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Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage

Lowcountry, South Carolina

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Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage

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  • The trailhead at Buck Hall Recreation Area.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • The trail and junctions are well marked.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • View of the Intracoastal Waterway and salt marsh.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • A tiny traveler on the trail.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Wildflowers bloom in this coastal forest nearly all year.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Twisted trees and vines shading the trail.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Traces of fire, which is a natural part of the ecosystem here.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • A footbridge crossing a creek.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Butterflies are plentiful in these woods.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Much of the route is through young pine forest.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Wildflowers blooming in early fall.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • A racer snake looking for a meal in the trees.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • Diverse forest understory.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • A singletrack passage among pine trees and brush.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
  • The beginning/end of the Swamp Fox Passage, which continues the Palmetto Trail inland.- Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
End of cross-state trail.
Cons: 
Highway noise. Road crossings. Can be buggy.
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Region:
Lowcountry, SC
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
7.10 mi (11.43 km)
Total elevation gain: 
25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Palmetto Trail is South Carolina's cross-state trail, one of only 16 trails in the country that traverse an entire state from end to end. Though still disjunct in other parts of the state, when completed the Palmetto Trail will cover 500 miles from the mountains of the Upstate to the coast of the Lowcountry. It's easternmost portion is the Awendaw Passage, which is 7.1 miles in the vicinity of US-17 and the Intracoastal Waterway. The trailhead at Buck Hall Recreation Area marks either the start or the end of the full journey, depending on direction of travel.

The Awendaw Passage is forested for nearly its entire length, traveling through maritime forest, pinewoods, and alongside coastal marsh. The terrain is basically at sea level and flat, with some footbridges over sloughs and guts. Large sections may flood or become deep mud after heavy rain. Warm months mean lots of mosquitoes and other insects, so plan accordingly.

There are multiple access points along the Awendaw Passage, which crosses roads a few times, including Highway 17. This allows various options for a shuttle if you are not continuing on to Swamp Fox, the next passage of the trail. There are no campsites or facilities along Awendaw Passage, except for the developed campground at Buck Hall Recreation Area. Parking at the recreation area requires a $5 day use fee, and camping is an additional fee. Parking at other trailheads along the passage is free.

The Palmetto Trail is maintained by the nonprofit Palmetto Conservation, which is committed to finish linking the trail. They rely on donations and volunteer work for this and other conservation projects across the state.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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