Exploring South Carolina's Best Bike Trails - A Guide for Cyclists

South Carolina is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of bike trails that are perfect for cyclists of all levels. From the historic Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail in Spartanburg to the picturesque Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort, there are plenty of trails to explore. The Waccamaw Neck Bike Trail, the Peak to Prosperity Passage, and the Ravenel Bridge are just a few of the many trails that offer stunning views and plenty of opportunities for adventure. The Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville and Travelers Rest is an ideal place to start.

This 1.9-mile urban multi-purpose rail trail runs through restaurants, shops, and recreational facilities on its way to the historic city center. The Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail in Spartanburg is another popular option. This 1.9-mile trail was part of the former Norfolk Southern Railroad and offers spectacular views of the river and swamps. 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. 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.

Camping is allowed at the start of this trail, making it a great option for a weekend getaway. The Peak to Prosperity Passage is part of the 500-mile Palmetto Trail under development across the state. Spanning nearly 11 tree-lined miles, this trail runs through more than a dozen reused wooden easels that cross Crims Creek. The area is commonly known as Dutch Fork, although German immigrants settled in the area in the first half of the 18th century.

For an unforgettable experience, take a ride across Charleston's Ravenel Bridge. This 2.7-mile bridge is the longest cable car in North America and offers fantastic views of Charleston Harbor. 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.

For a short and easy walk back and forth, try the 1-mile Pipsissewa Trail or challenge yourself with the grueling 3.6-mile Sulphur Springs Trail. Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill is another great option for cyclists looking for an adventure. This 12-foot-wide paved road covers 16 miles and follows the route of an old South Norfolk railroad line through historic points of interest from Beaufort to Port Royal. Along this quiet and relaxing route, you'll also enjoy local wildlife and natural scenery. No matter what type of bike trail you're looking for, South Carolina has something for everyone. From urban multi-purpose rail trails to rugged mountain bike trails, there are plenty of options for exploring this beautiful state.

Carol Toefield
Carol Toefield

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