A leisurely stroll or cycle on a scenic path is one of those pleasures of life that is undeniable —it’s a little exercise, a little beauty, a lot of enjoyment.
The Grand Strand has a lot of great trails that are both accessible and approachable, meaning you’re not going to be ascending a mountain or zigzagging through a rocky forest (although, you can if you want).
Here are some Myrtle Beach trails best bets, and if you’re heading out on bicycle, don’t forget riding appropriate clothing, and most importantly, your helmet.
Swamp Fox Passage / Palmetto Trail: Throw the bike on the car rack (or simply lace up your sneakers) and head south on Route 17 to hit the 42 miles of Swamp Fox Passage. It’s long and flat, so ideal for beginners, and begs for some breaks to ogle nature. Meandering through swamps and coastal pine forests, you’ll be sure to spy some wildlife.
The Beach: This is one of our faves. Before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the peak season, or all day after Labor Day, bicycling is welcome on the beach. Keep in mind that low tide is probably the most practical time to head out, when the hard-pack sand of the retreating surf is abundant. Walking and jogging, of course, is always permitted.
Huntington Beach State Park: This is truly a gem in the Grand Strand. Bike the 26-mile trail that links Huntington Beach to Litchfield Beach and take some time to check out historic Atalaya Castle. Keep your eyes open for alligators, which call Huntington’s lagoons home. For those on foot, the park has several coastal trails skirting forests, giving hikers a great vantage point at which to enjoy wildlife and flora.
Conway River Walk: If it’s low-key leisure with a side of sightseeing you’re after, head to Conway’s Riverwalk. Meandering alongside the Waccamaw River in historic Conway, those walking or cycling aren’t necessarily doing so for sport, but instead for the joy of being outdoors. If you’re game for a little more exploring, here you’ll find maps of area bike trails.
The Market Common: The Waccamaw Trail Blazers, a local mountain biking club, call this one “fast and flowy” The 1.4 mile loop also known as the A-10 trail twists and turns and is a constant work in progress. This is a good spot to hit if you’ve got that need for speed, so Sunday (bicycle) drivers might feel a little outnumbered. The trail head can be accessed near the Barc Park in Market Common.
“The Hulk”: Attention thrill-seekers, this is where you’ll get the most bang for your two-wheeled buck in the Grand Strand. Officially called the Horry County Bike and Run Park, a single-track mountain biking trail begins with a steep 30-foot climb following by a holler-inducing drop. This will get the heart rate up and pumping, so prepare for adventure.
East Coast Greenway: Now this is cool. This 4,000-mile work-in-progress trail will link Canada to Key West Florida so the particularly ambitious can bike it from the top of America all the way to the bottom. While it’s not completed, parts of it in the Myrtle Beach area are runners and walkers welcome, too.
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens: Head north to Little River, just this side of the state line, for a 100-plus-acre woodland playground. Runners, walkers and bikers head up and down hilly paths and over wooden boardwalks that straddle salt marsh views. Single and double tracks, as well as a beautiful expanse, make this a popular spot.
Looking for additional resources?
Want to join a bunch of like-minded cyclists for a group ride? Organization Myrtle Beach Rides has a calendar of upcoming bicycling outings to join here.
Repair and retailer The Bicycle Fix has compiled maps of area bike paths and trails here.
What are your favorite walking and biking trails on the Grand Strand?