Beaufort County has constructed a new website for the Beaufort Rail Trail project, which includes a 13.6-mile hiking and biking path along the right of way of the former Port Royal Railroad.The website, www.railtrailbeaufort.wordpress.com, contains information about the trail corridor, news, upcoming events and an interactive map. It also explains the trail's potential for what county officials hope will become a successful regional draw, local recreational amenity and economic-development tool, according to a county news release.
- The pathway will run from Ribaut Road in Port Royal to the Whale Branch River and could expand into a 20-mile, multi-use recreational trail. It is owned by the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority, which has secured the right of way, granted an easement to the county for trail construction and removed rails, ties and ballast.
The county seeks federal and state grants to fund the project and already has received a $3.1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to develop a "multi-modal" transportation network that includes bus service and walking and bicycling facilities. Part of the grant will be used to develop 2.2 miles of the trail.
The county will work with the city of Beaufort later this year to sponsor a public workshop as they develop a master plan. Comments will be sought from residents on factors such as trail width, paving material, trail heads, connecting paths and integrating them with surrounding communities. Dates and times for public discussions will be announced later, the county's release said.