Now is a great time to explore the island's Cultural Trail

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This screen shot from the Cultural Trail website shows the Gullah Museum, No. 36 on the trail.

The weather is perfect to hop on a bike or walk our leisure pathways and enjoy all of the history sites and public art that our island has to offer.

You might have noticed some new signs along the pathway designating these sites. The signs correspond with our Cultural Trail Map.

This map was designed to allow our community to engage with the incredible pieces of American history, as well as the fantastic public art collection, found on the island.

The map can be accessed digitally on your phone at CultureHHI.org. Each site has a short description of the work of art or the moment in history to give context to what you are experiencing. For example, did you ever wonder about the large iron sculpture on the north end, along Hwy. 278?

Jeff Boshart's "THEB" (Transparent, Hollow, Empty Boxes) series are framework constructions through which you can see the environment beyond. The dynamic geometric forms contrast with the urban and natural elements around them.

Boshart strives to make it impossible to negate the surroundings and simultaneously make it difficult to ignore the sculpture. Pretty cool, huh?

Do you know when Historic First African Baptist Church on Beach City Road was founded? As the first church for formerly enslaved people on Hilton Head Island, First African Baptist Church was founded on Aug. 17, 1862. Led by Rev. Abraham Murchison, an escaped slave preacher, the church helped baptize thousands of newly freed slaves and helped in the recruitment of Union soldiers.

These are just two of the 72 locations identified on the Cultural Trail map. There are remarkable things to learn and see on this island, and much of it can be experienced along our 66 miles of public leisure path.

Biking has been a favorite form of socially distant exercise for my family over the past few weeks and a great way to responsibly enjoy our community again.

If you prefer a hard copy map instead of digital, we've got you covered. You can pick up a copy of the Cultural Trail map at the Heritage Library, but be sure to call first (843-686-6560) as they have adjusted hours to ensure the safe use of their space for their patrons and volunteers.

See you on the trail!

Jenn McEwen is the director of the Town of Hilton Head Island's Office of Cultural Affairs. CultureHHI.org

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