Off-Road Trails in South Carolina
Going into week 2 of sheltering in place combined with the lack of exercise, interaction, and vitamin D has me going stir crazy. Work is harder from home, and the only thing (and place) I can seem to think about is hitting the open trail. Exercise has been the only respite for me, but I will say, I’ve used this time inside to start looking ahead. With state parks being closed, we’ve come up with a list of our top 5 favorite off-road trails…for later! Put some headphones in, start planning, and hopefully get your mind off the close quarters we are all adjusting to.
At 13 miles long with a $1 entrance fee, the Wannamaker North Trail features an all-natural terrain suitable for cyclists of all skill levels, though it does feature tight curves and some elevation changes. Open to pedestrians, hikers and cyclists alike, this trail is guaranteed to boost serotonin levels with its lust green forestry and help you adjust to the off-road lifestyle of BASC.
At 17 miles long, the Marrington is primarily composed of dirt, natural and boardwalk surfaces and can be enjoyed by cyclists of all skill levels. Located in a scenic 1600-acre reserve, the trail is only a 14-minute drive from the I-26 Goose Creek Exit. As you cycle through beautiful pines and palmettos it is easy to forget that you are right next door to the Joint Naval Station. Since the trail is free and so close to Charleston, this is our favorite trail for a close to home jaunt.
This 4.6-mile loop located outside of Monks Corner features terrain uncharacteristic of the Lowcountry. With the trail following a winding creek bed and noticeable changes in elevation, this trail is more suitable for intermediate riders, though can be enjoyed by all.
The longest section of the Palmetto Trail, the Swamp Fox Passage, stretches over a distance of 47.2 miles. With no admission fee, this dirt and grass trail will take cyclists through varying terrains such as swamps and woodlands. Open to hikers and equestrienne traffic alike, this trail is an easily achievable feat despite the long distance.
Distancing at 9.6 miles, the Cheraw Mountain Trail is free to all and features trails of natural materials though predominantly of dirt and sand that can make for a speedy ride. Make your way through vast pine forests with family and friends alike, as this trail is suitable for all skill levels.
Although our top 5 favorite off-road trails are inaccessible right now, they are a great tool to help you train and adjust to the varying terrains you encounter during Bicycle Across South Carolina. As always, please ride safe and check with your local state parks and trails to stay up to date on closures throughout the next few weeks.
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