Exploring South Carolina on Two Wheels: The Best Bike Trails for Cyclists in the Palmetto State

Biking in South Carolina is an amazing way to explore this part of the United States. From long, flat trails for long-distance rides to mountain routes with great hill climbs and stunning beach trails for trips along the East Coast, the Palmetto State has something for every cyclist. Whether you're a novice or a professional, here are some of the best bike trails in South Carolina. The Spanish Moss Trail is located in the coastal town of Port Royal, in Beaufort County.

This 10-mile greenway takes cyclists through the beautiful rural landscape that eastern South Carolina is known for, as well as to forests of trees covered by the moss of the same name. It's a great trail for history buffs, as it extends beyond the location of the Battle of Port Royal Island during the Revolutionary War and Pick Pocket Plantation. The Cayce Riverwalk in West Columbia, along the Congaree River, is a great oasis to get away from the busy city. It's ideal for beginner cyclists and is also linked to steeper trails for experienced riders.

As part of the Congaree Creek Heritage Reserve, the riverwalk is like leaving the bustling state capital and entering another world of shady forests with animals carved from trees and trunks by local artists. You'll cross historic bridges and boardwalks, and you can continue cycling past the riverwalk to the 3.5-mile Timmerman Trail. Huntington Beach State Park is one of the many places to ride bikes in Myrtle Beach. Biking in Myrtle Beach is busy, but great fun for all ages. You'll pass through swamps and saltwater lagoons with loggerhead turtles in the state park.

You can also ride bikes along the waterfront full of shops, restaurants and attractions, such as a colossal Ferris wheel. Biking along the beach from the boardwalk to the pier is a 10-mile ride along the Atlantic Ocean. Croft Park is a former military base and training facilities from World War II reused on cycling and hiking trails. The trails feature impressive hardwood trees and old farmhouses, as well as the remaining foundations of what was once a 4-story hotel. The Southside Loop is the most popular bike trail in the park, but you can also ride the Palmetto Trail for a slightly longer 12-mile ride. The Lake Conestee Nature Trail and Swamp Rabbit Trail have 1,131 feet of positive slope - making it one of the highest climbs for road biking routes.

The Peak to Prosperity Passage, part of the 500-mile Palmetto Trail under development across South Carolina, spans nearly 11 tree-lined miles. Built on an old South Norfolk railroad line, this trail runs through more than a dozen reused wooden easels that cross Crims Creek. Camping is allowed at the start of Alston Trail, but be sure to buy a cheeseburger at nearby Wilson's Grocery before treating yourself at night; locals swear they're among the best in South Carolina. Bike trails are tiring and technically challenging, but also a lot of fun. You'll experience smooth, rugged surfaces on this trail.

Incorporating strength training into your cycling routine will make you a more powerful and faster cyclist. Designing a personalized cycling jersey allows you to exercise your creative side and differentiate yourself, your team or your brand from others. South Carolina is sunny, green, charming and welcoming - no matter what kind of cyclist you are or what kind of terrain you prefer - you'll find your “happy place” here! Best of all, exploring on foot or by bike will give you an even better excuse to try out all that delicious Southern cuisine South Carolina is known for.

Carol Toefield
Carol Toefield

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