Spanish Moss Rail Trail – Beaufort, South Carolina

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The former Beaufort Depot, constructed in 1901 as a stop along the Charleston and Western Carolina Railway (fomerly the Port Royal and Augusta Railway), is now the focal point of a popular walking and cycling trail. The trail, called the Spanish Moss Trail in honor of South Carolina’s most famous epiphyte, will eventually cover 13.6 miles, beginning in Port Royal and culminating at the Whale Branch Pier when completed. The trail is also known as the Magnolia Trail for its location along the former Magnolia Rail Line, a section of the railroad that received its moniker in 1877 for using Southern magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora) as mile markers.

Old Beaufort Depot

Jonny Miller of Camden, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority obtained the right-of-way to the former rail line in 2009 for use as a utility corridor. The department granted an easement to Beaufort County in 2011 for the establishment of a recreational trail along the route. Both private and public funds have contributed to the trail’s current development, the first mile sponsored solely by the James M. Cox Foundation.

Spanish Moss Trail

Jonny Miller of Camden, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Today five miles of the trail are complete and connect pedestrians and cyclists from Port Royal to Beaufort. The paved trail takes visitors through the some of South Carolina’s most scenic vistas, including marshes and waterways. Trail heads with parking are located at Depot Road, Broome Lane, Westvine Drive and Roseida Road.

Spanish Moss Rail Trail Info

Address: Depot Road, Beaufort, SC 29902

Spanish Moss Rail Trail Map

Spanish Moss Rail Trail – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Spanish Moss Rail Trail, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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