Handbook of Trail Networks in South Carolina
As communities across South Carolina continue building trails and greenways, more places are now tying them together to form regional networks of interconnected trails. In addition to providing some great recreation, they also serve as transportation corridors in many cases.
Three Rivers Greenway
Back in the 1970s, the City of Columbia and the surrounding towns conceived of a group of connected trails running along its downtown riverbanks. The first section of the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park did not open until 1984. Progress was slow for several decades, with the first portion of Granby Park opening around 1997. In recent years, however, several riverwalks have been built on the Lexington County side of the river, including the Cayce Riverwalk and the West Columbia Riverwalk. More pathways are planned, including some along the Saluda River.
Click here for more information about the Three Rivers Greenway.
Florence Trail System
The City of Florence is also creating a trail system that connects a number of its parks and recreation areas together. Several of these trails are located along old railroad lines, preserving an important part of the area's history. Therefore, the trail network is sometimes known as the Florence Rail-Trail System. Some of the network's pathways are paved, while others are unpaved. Navigating these trails can be confusing, unfortunately, because there are very few markers along the trails at this time.
Click here to learn more about the Florence Trail System.
Carolina Thread Trail
In the northern part of the state, four counties in South Carolina have teamed up with eleven counties in North Carolina to develop the Carolina Thread Trail. This is an ambitious project to build a trail network running through the communities surrounding the Charlotte area. As their web site says,
More than a hiking trail, more than a bike path, The Thread preserves our natural areas and is a place for exploration of nature, culture, science and history.
Around 100 miles of trails are currently open. Click here to find out more about the Carolina Thread Trail, or Click here for an excellent video introduction.