Passive Parks and Facilities

Please continue to practice social distancing and maintain 6 feet distance at all times. #RecreateResponsibly

 

Take a 5-minute tour of some of the County's Passive Parks!


When visiting the County's passive parks, please remember these 7 Principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare to ensure your safety, minimize resource damage and know the rules.
  2. Stay on the trail for your safety and to avoid resource damage.
  3. Pack it in, pack it out and dispose of all waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find for the enjoyment of all.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts and use fire rings and grills responsibly.
  6. Respect wildlife through quiet observation from a distance and never feed wildlife.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors and minimize noise and uncontrolled pets.

For more information on the 7 Principles, please visit Leave No Trace.

 

The following parks and facilities were purchased by Beaufort County through the Rural and Critical Lands Preservation Program and are overseen by the County's Passive Parks Manager. The following passive parks are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC from dawn to dusk, unless otherwise posted. All passive parks and facilities listed below are subject to the County's Passive Park Ordinance (Ord. 2018/53) and All Are Welcome.

 

Altamaha Town Heritage Preserve (map)

Location: Old Baileys Road off of Okatie Highway (Hwy 170), Okatie, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing

Amenities: Parking, Picnic Tables, Benches, Primitive Trail

Disability Facts: Gravel parking area, 10 foot wide flat earthen trail, disability accessible picnic table at end of trail

This 100-acre oak-hickory forested gem along the Okatie and Colleton Rivers was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and co-purchased by the County and State in 2004 to preserve the beauty of the forest as well as the historical remnants of a Yamasee village and Colonial-era cemetery.

Named for a Yamasee chief, the Preserve protects the main town of the Lower Yamasee. The Preserve's greatest attribute is its ability to provide archaeological data that has direct bearing on interpretation of the effects of European contact on Native Americans. Important questions regarding the effects of acculturation and migration upon late 17th and early 18th Century Native American life can be answered from data resting just beneath the ground.

Anyone wishing to conduct any research or collection activities should contact the State Department of Natural Resources, Heritage Trust Program, at longb@dnr.sc.gov.

 

Brewer Memorial Park (map)

Location: 47 Sea Island Parkway, Beaufort, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Wildlife Viewing, Fishing, Kayaking

Amenities: Parking, Pier/Dock, Kayak Launch, Stormwater Demonstration BMPs

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking spaces, pier and dock; dock may not be accessible during low tide due to grade

Brewer Memorial Park is a 1-acre open lawn pocket park located at the base of Woods Memorial Bridge on Lady's Island, adjacent to the Whitehall Boat Ramp and Factory Creek Fishing Pier. The park offers a beautiful vista and green space in this urban setting. The stormwater demonstration project constructed at the park helps prevent erosion and control stormwater runoff from the highway.

The property is co-owned by the County and the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, who provides property maintenance. Due to acquisition agreements, the property is not available for event rental.

 

Crystal Lake Park (map)

Location: 124 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort, SC

Activities: Wildlife Viewing, Fishing, Hiking

Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Pier, Boardwalk, Primitive Trail

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking spaces, restrooms, pier and boardwalk; 6-8 foot wide flat earthen trail may not be accessible to all users

Crystal Lake Park is 25-acres of forested habitats, salt marsh, and a man-made pond located on Lady's Island. The pond has a population of redfish and mullet, which get trapped during extreme high tides. Fishing in the pond is restricted to catch-and-release only due to the potential for unacceptably high cancer and non-cancer health risks. The full fish tissue analysis report can be downloaded by clicking here.

The Butler Marine building is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 2:00pm and has leased office space for the Beaufort Soil and Water Conservation District. The conference room is available to the public for rental. Additionally, park volunteers installed, and maintain, a pollinator garden adjacent to the building!

Click here to watch the grand opening and take a tour of the park!

 

Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve (map)

Location: 601 Old Fort Road, Port Royal, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Wildlife Viewing, Historic Interpretation

Amenities: Parking, Historic Fort Ruins, Picnic Pavilion, Interpretive Signage

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking space and picnic table; Fort ruins may not be accessible to all users

Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve is 6-acres of forested habitat along the Beaufort River in Port Royal adjacent to the Naval Hospital. Half of the Preserve contains the colonial British tabby ruins of the original 1730's Fort Frederick, which is thought to be the oldest tabby structure in the State of South Carolina and is owned and maintained by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust Program. The other half of the Preserve is owned by Beaufort County and provides public access, parking and a picnic pavilion for visitors to enjoy the river views, bird watching and access to the historic tabby ruins.

The picnic pavilion is available to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis and has 8 regular picnic tables and 1 ADA picnic table - a perfect location for large family gatherings!

The County parnters with the Town of Port Royal and SC DNR for maintenance of the property.

Click here to watch the opening and learn some history of the property!

 

Fort Fremont Preserve (map)

Location: 1124 Lands End Road, St. Helena Island, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Wildlife Viewing, Beach Walking, Historic Interpretation, Conference Room rental

Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Historic Fort, History Center, Picnic Pavilion, Interpretive Signage, Conference Room; click here to view the park site map

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking space, restrooms, sidewalks, picnic pavilion and history center; Fort structure itself is not accessible; beach access may not be accessible to all users.

History Center Hours of Operation:

  • Every Friday from 10:00am to 2:00pm
  • Every Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Docent Tours are available every Saturday at 11:00am and 1:00pm

Fort Fremont Preserve is 18-acres of mesic mixed hardwood forest surrounding a Spanish-American War era Fort. The Fort was built in 1898 to defend the Port Royal Sound during the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. Visitors can check in with the Friends of Fort Fremont (FFF) volunteers in the History Center lobby to schedule a docent tour, view the diorama of how the Fort and surrounding grounds looked in 1898 and watch a video on the Fort's history.

The conference room in the History Center is available to the public for rental.

Click here to watch the Coastline episode about Fort Fremont!

Click here to watch the Grand Opening of the Fort Fremont History Center!

 

The Green (map)

Location: King and Pinckney Streets, Beaufort, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Dog Walking, Yard Activities 

Amenities: Benches

Disability Facts: Property is lawn/leaf covered ground with no specific amenities

This 1-acre neighborhood pocket park is located in a residential neighborhood in downtown historic Beaufort. The park is an open lawn with a mature oak canopy along the edges and is bordered on all four sides by residential roads and homes. There is no parking area and it is accessible by pedestrian access only.

A portion of the property is co-owned by the County and the Beaufort County Open Land Trust. The County also partners with the City of Beaufort for maintenance of the property. Due to acquisition agreements, the property is not available for event rental.

 

Green's Shell Park (map)

Location: 99 Squire Pope Road, Hilton Head Island, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Wildlife Viewing, Basketball

Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Playground, Picnic Pavilion, Grills, Basketball Court

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking spaces, restrooms and picnic pavilion

Green's Shell Park is a 3-acre pocket park located on Hilton Head Island. The park is also adjacent to the State owned historic shell ring and Gullah cemetery.

The County partners with the Town of Hilton Head Island for maintenance of the property.

 

North Williman and Buzzard Islands (map)

Location: Bull River, St. Helena Sound, SC

Activities: Wildlife Viewing, Hiking, Hunting

Amenities: None

Disability Facts: No specific amenities at this time

North Williman Island is approximately 10,000 acres of mixed southern forest, maritime forest, and salt marsh. Buzzard Island is approximately 120 acres of maritime forest and salt marsh. There are no developed improvements or trails on the islands, however visitors can walk through the woods and enjoy hiking and bird watching.

Beaufort County and the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have entered into a Management Agreement for these islands, which provides DNR the ability to conduct routine land management activities, such as prescribed burning and invasive exotic plant and animal control, as well the designation of these properties as part of the St. Helena Sound Wildlife Management Area.

North Williman and Buzzard Islands were first opened to the public for the 2020-2021 archery season! Please see the most current SC DNR Hunting Regulations for all applicable rules and regulations.

 

Oyster Factory Park (map)

Location: 55 Wharf Street / 101 Bridge Street, Bluffton, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Boating, Oyster Roasting, Historic Interpretation

Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Boat Ramp/Dock, Picnic Pavilion, Oyster Roast Facilities, Picnic Tables, Benches, Historic Garvin House

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking spaces, restrooms, dock, picnic pavilion and historic house; dock may be inaccessible during low tide due to grade

Conveniently located in the heart of Bluffton on the May River, the 9-acre Oyster Factory Park is well used by visitors and the local community to access the river and is a site for special events and functions. The park connects the community to Bluffton's historic oystering past and preserves a beautiful bluff, providing a buffer from the residential and commercial development occurring in the surrounding community.

The property is available for event rental by contacting the Town of Bluffton, which all proceeds are used for continued property maintenance by the Town. 

 

Pinckney Colony Preserve (map)

Location: 7 Pinckney Colony Road, Bluffton, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Wildlife Viewing

Amenities: Parking, Picnic Tables, Benches

Disability Facts: Earthen parking with no designated spaces, picnic tables may or may not be accessible depending on user

Pinckney Colony Preserve is 38-acres of forested wetlands near Bluffton. The property was acquired for wetland and water quality conservation purposes. Aside from the picnic area, there are no other amenities or trails provided due to the sensitivity of the wetland habitats.

 

Port Royal Battlefield (map)

Location: 3026 Trask Parkway, Beaufort, SC

Activities: Historic Interpretation

Amenities: Interpretive Signage

Disability Facts: Asphalt parking area with disability accessible parking space

The Port Royal Battlefield is an approximate 14-acre parcel in northern Beaufort County directly across Highway 21 from the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) runway. It consists of forested uplands and wetlands, and was the former site of the Harris Pillow factory. This property is also the partial location of the historic Revolutionary War's 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island. The battle that occurred on and around this property was a significant victory of Patriot troops over the British troops attempting to occupy Port Royal Island. Other noteworthy historical facts include Thomas Heyward Jr. and Edward Rutledge, two signers of the Declaration of Independence, were combatants in the battle. This battle was also one of the earliest documented use of Black troops in the Revolutionary War.

This property is under a very restrictive easement between the County and MCAS, which limits public access and use to no more than 20 visitors a day. A conservation easement between the County and the Battleground Trust also details the only use of the property as an interpretive site. No other amenities will be constructed on this property. 

 

Whitehall Park (map) - CLOSED due to construction!

Anticipated to reopen in Summer 2023.

Location: 9 White Hall Drive, Beaufort, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Walking, Wildlife Viewing

Amenities: None

Disability Facts: No specific amenities at this time

Whitehall Park is 9.72-acres of upland live oak forest at the base of the Woods Memorial Bridge on Lady's Island, across the Beaufort River from downtown Beaufort and opposite the highway from Whitehall Boat Ramp.

Beaufort County, in collaboration with the City of Beaufort, the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, and the Friends of Whitehall Park, developed a conceptual master plan for public access and passive recreation opportunities, which can be viewed by clicking here. The County is currently working on implementing the construction of the master plan.

The City of Beaufort provides maintenance of the property, as per the terms of the lease agreement.

The Friends of Whitehall Park also work closely with the County and the City on volunteer activities and fundraisers.

 

Widgeon Point Preserve (map)

Location: 43 Okatie Hwy, Beaufort, SC

Activities: Picnicking, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing

Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Water Fountain, Picnic Pavilion, Bird Blind, Event Barn, Nature Trail (0.7 mile loop); click here to view the park site map

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking spaces, sidewalks, water fountain, picnic table, and bird blind; the nature trail is a 6-8 foot wide flat earthen trail that may not be accessible to all users; the temporary restrooms are not accessible at this time but will be replaced with accessible ones as soon as possible

Widgeon Point Preserve is co-owned by Beaufort County and the Beaufort County Open Land Trust. The property consists of 162 acres of mixed pine-hardwood forest, maritime forest, freshwater depression wetlands and salt marsh along the Broad River in Port Royal Sound just south of the Broad River Bridge. Beaufort County residents and visitors can visit the bird blind or hike the nature trail to observe wildlife such as wading birds, songbirds and alligators - one may even see the occasional deer, coyote or bobcat!

The picnic pavilion has three (3) picnic tables and is on a first-come/first-serve basis for visitor use. The barn can be reserved for weddings, family gatherings and the like by submitting a Passive Parks Facility Rental Application to the Passive Parks Manager. Beaufort County manages and maintains the property and all proceeds from the barn rental go back into the property maintenance needs.

Click here to watch the grand opening and take a tour of the property!

 

Wright Family Park (map)

Location: 111 Calhoun Street, Bluffton, SC

Activities: Walking, Lawn Activities, Scenic Viewing, Fishing

Amenities: Parking (3-hour max), Sidewalks, Interpretive Signage, Dog Waste Stations, Benches, Restrooms, Water Fountain, Waterfront Promenade, Covered Pier, Floating Dock (10 boat max); click here to view park site map

Disability Facts: Disability accessible parking spaces, sidewalks, interpretive signage, benches, restrooms, water fountain and covered pier; dock may not be accessible to all users at low tide due to grade; waterfront promenade has stairs

The approximate 2-acre Wright Family Park located along the May River in Bluffton was co-purchased by Beaufort County and the Town of Bluffton in 2017 for the preservation of this significant historic site. One of the 10 surviving antebellum-era structures in Bluffton, the 1850's Squire Pope Carriage House, is located on the property and will eventually be restored for use as a welcome center, museum and Town staff office space. The remainder of the property is an open lawn encircled by a faux-tabby sidewalk dotted with benches and a gorgeous view of the May River. A waterfront promenade traverses the bluff of the river and provides a small stepped walk to access the river shoreline. A covered pier and dock also provide beautiful views and fishing access to the river.

The Town of Bluffton manages and maintains the property.