Thursday, November 12, 2015

Palmetto Islands County Park, Mount Pleasant, SC. by Shelley Hopkins

Have you ever wondered what Mount Pleasant looked like before it was covered with trendy shops and neighborhoods?  Mount Pleasant is still a beautiful city, and it can be a delight to walk through the Old Village and down Pitt Street to the pier.  The parks are wonderful and all the live oaks still shade the city streets and homes.  But, to see this area before people, take a drive over to the Palmetto Islands County Park.  This park is at the end of the Longpoint group of subdivisions, and it has plenty of park things to do; a playground, a splash park, crabbing dock, and paddle boat rentals, and my favorite, a 50 foot observation tower complete with sides for the “children.” 

Observation Tower and view from tower below

I visited the park today, in November, and I chose to simply walk the trails.  I was amazed at the beauty, at the palmetto trees nestled among live oaks, dogwoods and pines.  I started at the playground area and followed the paved pathway out past the splash park, and then I switched to a boardwalk that crossed marsh to reach what they call the Nature Island.  A man on a bicycle passed me, and I met several people walking with their dogs.  After circling the island I returned to the paved road, was passed by the same bicyclist, and then walked towards the river on the opposite side of the park.  I walked up to the 50 foot lookout tower, and rested, enjoying the expansive views and the cool breezes.  The air had the salty marshy feel.  It was low tide, and even from the top of the tower I could hear the pop pop sounds of air escaping the pluff mud.  Birds were plentiful, and I wished I had my binoculars and a longer camera lens.  After a time I returned to the trail, was passed by the same bicyclist, again, and walked on to the crab dock and river.

I kept thinking about how the original inhabitants of this land would live, the oysters, fish and crab providing food.  I think the soft wet soil under the palmetto forests would be difficult to navigate, and so I was thankful for the paved and dirt pathways.  I watched two men fish, and then walked back towards my car, passing that same bicycle rider one last time.

Check out Palmetto Island County Parks for more information
Search here for homes found in the Longpoint area, where you can bike to this park right from your home.

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