Merrit Field, a Marine Corps Air Station, and they are quite active.
This trail is a must when in Beaufort SC. It’s wide and paved and scenic.