Exploring Bike-Friendly Rivers in South Carolina: A Guide for Cyclists

South Carolina is a state that offers a wealth of outdoor activities, from its sandy beaches and fish-filled rivers to its picturesque mountains. But today, it's the state's bike trails that are getting all the recreational acclaim. From the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville and Travelers Rest to the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail in Spartanburg, there are plenty of bike-friendly rivers in South Carolina to explore. The Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail is a 1.9-mile urban multi-purpose rail trail that runs through restaurants, shops, and recreational facilities on its way to the historic city center of Spartanburg.

The Three Rivers Greenway in Columbia is nearly 10 miles long and is still growing. This series of riverfront trails, where the Broad, Saluda, and Congaree rivers meet, offers exceptional views of the downtown skyline. The Waccamaw Neck Bike Trail runs 16 miles through historic Waccamaw Neck, a long, narrow peninsula tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Waccamaw River, which links Pawleys Island to Murrells Inlet. The Spanish Moss Trail offers 10 miles of picturesque, paved trails in the heart of northern Beaufort County, South Carolina.

Built along the old Magnolia railway line, this trail passes through historic buildings, mossy trees (hence the name of the trail), and tree-lined neighborhoods. Paris Mountain State Park is home to 15 miles of bike trails that attract mountain bikers from across the country. Just 7 miles north of bustling downtown Greenville, you can escape to this beautiful slice of nature for long climbs that give way to stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The park offers a variety of trails for cyclists of all levels of experience, with lots of wildlife to see along the way.

Pets are also welcome on this trail, and there are pet waste stations along the route for your convenience. The Ravenel Bridge in Charleston isn't an attraction in the park, but it's worth crossing for its fantastic views of Charleston Harbor and the fun ride down the way. The Peak to Prosperity passage is part of the Palmetto Trail, a state trail under development that spans 500 miles. This 11-mile trail follows an old railroad line that crosses Dutch Fork and features historic wooden easels with incredible views of the stream. Four other cities in South Carolina (Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Charleston) have won the bronze award for providing safe accommodations for biking and encouraging cycling as a means of transportation and recreation. At Columbia, the University of South Carolina earned the right to brag about biking when it joined a select group of campuses across the country to rank as a bicycle-friendly university. The Black Food Truck Festival is a family-oriented event that features the region's best food trucks in Charleston, South Carolina.

Join the South Carolina First Steps for their Countdown to Kindergarten Summit, a free virtual learning opportunity for families, educators, and advocates for rising kindergarten children. If you're looking for bike-friendly rivers in South Carolina, you won't be disappointed. From Greenville to Charleston and everywhere in between, there are plenty of trails to explore and enjoy.

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Carol Toefield
Carol Toefield

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