Sporting Life // 5 min Read

The Buffalo Run at Palmetto Bluff

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Oct 6, 2022

We're Off to the Races: Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run

Offering some of the most scenic trails in the South, it’s no secret that Palmetto Bluff is the best place in the Lowcountry to spend some time outdoors. Our 20,000 acres comprise live oaks, magnolias, eastern red cedars, and cabbage palmettos permeate the maritime forest, while animals like white-tailed deer and wild turkeys make their homes amid the verdant landscape.

What better way to explore our grounds than participating in the Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run? Mapped out by the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy team, this 10K, 30K, or 50K race has an all-trail route that is a mix of single track, dirt road, and gravel road. The 6.2-mile Buffalo Run route travels deep within Palmetto Bluff's historic woodlands. Come out to the annual Buffalo Run in support of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy taking place on Sunday, December 11, 2022.

Let’s take a look at this year’s Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run and how you can join in on the fun!

History: Why Is It Named the Buffalo Run?

So how did "Buffalo Run" get its name? The Palmetto Bluff race is named after an enormous buffalo, known as Old Bill. In the 1960s, Old Bill resided on Bull Island that at the time was owned by the Loomis family. On Bull Island, the Loomis family kept a herd of buffalo that frequently managed to swim through May River, drift down Cauley's Creek, and eventually end up at the Bluff.

The conservation staff who served at Palmetto Bluff at the time would herd them away. However, the buffalo would ultimately swim back to the Bluff. Who could blame them? After all, The Bluff is a popular meeting site for people and animals alike. Although Old Bill’s comrades only stayed for a short time before returning to Bull Island, Old Bill, on the other hand, was determined to make a permanent residence at the Bluff. Though Old Bill lived a short and happy life at Palmetto Bluff, he is known as a Bluff legend. He can be honored at Buffalo’s, a restaurant in Wilson Village, as he is mounted atop the fireplace.

Just like Old Bill used to wander through Palmetto Bluff’s terrain, we honor him by doing the same at our annual Buffalo Run.

A Walkthrough of the Race

The Buffalo Run begins in a historical game plot known as Compartment 8 Field, which was built in the early 1970s as a wildlife feeding area.

The first section of the race travels through pine flatwoods, home to loblolly, slash, and pond pines as well as a dense understory of saw palmetto and fetterbush. This habitat provides excellent shelter for nesting birds, white-tailed deer, and bobcats.

After leaving the flatwoods, runners may notice slight elevation differences as they approach the longleaf pine hill. The northern long-eared bat and the hooded pitcher plant are just two species that live among the rich biodiversity found in longleaf pine environments.

Eventually, runners will turn onto Cemetery Road, a road aged more than 150 years old. Remains of the quail woods that former Union Camp visitors and guides used to hunt can be seen on both sides of the road. The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy continues to actively maintain these timber stands today.

Runners will encounter the "Turkey Foot" as they depart from Cemetery Road. Three roadways converge at The Turkey Foot, and from an aerial view, this intersection resembles, you guessed it, a turkey foot.

After making a right turn onto Whitehouse Road, participants will return to the pine flatwoods. With over a mile of deep sand, this portion of the track is the most challenging for runners.

Finally, you’ve made it to the finish line!

Buffalo Run 2022 Information

The Palmetto Bluff Buffalo Run is the ultimate endurance experience and you get to choose how you want to navigate it. The Buffalo Run offers three competitive course options:

  • 10K (one lap of the route)

  • 30K (three laps of the route)

  • 50K (five laps of the route)

You may also decide if you want to accomplish the race individually or form a relay team.

To inquire more information or register for the Buffalo Run — click here.

The After Party You Don’t Want To Miss

All participants who register for the Buffalo Run before November 18th will receive long sleeve shirts. Competitors in the 10K, 30K, 50K, and Relay will earn Buffalo Run finishers medals. A Buffalo Head Award is given to each runner who completed the 50K. The overall male and female winners of each race, as well as the winning relay teams, will also receive Bronze Buffalo Awards. Once the race is complete and awards have been given out, the Buffalo Run After Party gets started. Complimentary beer and a platter of buffalo wings are given to each participant — the ideal way to recover!

However, registration fees go beyond covering the costs of apparel and prizes –– a portion of all the money will be donated to support the research initiatives of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy. If you are unable to attend or participate in the Buffalo Run but still want to support the cause, you can make a direct donation to the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy here.

Run Home to Palmetto Bluff

After exploring the Lowcountry terrain of Palmetto Bluff, you will be certain the Bluff is the perfect place to call home! The Bluff offers a unique fusion of luxurious living and the opportunity to spend more time in the nature that surrounds you. With exceptional history, inhabitants, and scenery, Palmetto Bluff is the gateway to a life well-lived — and we cordially invite you to be a part of it.

To schedule a tour or plan a visit to Palmetto Bluff, simply click the button below to reach a member of our team. We look forward to meeting you!