6 Of The Best Things To Do At Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Many visitors to the Sea Pines Forest Preserve admit it was the highlight of their trip, and we are not surprised! With a plethora of outdoor adventures to be had, wildlife to see, and memories to make, this spot is a favorite for many tourists and a must-see during your visit to Hilton Head.

History of Sea Pines Forest Preserve

First inhabited by Nomadic Indians nearly 4,000 years ago, the land was a gold mine of resources. The Indians made due by hunting, fishing in the saltwater and freshwater marshes, and gathering shells. Relics of their lives in the preserve can still be seen today. From 1700 to 1970, the land was mainly used for growing crops such as indigo, rice, and cotton as well as harvesting timber. During the construction of Sea Pines Resort, the owners wanted to preserve part of the land in its natural state. Finally, in 1970, the founding family of the resort dedicated 606 acres of their land as a wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation facility. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve officially opened to the public in June of 1971.

Things to do at Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Visit Warner W. Plahs Wildflower Field

This is truly a springtime spectacle you don’t want to miss. Near Lake Thomas, this field blooms from March to June with bright and beautiful wildflowers. Many people flock here every spring to see them, and it makes for perfect photo opportunities.

Wildlife Observation

From the three observation decks at Old Lawton Rice Field, you’ll be able to spot an abundance of wild Sea Pines Forest Preserve residents. Common sightings include white-tailed deer, alligators, herons, and over 200 species of birds.

Have a Picnic on Fish Island

If you’re looking for a romantic excursion or just a fun family activity, visit Fish Island, located in the center of the preserve. The area offers pristine views of the nearby lakes and perfect spots for a picnic.

Take a Hike

Two popular hiking trails wind through the habitats of the preserve, each marked by a different color and leading you to different areas. It’s a great way to get in some exercise while taking in the island's stunning natural beauty. The Blue Arrow Trail takes about an hour to complete whereas the Orange Arrow Trail is more challenging and requires about two hours to finish.

View the Shell Ring

Created by Indian moundbuilders nearly 4,000 years ago, this ancient ring of shells still stands today and was once the site of the native’s rituals and festivals. Although rumors have it that the ring was meant to signify some sort of religion, scholars have concluded that the ring was merely used as a barrier around the Indians’ campsite. Nonetheless, it is still incredible to see a piece of history like this still standing.  

Sea Pines Forest Preserve Alligator Tour

Get up close and personal with Hilton Head’s animal and plant life aboard this boat tour.

Trail Rides

Take a one hour guided tour of the preserve by horseback! You will experience the island’s natural beauty and trails from a completely new vantage point.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve Fishing Tour and Wagon Tour

Provided by the Sea Pines Resort Recreation Department, you will be able to relax during a peaceful wagon ride through the land. You can also enjoy a fishing trip in Lake Joe, which is loaded with catfish.

Before your visit, familiarizing yourself with the land by the Sea Pines Forest Preserve Map may be beneficial to you.

Explore the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and More of Hilton Head Island During Your Stay With Us

Discover all the beauty and fun this tropical paradise has to offer when you stay in one of our luxury vacation rentals all located just minutes away from Hilton Head Island’s numerous activities! It’s everything you need for a rejuvenating getaway or a fun filled family vacation.