If you go slowly enough and keep a sharp eye, nature will eventually appear over just about every square inch of the Lowcountry. A songbird perches overhead on a utility wire. A butterfly alights on a wildflower growing on the roadside.
Zoom past quickly, however, and you’ll miss it — which seems likely if you’re cycling along the newest segment of the Spanish Moss Trail in northern Beaufort County. The portion from Allison Road to Ribaut Road is now open to traffic, and a grand opening is planned for 11 a.m. Nov. 26 at the Westvine Drive intersection.
The new length seems to be getting plenty of traffic, even if it doesn’t hit you over the head with beauty like the original section. It is a fairly straight, narrow, tree-lined cut through the old railroad right of way. Mostly, you backyards along the way, although it does open up in at least two spots to wide views of salt marsh and Battery Creek.
It’s also an important segment in that it eventually will link high-traffic areas along Ribaut Road and the Port of Port Royal — likely to become the trail’s most popular terminus — with the original section and beyond, which will show off areas of northern Beaufort County in ways it hasn’t been seen in ages.
Walking, running and biking seem to provide the trail’s main allure right now. However, wildlife, particularly birds, are a large part of the attraction, too, and as the attached photo gallery demonstrates, the trail provides quick, close access to an abundance of creatures.
If you’re walking the trail in search of wildlife, look for the spots that open up to water.
And take your time getting there.
Video showing construction of the latest segment of the Spanish Moss trail: