If you’re looking for outdoor things to do in Port Royal while enjoying wildlife, Port Royal Cypress Wetlands and Historic Walking Trails is the place to do it. It is my new favorite spot! Easy to get to, there is parking along Paris Avenue which is basically the first road you come to when visiting Port Royal. If you need to fill up your water bottle or use the facilities, you may want to park closer to the Town Hall which is at the corner of 7th Street and Paris Avenue. Water and restrooms are available at the Town Hall from 8-5 Monday through Friday. It is on the trail route, so it isn’t out of the way. However, on this particular day, I parked at the beginning of the Wetlands Trail and Oliver, my cocker spaniel, and I headed toward the rookery.
The birds were absolutely stunning! The snowy white egrets were the most obvious, but there are several species of birds that call this place home, at least part of the year, including herons, hawks, eagles, owls, falcons, geese, ducks, and other migratory waterfowl. It is absolutely a birdwatchers paradise. The cypress trees, Spanish moss, and budding flowers were beautiful too. In addition to the birds and fauna, I was able to photograph alligators, turtles, and even a snake! You definitely don’t want to let your canine companion off the leash anywhere around here.
After meandering around the Cypress Wetland Loop, I headed toward the Parks and Historic Loop, which took me on a 1.5 mile journey around lovely Port Royal. Several stops were marked on the map, strategically placed along the trail. At first I was a little unsure if I was going the right way, but when I made it to the Gullah monument marker (stop #19,) I knew I was headed in the right direction. At this marker, there was a bench overlooking the peaceful water - a great place to take a break. The next stop we made was the Port Royal Buoy Park, with its huge red buoy. It became detached somehow, so it was transported to the spot where it is now, which also overlooks the water. I think the red buoy blends very well with the other red metal sculptures that are placed all around Port Royal. Finally, Oliver and I came to a lovely picnic area that provides a beautiful view of the marsh. Oliver really enjoyed chasing and playing with all the fiddler crabs that were scurrying about among the grasses and plough mud.
Continuing along the loop, we strode past the Town Hall and ambled back up Paris Avenue, lined with adorable shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Our window shopping experience was delightful! Anchor Park is also a beautiful spot, full of blooming pink, red, and white azaleas and old trees adorned with resurrection ferns and Spanish moss.
Despite the many stops, we made it back to the car just in time, right before it started to pour down rain, giving all those lovely plants a refreshing drink of water. All in all, an outing to Port Royal Wetlands is perfect for people of all ages, especially those who have a passion for enjoying fabulous flora and intriguing wildlife. I can’t wait to go back!
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