So, back to Augusta Stagecoach Road. There's very little on the internet about it. I have Walter Edgar's massive tome on the history of SC and I don't see it mentioned in there, though I admit to not having read the entire book. From the scraps of information I was able to find, I believe it is part of the old stagecoach route from Savannah to Augusta. Nathaniel Twining, a stagecoach entrepreneur with ventures around the Southeast, announced on April 19, 1796 a stagecoach service between Savannah and Augusta. It became the first successful service between the cities. An earlier attempt, in 1786, failed in less than a year. I think Twining's route is what I was on. Travel by stagecoach lasted until approximately the decade before the civil war, when travel by train became more popular.
I was uneasy about whether I was supposed to be accessing this property. I didn't see any fresh tire tracks, and wild turkey season wasn't to begin for another week, so I chanced it. As I passed through the gate, I noticed a small sign on it but didn't stop to read it. I think it had "______ Land Company" but I'm really not sure. I saw no glaring "POSTED" or "NO TRESPASSING" signs anywhere on the property during my entire visit, and I didn't encounter anyone else, thankfully.
This piece of land was just gorgeous. I wish I'd taken more photos of the land itself instead of just the road. And there were many roads and paths offshooting the road on both sides. I was sorely tempted to do some exploring in there, but I stuck to my "pink line". The two-rut road at the beginning gave way to grassy paths, then became two-rut again, followed by a regular sandy dirt road. I had one exciting moment when I crested a hill at speed and was greeted by a hardpack eroded area with some ruts on the other side, but I stayed on the gas and made it through without incident.
At the end of this large land parcel was another open gate, though it did have a lock hanging on it. Augusta Stagecoach road continued straight ahead. [Back at home, I looked on Hampton County's website to try to determine the land's owner, but the site didn't have a GIS search (it was by name)].
Continuing on Augusta Stagecoach Road (Google Maps omits the word "Stagecoach" from it at times), I took a right on Crab Orchard Road, a dirt road that heads to the river. This road turned out to be one of the highlights of my day. It went from dirt to wide woods trails. I was again blessed by the open gate genie:
It got a little muddy in places.
When I could tell via my GPS that I was right next to the river, the trees gave way to really thick brush that someone had bush hogged nice wide paths through. These paths hugged the bends of the river, had some whoops in them, and were way fun.
The brush was so thick outside of the paths that it was hard to catch glimpses of the Savannah. I encountered this fallen tree but was able to get around it on the right side.
After 15 minutes or so of riding this section, I came upon an area where the brush was thin enough to walk through and get to the riverbank. I sat for awhile sipping water and just enjoyed being in the moment.
By now it was after noon, so I saddled back up and headed back out Crab Orchard Road.
Then I headed South on Augusta Stagecoach Road. Next up, Hamilton Ridge WMA.