Five "Rails to Trails" Bike Trails Close to Charleston

Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort, SC, photo courtesy of

Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort, SC, photo courtesy of

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has declared Saturday, April 8, as the 2017 "Opening Day for Trails" as part of their annual celebration to kick off the trail season. RTC is known for transforming unused rail corridors into vibrant public places. The non-profit organization is based out of Washington, D.C., and has over 160,000 members and active supporters.

Their TrailLink map lists 36 trails for biking, walking, hiking and running in South Carolina; but we would like to highlight the trails specifically equipped for bikes which are close to Charleston. Some of these are practically in our backyard while others are just a short drive.

    • West Ashley Bikeway - Running arrow-straight from the Ashley River west to a wholesale produce stand on Wappoo Road, this trail links several Charleston neighborhoods, providing a 2.5-mile cycling path. You can continue your journey on the nearby West Ashley Greenway (see below).
      Length: 2.5 miles
      Surface: Asphalt
      Learn more:

    • West Ashley Greenway - This trail is a favorite of local mountain bikers and takes you on a 10.5-mile (one way) ride from suburban Charleston west to the scenic Lowcountry wetlands that surround the city. Its trailhead is behind the South Windermere Shopping Center on Folly Road.
      Length: 10.5 miles
      Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Dirt
      Learn more:


    • Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail - Starting at Gahagan Road or the parking area on Ashley Drive in Summerville, you can ride this flat, 10-foot wide, paved trail, which follows the Sawmill Branch Canal and through a wooded area in the southern part of the city. 
      Length: 6.5 miles
      Trail surface: Asphalt
      Learn more:


    • Spanish Moss Trail - Sometimes referred to as the Beaufort Rail Trail or the Magnolia Line Trail, this trail follows the former Port Royal Railroad that was constructed in 1870. The planned 13.6-mile scenic pathway will run through Beaufort County between Port Royal and Yemassee.
      Length: 6.3 miles
      Trail surface: Concrete
      Learn more:


    • Waccamaw Neck Bikeway - This is a developing off-road trail currently available in a few disconnected sections, which primarily parallel U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway) and Kings River Road. Cyclists can travel on-road, following share-the-road signs, to complete the route from Murrells Inlet to Pawleys Island.
      Length: 9.9 miles
      Trail surface: Asphalt
      Learn more:

Our hope is that this post will encourage you to explore the pathways that you already love and discover new ones in or near our community. Looking for the perfect trail bike? We'd love to help, so come see us!