What is the Beaufort Rail Trail?

The Beaufort Rail Trail project will convert a 20-mile stretch of the former Port Royal Railroad into a cycling and pedestrian corridor.  The Beaufort Rail Trail will provide a safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle route that will not only be a recreational asset, but provide an alternative mode of transportation that will link people to jobs, services, and schools.  The trail will be a great asset for Beaufort County residents and visitors, adding tremendously to the quality of life in our region.



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38 responses to “What is the Beaufort Rail Trail?

  1. James

    To, “provide an alternative mode of transportation that will link people to jobs, services, and schools”. Are you kidding me? I see the rail trail as just a bicycle or running trail. It will require taxpayer money to clean and maintain. Don’t misunderstand me please, I like the idea, but don’t blow smoke my way by giving the impression of hundreds of people will begin using it to get to their jobs, services, or schools.

    • Dennis Tavernetti

      I agree, perhaps a few will be able to use as an alternative way to get to work or do an errand, but for 90% of the users it will be for recreation and health.

  2. Walt Haines

    This is about the most absurd use of public money I have ever heard of. There are hundreds of other things to use public funding on. I have seen this so many times before. “It will just take this much to build this”. Nobody is thinking about the maintenance costs, having to add more police for foot/bike/horse patrol, bathroom facilities, emergency vehicles and access for these vehicles, water fountains, lighting, trash containers, trash collectors, liability and the list goes on. Another issue is the fact that this track winds behind a lot of residential areas. Who will be walking this path at all hours of the day and night? Use any extra money you can find to help the schools or improve safety for the entire community. What happened to this property reverting back to the residents?

    • Dennis Tavernetti

      Public funds should be utilized for a variety of things that touch the well being of the many diffferent aspects of our community. The road to rail programs across the US have been great success stories….so don’t be so closed minded…and it is reverting back to the whole public,as that will be the users….would you rather have a train noise?

  3. Bob Stoothoff

    Thank you for setting up this web site and for the information provided. It should help thoughtful citizens the opportunity to help shape this valuable community asset.

  4. Dennis Tavernetti

    In Greenville, the Greenville Hospital System donated signifcant funds for that trail…perhaps Beaufort Memorial Hospital would be interested as well???

    Dennis Tavernetti

  5. I am so happy to see this appears to be moving forward. The bike trails will be a wonderful addition to the area. I am originally from an area ( Northern Illinois) that had numerous trails and as a family we utilized them as did our son

  6. Dennis Tavernetti

    Here is the link to the Greenville “swamp rabbit” trail:


  7. Life Saver

    As an emergency responder, how are police, fire, or EMS crews to gain access to citizens needing help on the trail?

    • WBP

      You make the trail 10′ wide so the EMT can get there. There are 100’s of trails across the US that have done this.

  8. Nancy

    I think this is a wonderful idea to convert an unused historical space into an area to be used recreationally. They have done this in NYC at the Highline Park, a converted elevated train track and it’s just fantastic. Perhaps similarly we can add shops and artwork to our trail

  9. Dennis Tavernetti

    EMS responds same way as they do anywhere. There will be mileposts, GPS, cross streets, etc. Most of the trail is not remote to urbanized areas and it will also be wide enough for EMS access, should it be in an nonurban area.

  10. Doug didier

    Hi, in terms of history, Harpers ferry has several stations, with display of old photo corresponding to current view. I guess what I’m thinking is tying in history along the trail. For example, I think the city had a public beach in ’30s that the trail would pass… Low country cotton fields…Post reconstruction Freeman farms.

  11. Life Saver

    Thanks Dennis…just wanted to make sure the EMT’s wouldn’t have to “hike” too far with all their gear.

  12. Dennis Tavernetti

    Security for the trail will be provided by the police, jsut as they do now on the public streets of our communites. Power driven vechiles will not be allowed and will result in fines, just like them driven on sidewalks. It has no realtion to cut backs in other areas, it is a seperate funding iniative. The rail to trail programs have been great successes in other parts of the state and country. Check out their website to read. The one is Greenville, is well used by many and it has been a boon to areas along the way. It cetainly is far safer than riding a bike on the streets competing with cars…which is an accident waiting to happen…far greater than this alternative is!

    • Joel C. Hood

      So, Dennis, what is your role in the trail program here in Beaufort?

      Also, does this trail go behind your backyard?

    • Dennis Tavernetti

      this is back to Joel,

      I have no connection, other than being a resident and no I do not live behind/or in front of the trail.
      But if I did, I would of know there were train tracks there and would of decided to buy the house with that knowledge. A trail is far better than a train anyday.
      The trail is mostly a day use thing and isnt any different really than having a road in the front of back of ones house….so I do not see what the real issue is. Rail track has been there for years…..knowledge of it has been there for years. If you think its conversion to a lighter use will upset you, then you should move.

    • Joel C. Hood

      Thanks for your reply. I’ve lived in this location since 1990 and yes, I knew the railroad tracks were there. Train traffic was at best 1 or 2 per week, slow moving, and RR kept area clean. The trains have never bothered me. I do object to unlawful use of this rail system. If you’ll drive down any street in Beaufort that has sidewalks, you will see the lack of maintance and up keep which I think will happen to the Trials Project.
      Last post: This could go on forever.

      Hood out!

      • Dennis Tavernetti


        Thanks for your last post…I do think that actually the Trail will have better upkeep from litter as the users will self police, or form groups to do sections of the trail. This is possible casue it will be in high demand and special use. I agree with you inregard to current state of maintnace, except when you get to the City Hall! It is beautiful there!
        I do agree that this use is different than it was, as it is no longer a right away for rail, but is a right away to be used for a trail….that does not make it illegal however. The rail line gave it up and following the laws and regulations, another enity purchased it for their own right of way for utilities lines of some sort. They in turn apparently are giving an easement for its use along some distance as a trail. I would think that the folks heading up this project have determined that all this is legal. It is a valid question however and the trail guys should answer that question for you.

        It is valid for you to have concerns and reservations and express them….I have tried to answer them as best I can and tried to allow you to see alternative view. Finally, you may feel it is illegal, but I doubt it is. You may feel that it should be illegal, but I doubt it should be.
        I think it is a far better use than before….but it is ok for us to differ on that and you have a greater vested interst than I….so your concerns should be addressed by the head of the rail to trail guys.

      • mmitchell

        My entire family has property along the trail that was left to us by our great grand parents. It’s were we started and were we end. Now I get a letter indicating urban renewal is taking my land…something is not right!

      • Dennis Tavernetti


        No one is taking your land again, you have the same land you had after the orginal railroad easement was granted; whenever that was granted for whatever payment was made to your grandparents. It is merely a different use of the same land that has been the property of others since the railroad paid for it.


      • Joel C. Hood

        Hey Dennis,
        We’ve had some good conversation regarding the Rails to Trials issues. I’m really dispointed that ONLY 23 people have made comments on this site. I guess that we’ll have to go to the meetings to have some friendly discussions. Maybe someone would like to take us on a walking tour of the purposed trail to see what changes will be made and answer questions. Oh, but not until it cools off a bit.


  13. Dennis Tavernetti

    oh and for those who live near the trail, actually it might be a real estate positive…to be able to access the trail right from your own back yard, or just a block down the street! Think of it of having access to a new park right in your neighborhood. Much safer than biking or walking on roads with no sidewalks or no bike lanes, or even those with narrow bike lines….4 wheels and two wheels don;t mesh or share well….this is far safer.

    • WBP

      This is correct; I sold a house that was 1/4 mile from the Silver Comet Rail Trail in metro Atlanta. Being close to the trail helped with marketing and getting top dollar in a buyers market.

      • Dennis Tavernetti

        Here is the link to the rail trail that WBP talks about in Atanta:


        Nice pictures and it goes thru both urban and suburan areas. It is wider that what the Beaufort Rail Trail will be however, which is a good thing for the much larger Alanta area…but they had a wider right of way for two tracks before.
        Ours will be narrower based on one track base, which is what Greenville has, and it works well, and actually fits in nicely with the surroundings. I guess you might think of it as the difference between a “freeway” and a “country road”. Our width will be well suited for our useage and enviroment.

  14. Meg Dickie

    I am a retiree from RI and I loved going on a trail from Providence to Bristol. 20 miles of paved trails used 9 months of the year. People of all ages enjoying the outdoors and the seashore. Walkers, roller bladers, bikers all having a fun adventure. Benches along the way donated by Rotary Clubs and other non-profit organization. Please keep an open mind about bringing this to beautiful Beaufort.

    Sun City Hilton Head

  15. Walt Haines

    11 responses from Dennis Tavernetti out of 27. OK Dennis! We know you are all for the trail! If you have something to do with the administration of this survey and are the one designated as the authority by the city/county to answer these questions or concerns then wait for the meetings. If not, your replies are simply you restating your desire to have the trail. Let the police, councils and the people that have the authority to answer do their job. Simply being responsible for 1/3 of the comments does not make your opinion more important. There are some very legitimate concerns here and some strong positive feedback for the idea. Trying to squelch someones ideas or concerns is a cheap tactic.

  16. Dennis Tavernetti

    This is an open forum and therefore its purpose is not to restrict or censor points of view, but encourage them. My points of view are mine own and not connected with any orgainization. I do not just continually say the same things “I am for the trail”. I only respond to comments with my own reflective view of the writer’s opinion, and rarely do I just chime in regerating support for the trail. Nor do I blindly support all that the rail to trail folks say, as indicated in my July 9th response above.
    At any rate, your attempt/suggestion to limit my contributions or views on this site is ill founded.
    I do suggest more folks instead post their concerns, issues and support and you are right the Rail to Trail guys should offically respond to the common concerns of all….meanwhile I will respond with my own view.

  17. d

    why not reuse the old trail system for a trolly type or low budget train system that could eventually extend all the way to st helena island? i love the train system it wuld make Beaufort a better place. use it for transporting recycling products to savannah or something. a walk trail or a bike trail in those hot woods is not a great idea.

  18. Dennis Tavernetti

    The reason for this not being considered is mutiple:
    1) The owner of the rightaway ( a utilites company) is already removing the rails, as they need access to the utilities they are placing under and along it.
    2) The cost of bringing the old rail bed up to safe standards and maintaining it is too costly.
    3) We only have an easement from the utility company for a trail.

  19. Joel C. Hood

    Rail to Trail Guys,
    Why don’t you update the picture on What is the Beaufort Rail Trail?
    Suggest that you park on Riverside Drive crossing and take picture.

  20. Dennis Tavernetti


    Great idea (I guess, not sure what it shows); you should go ahead and take a picture and post it here with a comment of what you are trying to illustrate.


  21. Cheryl Richardson

    Yes I own property that backs up to the proposed trail. I can’t wait. I think the rails to trails are wonderful and have used them thruout the country. I haven’t yet encountered one that was not well maintained.
    The tracks run thru some beautiful places, lets celebrate and share it.

  22. Join the Meetup group http://www.meetup.com/Rail-Trail-Beaufort-SC/

    The group was started to support the Promotion, Development, Maintenance and Use of the Rail Trail. This is an exciting time to become involved with the Rail Trail. The project is still on the drawing board however there are many segments of the trail that are accessible to Cyclist and Hikers. As the project evolves there will be many opportunities for volunteers to help build and improve the Trail. I envision weekend work projects to enhance the trail. We will also have organized rides and walks, along with activities at venues along the trail, like movies, and dining.

    • Joel Hood

      Word of caution: If you are walking the trail, you had better watch out for the 4 wheelers and motor cycles racing up & down this trail. An accident waiting to happen.

  23. I appreciate it for writing “What is the Beaufort Rail Trail?
    | Beaufort Rail Trail”. I personallymight undoubtedly wind up being coming back for much more reading and writing comments shortly.
    With thanks, Marquita

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