Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Mount Pleasant’s Pitt Street Bridge is hidden treasure

Posted 9/25/2012 11:31:00 AM

Got an Insider nugget for you today. Next time you’re visiting Charleston, take a drive over the Ravenel Bridge to Mount Pleasant’s oldest neighborhood, appropriately named Old Village

At the end of the old Pitt Street Bridge you’ll find the Pickett Bridge Recreation Area, a pedestrian greenway popular with joggers, walkers, cyclists and locals hoping to bring home a seafood dinner.

Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, this little gem of a park is surrounded by expansive stretches of marsh with fantastic views of Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter and the Ravenel Bridge.

The bountiful waters attract anglers looking to catch spot tail bass, among other good-eating species of fish. You’re also likely to see folks hunting for blue crabs using the tried-and-true chicken-on-a-string method. The day I visited the park, I watched one young woman throwing a cast net for shrimp.

Kayakers can launch into the creek running alongside the pathway and paddle across to Sullivan’s Island or back around to Shem Creek. A kayak trail map is located next to the put in.

The park also is frequented by dog walkers, runners, bicyclists, moms and dads pushing strollers and those just looking for a scenic spot to relax and enjoy the cool coastal breezes.

At the end of the path is a wooden boardwalk that extends into the Intracoastal Waterway about half the length of the 1929 Pitt Street Bridge. You can still see the remains of the steel drawbridge, which was dismantled in 1945 after the construction of the Ben Sawyer swing bridge to the east.

Along with the stunning vista, the site has a rich history dating back before the American Revolution. The first structure constructed on the land was a plank bridge built on barrels. In 1864, the crew of the H.L. Hunley crossed the footbridge on the way to Breach Inlet to test drive the famed submarine. The historic vessel would go on to become the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship.

To get to the park, take Coleman Boulevard to Royall Avenue, then turn right on Center Street to Pitt Street.