Palmetto Island County Park

Mt. Pleasant, SC
Length: Varies

About This Trail

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Palmetto Island County Park spans 943 acres of marsh and woodlands.  There are multiple trails that connect and overlap and are of mixed terrain including paved, boardwalk, sand, gravel and dirt. The primary parking area is near the Big Toy Lot, which is straight ahead upon entering.  From there you can take the paved trail toward the marsh trail, viewing tower, shelters and fishing docks, or you can take another trail towards nature island.  There is additional parking available throughout the park, near the shelters and near the fishing dock.

The playground features rubber terrain and has a play area for older kids and a separate play area for tots. There are climbing structures, slides and swings.  The play area is close to some swamp areas and is not fenced in, so you will want to keep a close eye on littles that wander. The playground is in close proximity to the park center which has restrooms, concessions, bike and paddle boat rentals.

A short walk down the paved path with bring you to a meadow. On one side of the meadow is the group picnic shelters and one set of restrooms. There is a women’s, men’s and family restroom in between the first two shelters.  Near the restrooms is an adorable thicket with a tunnel of vines and bushes. It is a great place to sit and observe song birds that live in the ticket above.

Across the meadow from the shelters and restrooms is the 1.1 mile paved bike path which connects the other nature trails. Approximately a half mile down the trail there is an open sandy area with a 50 foot observation tower. The tower has several flights of stairs to the top. There are coin operated viewing devices available at the top, but you can also just bring your own set of binoculars.  There are osprey nests within view as well as open marsh habitat where you are likely to see heron, egrets and other marsh wildlife.  The viewing tower also has two slides on it for littles to play on  and a picnic table and bench for resting tired legs.

Shortly past the viewing tower is the Marsh Trail.  This trail is a .9 mile loop that starts across a boardwalk and into the marsh habitat. Once you are off the boardwalk the terrain is sand and gravel.  This is a great place to get a closer look at marsh crabs, fiddler crabs, periwinkle snails and other marsh creatures. This trail crosses the bike path again later on the other side of the marsh by the creek.

The paved path continues on past some more shelters and parking and then takes a turn.  Continuing on will take you to the boat dock with views of the marsh. Stopping at the turn you will find a picnic table overlooking a large patch of marsh that at low tide is a great place to explore.

Headed out the other way from the park center, you will find the Osprey Trail, Pond Trail and the Nature Island Trail. The nature island trail is a one mile out and back boardwalk with a loop on the island and features mixed terrain. This is a great place to see wildlife as is one of the less trafficked trails in the park. The Osprey Trail is a one mile loop around the woodlands bordering the marsh and swamp. The pond trail is a short 1/2 mile loop around the pond at park center.

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Trail Features

Surface type Mixed
Stroller friendly Yes
ADA accessible Yes
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Mud Puddles, Natural Play Area, Picnic Area, Playground, Shaded Hike, Shelter, Viewpoint, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

Nature Island Trail- More rustic trail with boardwalk and views of wildlife, no restrooms or amenities

Osprey Trail- Less trafficked trail around the outside of park center.

Pond Loop- Short loop around the pond at interior of the park center. Very close to amenities, park, restrooms and parking. Best place to see turtles and possible alligator sightings.

Bike Path- Takes you to the 50 foot observation tower and connects to Marsh Trail

Marsh Trail- One mile loop with views of the river and marsh

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $2.00

Admission is $2 per person. Under age 2 is free. Park Pass available.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Nicholl Summers currently lives in Charleston, SC but has lived all over the country from Alaska to Puerto Rico and many places in between. Whether it is hiking a mountain, walking a beach, exploring a swamp or checking out a cave, she usually has both of her littles in tow.  Mom of two boys age 4 & 1, how their family hikes has evolved over the years, but no matter where they go, they love to connect with nature.


Trail Map