While most local barrier island beaches are facing major erosion, Sullivan’s Island enjoys accretion, thanks to the Charleston Jetties that trap sand at the island’s southeast end. The result is an ever-growing maritime forest, now an extremely rare ecosystem on our coast. The 200-acre reserve is protected by a conservation easement, meaning that songbirds and dune-ecosystem mammals have a haven in which they can survive and thrive.
To venture into these beachfront woods, start at Station 16 and Atlantic Avenue. There’s a clear trail that passes through the forest to the beach, with side trails that wander through vegetation and seasonal wetlands.