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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the area’s best places to explore the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. The refuge offers a variety of habitats that are home to diverse wildlife and beautiful vistas. The casual visitor and the avid naturalist can both enjoy the 13 miles of trails, fresh water lagoons and adjacent salt marshes year-round.

Buffalo-Trail-RunThe shotgun blast that marked the start of the inaugural Buffalo Trail Run was still ringing in my ears when I jumped on the back of an ATV driven by Palmetto Bluff Conservancy Director Jay Walea.

As Walea set off to monitor the runners, I held on for an up close and personal tour of the 10-kilometer race course that weaved its way through some of the most isolated stretches of the property.

The idea for the 10k, 30k and 50k Palmetto Bluff Conservancy Buffalo Trail Run was part his idea. Initial plans for the race were hatched after the success of the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon. But this time, instead of paying a visit to Wilson Village, runners would trek through the most remote heart of the 20,000-acre plantation.

roadtripnature01We’re topping off the gas tank for a road trip to six of the best outdoor vacation destinations in the United States, all an easy drive from the Lowcountry.

We begin our journey in south Georgia, where Sea Island’s new Broadfield Sporting Club & Lodge has added hunting to its roster of world-class outdoor activities.

The Forbes five-star resort off the southeastern coast of Georgia has added a 5,800-acre property as a sporting club destination that includes amenities such as a rifle and pistol range, freshwater fishing, extensive hunting grounds and a multitude of game including quail, deer, wild turkey and doves.

By Glen McCaskey  |  Photos by Rob Tipton

shorebirdsIt was barely 8 a.m. when we hit the beach near Fish Haul Creek on a cold January morning. The wind was howling out of the north at 25 mph, making our eyes tear and faces sting.

The dry surface sand of the beach was moving swiftly past our feet like a white river that we were wading through; if you watched the ground as you walked, you were overtaken by a feeling of vertigo.

Better to look ahead, to peer through the fog of blowing sand and try to locate the reason we were subjecting ourselves to these very un-tropical conditions.

“People think local and short-term. When you tell people in Chicago this winter was a very warm winter around the world — the eighth warmest winter on record — their response is that they are scraping ice off their cars in mid-March.”

That’s the view of Rear Admiral David W. Titley, who recently spoke on “Climate Change and National Security” at the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head. 


In his talk, which covered the history of climate change within the budgetary, policy and political perspectives of the U.S.

SEA ISLANDS INSTITUTE SUSTAINABILITY RESEARCH PROVIDING KEY ECOLOGICAL DATASea Islands Institute Sustainability Research Initiative providing key ecological data

How do we keep the ecology that drew many of us to this nirvana while continuing to foster growth in the industry that is the financial backbone of the Lowcountry?

It’s a question that Charles Fraser kept at the heart of every decision he made as he worked to transform Hilton Head Island into a resort community beginning in 1955.

Nearly six decades later, the question is more relevant and vital to the region’s future as ever.

SHARKS SHOULD BE ADMIREDWhen shark expert George Burgess heard about the recent shark bite a tourist sustained while wading in knee-deep water on Hilton Head Island, he greeted the news with more of a shrug than a shock.

"Sharks really don’t give a damn about humans, other than that we’re in their waters,” says Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research through the University of Florida. “We’re lousy swimmers, we flop around near the surface, more times than not we’re really white in color, so sharks actually deserve a lot of credit for leaving us alone almost all the time. Considering we don’t make any precautions, we’re treated very well.”