The Unexpected Paradise of Pitt Street Bridge

Perhaps it was serendipity when I moved to Charleston almost three years ago and enjoyed a short-term rental situation in Mount Pleasant, SC that was in walking distance from one of the city’s most beloved hidden gems — Pitt Street Bridge ParkMy wonderful realtor, Matthew Alderman, had kindly rented me his former townhome on Center Street for the interim until my home was ready to move into for a few months after arriving. “Be sure to watch the sunset at Pitt Street Bridge,” he told me. In my mind, I expected a tiny bridge crossing over a creek beside a little park. Honestly, it took me a few weeks to remember his suggestion, but wow! I had no idea what I was about to walk into was one of the best kept secrets in Charleston.
 
Being new to the area, I had not yet learned about the remarkable history connected to the land in which I now inhabited. For many years, the Pitt Street Bridge was the only accessible pathway to reach the isle by vehicle to and from Sullivan’s Island, although after the Ben Sawyer Bridge opened, the bridge was practically abandoned and left to wither away in the Lowcountry sunshine. As a result, almost half of the bridge perished and all that remains is the quaint wooden structure extending a bit toward its former island destination now popular for fishing. This area borders the marsh surrounding The Cove and Jeanette Creek. Originally built in 1898 as a trolley bridge, during the Revolutionary War, there was another bridge located here made of wooden planks that floated atop barrels. It was over that same bridge that the crew of the H.L. Hunley passed on its way to Breach Inlet to test the infamous submarine during the Civil War.
 
By 1923 the wooden trolley bridge was widened to allow vehicular traffic alongside the trolley. A steel drawbridge was also added in the ’20s, which in turn became part of the nearby Ben Sawyer Bridge when it was constructed in 1945. Cars quickly overtook the trolley’s relevance and it stopped operating in 1927.
 
Many structures from days gone by eventually disappear and some remain. It’s fortunate for visitors that this “chunk of history” has been redesigned into a lovely grassy park area that’s an ideal spot for walking, jogging, exercising your dog, paddle boarding, bird watching, bicycling, crabbing & fishing, or just sitting on one of the many benches to watch the stunning South Carolina sunset.
 
I’ve seen many couples and families having their picture taken by professional photographers in the late afternoon “Golden hour.” I’ve even seen groups enjoying an outdoor yoga session alongside the water. The views are simply breathtaking and for those visitors coming to Charleston, I highly recommend a little drive to see it for yourself.
 
Please bring your sunscreen and don’t forget the bug repellent. Oh, and you’ll want to make sure your camera/phone’s battery is charged. It’s a wonderful spot for capturing enviable Instagram-worthy snaps.
 
To learn more about hidden beauty in Charleston, please visit my Tours page to book a walking tour with me. I can share many secret spots in and around the city that will make your Charleston visit unforgettable.
 
Directions to Pitt Street Bridge:
 
From Downtown Charleston: Head north on Highway 17 and after you pass over the Ravenel Bridge, stay right. Follow Coleman Blvd. and turn Right on Center Street. Take this down to Pitt Street and make a left. You will run into your destination at the end of the street. Please park carefully along the edge. Enjoy.

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