Low Country Riding

SMTlogoIMG_0793 (640x427)A magnificent partnership in Beaufort, South Carolina recently completed an additional 2.27 miles of the Spanish Moss Trail through the towns of Beaufort and Port Royal. PATH collaborated with Friends of the Spanish Moss Trail, the City and County of Beaufort, the Town of Port Royal, Beaufort-Jasper Water Sewer Authority, and Beaufort Memorial Hospital to raise over $500,000 to match a gift from the James M. Cox Foundation to complete the trail. PATH crews completed this phase of trail in November resulting in a 3.27 mile continuous trail between Beaufort and Port Royal.

The trail will be the centerpiece of a new initiative by the City of Beaufort to become a wellness destination. Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling who has played a key role in promoting the trail, says the Spanish Moss Trail fits perfectly into the 100 year, block by block, Civic Master Plan the city has adopted. “The four driving principles of the plan are connectivity, opening up more public access to water, infilling neighborhoods through redevelopment, and fostering wellness for those who live and visit here,” he said. “The Spanish Moss Trail gives citizens and visitors a venue for exercising, socializing, fishing, and enjoying water views.”

In August, the James M. Cox Foundation provided a new challenge grant to complete another 1.6 miles of the trail north of Beaufort. The Friends group met the latest challenge in November by raising an additional $250,000 locally. A gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, honoring their board member John M. Trask Jr. completed the funding required for the project. PATH crews will begin construction of this segment in the spring. Coupled with the two mile segment being developed by Beaufort County, the Spanish Moss Trail should be seven miles long during 2014.