Sands Beach — Port Royal, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Beaufort County | Sands Beach
Sands Beach borders the southern portion of Port Royal, where Battery Creek flows into the Beaufort River. The beach was created from dredge spoil material when the State Ports Terminal was built in Port Royal around 1958.
Reflections on Sands Beach
Barry Gooch, a Port Royal native who provided two of the shots above, recalls childhood memories of Sands Beach:
“When I was a child, the beach created a fantastic playground for exploration and provided me with an ample supply of sharks teeth and other fossils. The dredged sand created a perfect swimming area for the local kids and we spent many nights camping on our ‘private’ beach.
“Around 1960 the US Navy landed a large LST (ship) near the spoil area to offload supplies for Parris Island. Up to this time, the point was inaccessible to vehicles and access was limited primarily to us kids who didn’t mind wading through shallow water and a narrow area of pluff mud to reach our ‘private’ playground.
“But life changed and when the Navy finished their exercise left a road and narrow causeway over the low-lying area, which opened the beach up to automobiles.
My dad and other fishermen were quick to take advantage of the road and ramp left behind, and in a short time it was transformed into a boat ramp. As its popularity increased, the ramp became a favorite with teenagers and young marines as the smooth waters of the adjacent Battery creek provided an ideal site for waterskiing. And what goes hand-in-hand with water skiing? Sunbathing of course, and the sands became a popular site (and an alternative to the twenty-mile drive to Hunting Island beach) for sun-worshipers.
“Despite the erosion and settling of the dredged sand, the beach remains popular with sunbathers to this day. Eventually the county paved the old sand and rock boat ramp, and today it is one of the premier boat ramps in Beaufort County.
“I’m unsure when the boardwalk was constructed, but it provides an excellent site for a leisurely scenic stroll to enjoy the water, and fishing and crabbing are popular activities.
Sands Beach Info
Address: Sands Beach Road, Port Royal, SC 29935
GPS Coordinates: 32.371026,-80.686928
Sands Beach Map