Happy Trails: 6 Trails to Explore in Columbia SC
Monday, January 31, 2022 12:00 AM by Helen Dennis
We say it all the time, Columbia SC is where city meets nature. But for anyone who is new to town or at least new to exploring the great outdoors, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out we’re sharing a list of trails throughout the Midlands that can help you start your outdoor adventuring one step at a time.
Highlights: SC's only national park, ADA accessible, free
Perhaps one of Columbia’s most iconic trails, the Boardwalk Trail at Congaree National Park is not only incredibly insta-worthy, it’s also ADA accessible so that all can enjoy the largest hardwood growth in the southeast. While this trail is marked as easy, you’ll want to check for flood warning before you head out so that you don’t get caught in a muddy situation.
Highlights: Mountain biking trails, $5 Day Pass or $25 Annual Pass
Popular among trail runners and mountain bikers alike, Harbison State Forrest boasts 9 trails, many of which connect to let you pick the path that’s right for you. If you’re going on foot, just be sure to watch out for folks on two wheels. They get the right of way.
Highlights: State park, camp sites, lake access, $3-$1 entry fee
For those really looking to escape the city bustle, take a drive out to Lake Murray where you’ll find the popular camping, boating and hiking spot known as Dreher Island State Park. Enjoy a stroll by the water on the 2-mile Little Gap Trail.
Highlights: State park, ADA accessible, $6-$3.50 entry fee
Speaking of State Parks, Sesquicentennial State Park (affectionately called Sesqui by the locals) is a great place to hike and bike with the whole family. Beyond the trails, you can also rent kayaks, play at the splash pad, and enjoy their great picnic spots.
Highlights: State-wide trail, city views, free
For those who really have no desire to leave the city, may we suggest the Palmetto Trail? This trail runs from the Upstate of South Carolina all the way down to the Lowcountry. Smack in the middle though, is the Capital City Passage. This portion of the state-wide trail takes you past historic monuments, delicious bites and all the delights of city life.
Highlights: River access, city and nature views, ADA accessible, free
You’ve likely heard about and seen the rivers of Columbia SC, but did you know there’s a trail system that follows their flow? That’s right, the Three Rivers Greenway is a 12.5-mile, ADA accessible collection of trails. Along these paths you’ll find river access, historic and wildlife markers to teach you about the land, outdoor concert venues, art and more.
Now it's time to hit the trails! Be sure to share your adventures on social media using #RealColumbiaSC.