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Archive for the ‘Bike Trails’ Category

(Free things to do in Savannah with kids) Downtown Savannah Tree Tour by bike

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

Savannah mom-tween bonding on bikes during Downtown Savannah Tree TourRead how that turned out here in our newspaper column.

Just want to check out the Downtown Savannah Tree Tour by bike? See the map & detailed description of each stop on Bike Walk Savannah here. 

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New Visitor Center & Summer Discount Code at Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

new Skidaway Island State Park visitor center interpretive

New Skidaway Island State Park Visitor Center, Savannah

Skidaway Island State Park will host a public ribbon-cutting celebration for its new visitor center at 10AM on May 13. The 6,300-square-foot building is now the first stop for those enjoying one of Georgia’s most popular state parks.

Designed to reflect the architectural style of neighboring communities, the facility spotlights the low-country barrier island. Floor-to-ceiling windows showcase the maritime forest and marsh, and guests can enjoy birding from a screened porch. Towering 20 feet high is a giant ground sloth skeleton, a replica of an ancient fossil found within the park in 1822. Nature exhibits include turtles and snakes, and a gift shop is filled with clothing, toys, books, camping supplies, jewelry and local foods. The visitor center also includes meeting space, classroom space and staff offices.

Skidaway Island State Park is just 15 minutes from downtown Savannah, yet surrounded by peaceful tidal waterways and forest. Overnight guests can choose from small cabins or campsites shaded by live oaks and Spanish moss. During the day, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, geocaching and ranger programs. The park’s Big Ferry Nature Trail is part of Georgia’s Colonial Coast Birding Trail, and colorful painted buntings are often spotted during spring.

To learn more, visit GaStateParks.org/SkidawayIsland or call 912-598-2300.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony, and parking is $5. Skidaway Island State Park is operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Skidway Is. State Park regularly offers kid-friendly events. Find the schedule here. 

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Summer Discount Code

SouthernMamas.com and Friends of Georgia State Parks are partnering to make it even easier to get outside with your kids this summer.

SouthernMamas.com readers can receive a 15 percent discount on Friends of Georgia State Parks membership levels.  Use the code southernmama to get your discount.This discount is valid through July 31 2021.

Get your discount here. 

Skidaway Island State Park Visitor Center Interpretive Savannah

Savannah Daytrips: Hide-and-seek game for handmade glass floats on Jekyll Island during Jan., Feb. 2021

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Island Treasures Jekyll Island 2017 Daytrips Savannah

The hunt is on.

Find your Island Treasure now through Feb. 28 2021.

Every year, Jekyll Island commissions a group of highly skilled artisans from across the U.S. to create exquisite, handworked glass floats for Jekyll’s annual Island Treasures event.

(Jekyll Island is an easy, roughly 90-minute drive down I-95 from Savannah. See our list of things to do with kids on on Jekyll Island here. )

The glass floats are part of a hide-and-seek style game played on Jekyll Island throughout January and February. Each day, volunteers called Beach Buddies hide clear globes around the island for lucky guests to find and redeem for a real glass float. Gather your friends and family to search for globes that can be exchanged for dazzling handcrafted glass floats.

Jekyll Island Guest Information Center
901 Downing Musgrove Causeway
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Learn more about Island Treasures here.

Find more things to do with kids on Jekyll Island here.

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FIND MORE DAYTRIPS FROM SAVANNAH HERE

 

(Savannah Daytrips) Lawton Stables & Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Hilton Head Is.

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021
Sea Pines Nature Preserve Bike Trails Hilton Head

Summertime biking @ Sea Pines Nature Preserve

Hilton Head Island offers over 50 scenic miles of public bicycle pathways and nature trails.

The hard-packed beaches are also popular for bicycling at low tide.

Which is why we’re often perplexed that more Savannah families don’t take advantage of this daytrip option (about one hour drive from Savannah). There are so many family-friendly activities do on Hilton Head.

Find the complete list of our favorite places to visit on Hilton Head Is. here. 

Below is a sample:

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

The 605-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve includes easy trails to various points of interest including the 4,000-year-old Indian Shell Ring, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a wildflower garden that’s amazing when in bloom (pictured above in summer).

The walks range from 25 minutes to one hour. Bicycles are not permitted on the nature trails, so please park your bicycles at the locations provided. Open from sunrise to sunset. The Forest Preserve is free; there’s a $9 Sea Pines gate fee per auto. More info here.

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Lawton Stables Hilton Head Sea Pines Resort

Lawton Stables in Sea Pines Resort 

One of our favorite Sea Pines spots to visit with young kids is Lawton Stables, which offers horse trail rides, $15/pony rides and a small animal farm.

Their free animal farm includes goats, sheep, chickens, turtles, cows and alpacas.  Kids can also pet a friendly retired Clydesdale, Harley, at the stables. Pony rides and horseback riding available for a fee. Pony rides available for a fee for children between the ages of 2-7 years old and weighing less than 55 lbs.

All trail riders must be a minimum of 8 years old. Lawton Stables does not allow ‘double-riding’ with two people sharing a horse.

You MUST make a reservation for all trail rides – please BOOK ONLINE.

The animal farm is free; there’s a $9 Sea Pines gate fee per auto. More info here. 190 Greenwood Drive, Hilton Head Island, 29928

Open Tuesday through Sunday: 8AM to 5PM. Call for pony ride hours: (843) 671-2586.

Learn more here. 

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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Bluffton SC

A mere hour drive from Savannah, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is an easy getaway from Savannah to bike amid nature on 14 miles of hiking and biking trails. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily. (Not located on Hilton Head Is. but between HHI and Bluffton)

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Find the complete list of our favorite places to visit on Hilton Head Is. here. 

Bike trails in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbia, Bluffton

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021
Augusta bike trails daytrip Savannah biking

Augusta Canal Bike Trail

Augusta Canal Bike Trail biking savannah daytrip

Augusta Canal Bike Trail

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If the newest portion of Savannah’s Truman Linear Park Trail has sparked your family’s biking interest, here are some trails to check out next time you visit Atlanta, Augusta, Ga., Columbia SC or Bluffton SC. We hit each of these over winter break 2020 and look forward to returning again in spring. Pack a lunch, bring plenty of water and enjoy the ride.

Augusta Canal Trail

Augusta Canal’s wide, level towpath, once used by mules to pull canal boats to the Canal headgates, runs between the canal and the Savannah River. This roughly 7.5 mile packed-dirt trail is a must-do bike ride on your next Augusta visit. There are also kayaking and mountain bike trail options. We parked at the north end of the trail, where there’s free parking, restrooms, and drinking fountain in Savannah Rapids Park (3300 Evans to Locks Rd., Martinez) as well as bike rental.

Other ways to access this trail include:

*Near the southern end of the trail, take Broad Street from downtown Augusta west to Goodrich Street and turn right. Continue about a mile to a parking lot at the pumping station adjacent to the King and Sibley mills.

*Lake Olmstead Trailhead (1 Milledge Road) has parking, restrooms, drinking fountains, and a picnic area.

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Three Rivers Greenway Columbia SC biking Savannah daytrip

Three Rivers Greenway

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Three Rivers Greenway, Columbia SC

Three Rivers Greenway consists of 12.5 miles of scenic lighted and paved trails and boardwalks that run along the riverbanks where the Saluda, Broad and Congaree rivers meet.

Two of these multi-use trails connect – the West Columbia Riverwalk and the Cayce Riverwalk – and run along the Congaree River. Think covered boardwalks, winding tree-lined trails, wayside exhibits as well as picnic tables along the water. Find free parking options for this section here.

A third trail – Granby and Riverfront parks- is on the opposite side of the Congaree River, the City of Columbia side. Free parking for this section and public restrooms are available at Riverfront Park (312 Laurel St. Columbia), where there’s a popular, scenic 2.5 miles section of the Three Rivers Greenway that runs from the park between the Congaree River and Historic Columbia Canal.

(While perhaps not officially part of the trail, the Gervais Street Bridge could be used by riders who want to ride both the West Columbia/Cayce Riverwalks and the Riverfront-Granby park trails)

Also part of Three Rivers Greenway is Saluda Riverwalk (650 Candi Lane, Columbia), a 3-mile stretch along the Lower Saluda River near Riverbanks Zoo, from I-26 to the Broad River. It’s unclear whether this section is officially open. This section is not yet connected to Three Rivers Greenway.

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Big Creek Greenway, near Atlanta

Our favorite bike trail near Atlanta due to the natural, peaceful setting, Big Creek Greenway  is a roughly 8-mile multi-use concrete trail in the Alpharetta and Roswell areas. There’s a wetland area, bridges, plenty of fallen trees that provide a place to rest and eat lunch. There’s also a mountain bike option.

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Silver Comet Trail, near Atlanta

The Silver Comet Trail is in Smyrna, about 13 miles northwest of Atlanta. It is one of Atlanta’s most popular bike trails and also the most crowded. You could take this ride from Atlanta suburbs to Alabama. (We did not!) It connects to the 33-mile long Chief Ladiga Trail. The combined Silver Comet and Chief Ladgita trails are more than 90 miles long from Smyrna to Alabama.

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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, Bluffton SC

A mere hour drive from Savannah, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is an easy getaway from Savannah to bike amid nature on 14 miles of hiking and biking trails. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily.

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biking Columbia SC daytrip Savannah bike trails

Three Rivers Greenway

Explore a nearly-complete section of Truman Linear public trail, Savannah

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

bike trail Savannah Magnolia Park DeRenne Lake Mayer Truman Linear Park Trail

There’s a new multi-use public trail to explore in Savannah.

A portion of Savannah’s Truman Linear Bike Path is now usable, although the entire park trail – including usable portions – is not complete so please use caution. 

A roughly three-mile section of the proposed six-mile public Truman Linear Park Trail is close to completion. The nearly complete section between Lake Mayer and East DeRenne Avenue parallels the Truman Parkway and Casey Canal, as detailed in the image above.

Part of the boardwalk that runs through a woodsy section of Magnolia Park neighborhood still has gaps that require bike riders to dismount but the majority of that three-mile Lake Mayer to East DeRenne Avenue section is usable. The section from the boardwalk to East DeRenne Avenue is not finished, but users can follow Woodland Drive to DeRenne until completed.

Here’s the route from Lake Mayer to East DeRenne Avenue: Trail travels from Lake Mayer north along Sallie Mood Drive to Eisenhower; cross over Eisenhower; turn right onto trail; trail travels along north side of Eisenhower; follow trail under Truman Parkway; follow trail left, traveling parallel to Truman Parkway; follow trail as it travels behind Hester & Zipperer parallel to Truman Parkway; trail travels past ball fields at the Scarborough Sports Complex (on your right); travel along Lovett Drive and follow the trail as it turns left onto Bacon Park Drive. Follow the trail along Bacon Park Drive. The trail then becomes a boardwalk through wooded area and (temporarily) spills out onto Woodland Drive. Turn left onto Woodland Drive to East DeRenne Avenue.

The proposed Truman Linear public path will eventually link Daffin Park on Victory Drive to Lake Mayer Park on Montgomery Cross Road.

The multi-use trail eventually will connect 18 neighborhoods and 13 schools. Learn more here.