About 15 miles east of Savannah and adjacent to Tybee Island, there’s some nice running around the Fort Pulaski National Monument and the McQueen’s Island Rail Trail. NOTE: Please check status. As of Spring 2021, part of the trail is temporarily closed/washed out. The first ~2.5 miles from Fort Pulaski are runnable.
McQueen’s Island Rail Trail. This scenic, crushed limestone trail adjacent to Tybee runs for 6 miles west from the Fort Pulaski National Monument, a colonial fort used by the Union Army during the Civil War. The trail itself was built as a railroad in 1887, and follows the south channel of the Savannah River with views of salt marshes and Cockspur Island across the channel. Start at the Fort Pulaski Visitor Center, and cross over the river on Fort Pulaski Rd. The pathway is flanked by sprouting palm trees, 18 fitness stations, 10 bridges, and assorted local fauna. There are mile markers along the way, as well as restrooms and an alternative parking area at about the halfway point. At the 4.5 mile mark, there are 7 exercise stations that stretch over the next half mile. At the end of the trail, there are great views of the western tip of Cockspur Island and in the distance the blue storage tanks on Elba Island. You’ll enjoy this run among the salt marshes!
Fort Pulaski National Monument: There are some pleasant roads and trails for running at the Fort Pulaski National Monument. One idea is the 4 mile RT out to the Fishing Pier (head east instead of west after crossing the river). Other good options are the 1.8-mile Dike System Trail loop and the 1.5-mile out and back Lighthouse Trail. Note: there might be temporary closures. PRO TIP: Avoid paying the entry fee by going before 9am and after 5pm. You can park in the lot just outside the gate. And you’ll have the area to yourself!
- 6.9 miles one-way
- Fort Pulaski National Monument Visitor Center
- Park the Fort Pulaski National Monument. The trailhead is off US 80 about 15 miles east of Savannah.