Breathtaking sights await via UTV tours

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Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 4:19 pm

Enjoy the sound of surf kissing the sands on this private beach paradise while majestic oaks stand guard like the ghosts of soldiers past who perished during the Civil War battle for Fort Randall.

Breathtaking views of salt marshes, team with pine and dogwoods leading to the calm, deep ribbons of water.

These are just some of the sights, sounds, and adventures awaiting those who chose to visit Plantation Island Tours (PIT). Located at Tilghman’s Point in the picturesque Little River Neck area, the PIT is just a short drive from South Carolina’s Grand Strand beaches and the southern beaches of Brunswick County.

Driving the last few miles through the property over a dirt lane winding under a canopy of oaks, pine, maple, magnolia and other indigenous trees will whet your appetite for the experience to come, which is like no other in the area. Take UTV (ultimate terrain vehicle) island tours, go surf fishing, nature lovers must try the kayak tours or the eco tour, and for the adventuresome the jet skiing tour is a must. All tours are destination rides.

The PIT offers its guests the opportunity to admire the beautiful Waities Island with family and friends.

A personal guide will take you to the beach where you can enjoy surf fishing, picnicking, shell collecting, walking on the undisturbed beach or whatever relaxes you; no worry about overcrowding.

Waities Island is 1,380 acres of privately owned and maintained “heaven on earth” for those who love the beach and nature. In the early 1800s William Waities began trading with the Siouan Indians that had used and inhabited the island for centuries.

Indian mounds have been found on the island that archaeologists have dated back to 600 A.D. This unequaled experience gives you views that few have seen or experienced.

Tours includes a trip into the past as you visit the site of Fort Randall.

Fort Randall was not the walled structure like you see in Western movies, but a battery consisting of a deep ditch with parapet and a blockhouse with openings that allowed the defenders to fire without being exposed.

It was also armed with two 6-pounder cannons. Its defenders were charged with protecting the coastal area from Union invasion and providing a safe haven for blockade runners that were bringing in needed provisions.

Fort Randall was captured briefly in 1863 by a Yankee naval landing party, but the Boys in Grey launched a fierce counter attack and drove the invaders out.

There are some who swear that the ghost of a Yankee soldier still walks the grounds hoping to find his way home with his retreating Blue Coats.

Until just the last few years a cannonball was lodged in one of the trees on the high bluff overlooking the inlet.

Some accounts suggest the area was no stranger to war, having been part of the area where 9,000 Revolutionary War soldiers, including the legendary Swamp Fox, Francis Marion, camped during 1776.

The Fort Randall site is only a part of a 10,000 acre plantation purchased by the Tilghman family in the 1920s.

It has long provided private residence for members of the Tilghman family, developers of Tilghman beach and numerous other businesses. The family has nearly 4,000 acres largely in its natural state.

That commitment to preservation of this coastal eco-system is a boon to those who want to explore its beauty on one of the PIT’s eco-tours or glide quietly through its waters in a kayak.

In order to ensure the Plantation maintains its natural allure the number of excursions are limited.

Call (843) 249-2989 and make plans to come share with us one of the “Best Kept Secrets” on the Grand Stand.

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