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USA/South: Kiawah Island, SC

Lowcountry Love Affair


Kiawah Island’s position between the Atlantic Ocean and the endless maze of saltwater marshes and creeks that crisscross Lowcountry make it an ideal place for nature walks, hiking, kayaking, biking and other outdoor activities. The majority of trails and parks are maintained by Kiawah Island Golf Resort, but there are a few other nearby destinations for hikers, bikers and paddlers that are worth checking out.

Walks and Hikes

Awendaw Passage/Palmetto Trail: This seven-mile segment of South Carolina’s statewide Palmetto Trail overlooks Kiawah Island, winding along the edge of a salt marsh and through a forested area. The Awendaw Passage is the coastal terminus of the Palmetto Trail, ending at the Intracoastal Waterway. The trailhead at Buck Hall National Recreation Area provides parking and restrooms.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Trails: The resort offers a number of walking tours like the Gator Walk and Night Beach Walk, all of which can be booked through KIGR’s Heron Park Nature Center. These guided tours run between and hour and 90 minutes, and most require a fee.

Heron Park Nature Center: The Nature Center is located in Night Heron Park in the center of the island and is the heart of Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s nature program. Here you can get information about various activities or make reservations for nature tours and programs.


The saltwater creeks and marshes in and around Kiawah Island offer exceptional opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. Tidal Trails on Kiawah Island offers guided tours, expert instruction and rentals—everything from kayaks and canoes to surfboards and body boards…even fishing and crabbing equipment.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Kayaking: The resort offers both marsh kayaking and surf kayaking. PFDs, paddles, maps and instructions are included in all rentals. Guests and residents can launch personal kayaks at Mingo Point launch site by purchasing a daily/weekly pass from the staff member on duty.


West Ashley Greenway: The West Ashley Greenway is a 10.5-mile (one way) ride from suburban Charleston through the Lowcountry wetlands that surround the city. The trailhead is behind the South Windermere Shopping Center on Folly Road. The first part of the greenway winds through several miles of subdivisions before breaking out into the countryside.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Biking: For cyclists, the resort offers 30 miles of paved leisure trails and 10 miles of hard packed beach. The Sanctuary Bike Pavilion supplies all sizes and style of bikes, as well as maps and equipment. A popular ride that offers a little of everything is the route around Night Heron Park. Take the bike trail starting at Sea Forest Dr. around East Beach and Night Heron to see a great sample of Kiawah Island wildlife.


Kiawah Island Golf Resort: If you’re a golfer, you don’t need to be told about Kiawah Island – it’s on every serious player’s bucket list. The resort has five elite courses designed by the likes of Pete Dye, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston. The resort has hosted several championships, including the 1991 Ryder Cup and the 2012 PGA Championship.

Wild Dunes Resort: Wild Dunes Resort on nearby Isle of Palms offers 36 holes of signature golf courses designed by Tom Fazio. The Links Course and Harbor Course are open to the public and challenge players at every skill level. The resort also offers one of the top Charleston golf schools with a variety of clinics, lessons and intensives.




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Kiawah Island Golf Resort

IMEX 2018