Walkable Communities - The Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort SC

Walkable Communities SC

Folks seeking the ultimate destination with rich history, antebellum architecture and majestic oaks draped with flowing Spanish moss should consider a visit to Beaufort, the second-oldest city in South Carolina incorporated by the British Colonists in 1711. Located in the heart of the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Beaufort wonderfully represents the charm and appeal associated with living the Southern lifestyle in the Lowcountry’s walkable communities.

Tagged as the “Best Small Southern Town” by Southern Living and named a “Top 50 Adventure Town” by National Geographic Adventure, Beaufort draws tourists and new residents of all ages due to the expansive marshlands, waterfront parks and abundant wildlife which provides a peaceful backdrop for an enriching life filled with a multitude of outdoor activities on the Islands of South Carolina.  One major draw to the area is the infamous Spanish Moss Trail which can be found here and provides a safe trail for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for residents who choose this haven in the South.  

The Spanish Moss Trail begins on a tract of land that formerly was the home of the historic Magnolia Line Railroad which ceased operations in 2003.  In 2011, the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority retained the right-of-way to use the utility corridor and subsequently granted a 14 mile easement to serve as a recreational trail.  The 9+ mile Spanish Moss Trail follows the path of the former Port Royal Railroad and is a paved 12-foot path that meanders along waterways and marshlands with a variety of regional wildlife that occupy the region. Some people say the trail is the “best thing ever that happened for Beaufort’s dogs”. In 2017, Friends of the Spanish Moss trail will concentrate of the extension of the Trail to the Sands Beach in Port Royal.

The trail provides the ideal place for walkers, joggers, cyclists and skaters to exercise and improve their personal well- being while enjoying the rich environment Beaufort has to offer.  It connects members of the communities north of the Marine Air Corp Station to the developed areas of Beaufort and Port Royal Island. Upon completion, the trail will extend 14.9 miles and also serves as a contributing section of the East Coast Greenway.  Active seniors and families share this extraordinary trail filled with historic appeal and renowned antebellum architecture.  Beaufort waterfront properties and gated communities in South Carolina are in high demand to those looking to relocate to the region.

In the historic downtown district, 304 acres have been designated as a National Historic Landmark and pieces of the original English Colonial settlements are scattered throughout the town.  Five star and casual dining, colorful art galleries and unique boutiques can be found here. The Lowcountry provides a wide array of options for enjoying a culturally enriched lifestyle with enjoying the view of the Beaufort River located east of US 21.  The Pigeon Point and Higginsville neighborhoods are located north of Downtown and are built around the Beaufort National Cemetery.  There are two massive city parks found here, the Pigeon Point Community Park and the Basil Green Recreation Complex. The city also boasts year-round festivals to entertain both visitors and tourists and completes the appeal of living on the islands of South Carolina. Popular festivals include the Beaufort Water Festival, Shrimp Festival, and Gullah Festival.

Economic prosperity is provided by a pronounced military presence, increased tourism and downtown revitalization.  Military personnel and their families began to flock to the region in the 1940’s and 50’s which doubled the population as Beaufort is located in close proximity to Parris Island, a U.S. Naval hospital and the Marine Corps Air Station found here.

For home shoppers seeking Lowcountry living in the islands of South Carolina, there are a number of cozy gated communities in South Carolina which are conveniently located within biking distance of the Spanish Moss Trail and the historically acclaimed downtown Beaufort. Here’s three walkable communities near the trail:


This Beaufort waterfront community, inspired by the accomplished Home Designer, William E. Poole, features custom dream homes that are built amongst towering 400-year-old pines, stately oaks draped with Spanish moss signature to the region and tranquil marshes of Battery Creek providing a serene and picturesque backdrop for enjoying the ultimate in Lowcountry living.  There are two community docks providing a floating ramp for outdoor adventures.  Kayaking and crabbing are common activities for residents from the dock on Cotton Island with scenic views of Battery Creek.  The property is also graced with a state-of-the-art clubhouse designed by William E. Poole where residents and their guests can enjoy swimming, fitness and tennis.  An outdoor playground and basketball court are also available for those with young families.  Here you’ll find 77 homes.  


Another waterfront gated community to explore, Pickney Retreat, once a private plantation established in 1736, still features the original home, the Tabby House as well as the cultivated antebellum gardens of yesteryear.  This is a great place to build a retreat with preserved green spaces, scenic marshlands and community living, Pickney Retreat provides it all.  There is a pool complex complete with a covered grilling area, fireplace and indoor kitchen which provide the perfect place to socialize with friends and family.  For water enthusiasts, there is a community dock where healthy and active residents can enjoy canoeing and kayaking while enjoying the immaculate scenery found here.  The Retreat House overlooking Battery Creek provides an enchanting experience for entertaining while enjoying the gardens that grace the property.  Golfers can enjoy world class courses 15 to 25 minutes away and the renowned Hilton Head courses are a short 30 minute drive.  Downtown Beaufort is only 7 miles away and provides a great place to dine, shop, stroll through waterfront parks or attend one of the many festivals that are offered year round.  Pickney Retreat is one of the newer gated communities in South Carolina in Beaufort.


Another Beaufort waterfront property to explore is Habersham which was awarded the “Best Neighborhood Design in America” by the National Association of Home Builders.  Southern charm abides here with a distinctively unique town plan designed by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company which includes elegant Lowcountry architecture, waterfront parks, nature trails and a mainstreet market place.  Residents can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking and nearby golf courses.  Folks who call Habersham home find that an active year round lifestyle with plenty of outdoor activities and a variety of social events keep residents happy, healthy and youthful.  A classic example of new urbanism with its own Town Center, Habersham is a must see while searching for a relaxing seaside home.

Whether it’s a visit to the Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort or exploring homes in this extraordinary waterfront region, folks are finding that aging well, staying fit and socially connected provide the perfect complement to retirement living. 

When you travel to explore Beaufort SC real estate in a gated community, let us know if you would like to receive free Beaufort South Carolina Relocation Information or to be introduced to our trusted colleague who can show you homes for sale Islands of Beaufort or anywhere on the Sea Islands South Carolina.

We're happy to share our secrets with you, to make your search more enjoyable.

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