Pedal Power: A Guide to Family-Friendly Bike Trails

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The beauty of the Lowcountry — with warm weather year-round and literal low-lying, flat land — makes for ideal bicycling conditions.

Below discover a list of bike trails located throughout the region that are easy for the whole family, especially those with beginning riders. Many trails are short, paved, and have tree-lined paths or waterfront views — great for getting outside, staying healthy, and spending time together.

So grab water and helmets and set out to explore on two wheels this picturesque place we call home.

Family-Friendly Bike Trails Around Charleston

Brittlebank Park: Two miles of paved trails with views of the Ashely River in Charleston. Easy parking and playground, and located close to the River Dogs stadium.

181 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston, SC, 29403

Charles Towne Landing: This site in West Ashley that’s part of the South Carolina State Parks system features an animal center and many historical exhibits, as well as plenty of open spaces and picturesque areas for families to explore. You can rent bikes at the visitor’s center or bring your own to ride several miles of garden and nature trails. The park costs $12 for adults; $7.50 for seniors; $7 for kids age 6-15; free for children 5 and younger.

1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston, SC, 29407

Daniel Island: 1.5 miles paved, dirt trail. As a planned community, Daniel Island is designed for walking and biking and there are many miles of well-marked and well-maintained trails around the island. This trail runs along the Wando River and features many scenic vistas.

Tip: You can park and start the trail at Governors Park, located off Seven Farms Drive, or Waterfront Park, 101 River Landing Drive, Charleston, SC, 29492.

This seven-year-old is styling with her pink helmet and black outfit to match her new pink-and-black bike.

Fort Palmetto Park Trail: 1.5 miles, out and back, this family-friendly nature trail ends at the marsh with awesome views from a lookout tower.

2213 N Palmetto Fort Drive, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29466

Hampton Park: 1.5-mile easy trail through this 60-acre park located on the peninsula in downtown Charleston.

30 Mary Murray Drive, Charleston, SC, 29403

James Island County Park: This spacious park has five miles of trails, as well as many other attractions such as playgrounds, picnic areas, waterpark, and bike rentals. There is an admissions fee, or you can use your Charleston County Parks gold pass.

871 Riverland Drive, Charleston, SC, 29412

Laurel Hill County Park: Enjoy five miles of shaded trails and beautiful scenery in North Mount Pleasant. There are no trash cans or restrooms, and the cost is $1 per person, or free with your Charleston County Parks gold pass.

Access the trailhead at 1251 Park West Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC, 29466.

North Charleston Wannamaker County Park: 2.3 miles of paved trails and 2.5 miles of unpaved trails meander through this nature-oriented park that also offers bike rentals, playgrounds, waterpark, picnic sites, and more. The cost is $2 per person, or free with your Charleston County Parks gold pass. Bike rentals are $4 per hour.

The entrance is located at 8888 University Blvd, North Charleston, SC, 29406.

Where will your biking adventure take you and your family?

Palmetto Islands County Park: 4.6 miles of nature trails take riders through a wooded setting, around meadows, along the water, over a boardwalk to a marsh island. Kids also like the Big Toy playground and climbing the observation tower. Bike rentals are also available for $4 per hour or $12 per day. The admissions fee is $2 per person, or free with a Charleston County Parks gold pass.

444 Needlerush Parkway, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464

Palmetto Trail: Awendaw Passage: 8.2-mile trail round trip through Francis Marion National Forest. It’s the final leg of the Palmetto Trail, which starts in the Upstate and cuts across the whole state of South Carolina.

901-999 Buckhall Landing Road, McClellanville, SC, 29458

Ravenel Bridge: Traverse the 2.5 miles (one way) over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge that spans the Cooper River between Charleston and Mount Pleasant. The 12-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path, known as Wonders’ Way, can be steep for beginning bikers, but otherwise a great ride for families with sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor, Patriot’s Point, and downtown.

Park under the bridge in Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464.

Riverfront Park: Take a leisurely ride on 1.5 miles of scenic trails along the Cooper River.

1061 Everglades Ave., North Charleston, SC, 29405

Sawmill Branch Walk/Bike Trail: 6.1 miles one-way, this flat, 10-foot-wide paved trail follows the Sawmill Branch Canal and is maintained by the Town of Summerville.

There are three access points: off County Road S-10-65 in Summerville, at the trailhead at 188 Ashley Drive, or at the trailhead just off Bacon’s Bridge Road.

That year our whole family got bicycles for Christmas!

Stono River County Park: 1.5 miles of wooded trails and marsh boardwalks and beautiful views of the Stone River. This new park that opened in 2020 is made up of more than 85 acres on Johns Island. It does cost $1 per person (unless you have your Charleston County Park gold pass) but has restrooms and picnic areas.

3644 Moonglow Drive, Johns Island, SC, 29455

Wannamaker North Trail is a 13-mile trail designed for mountain bicyclist, so a good place for older kids and strong bikers. Designed to provide the “ultimate mountain bike trail experience,” it offers “thrilling natural and man-made trail elements,” according to the Charleston County Parks website.

Trailhead is located at 455 Westview Blvd, Goose Creek, SC, 29445, in the northern part of Wannamaker County Park.

West Ashley Bikeway: Paved rail trail that runs for 2.5 miles one way and ends at the Ashley River.

The trailhead is located just off U.S. 17 at Wappoo Road in West Ashley.

Let your kids lead the way on family bike rides.

West Ashley Greenway: At 15 miles round trip, this partially paved scenic rail trail parallels U.S. 17 and provides a flat, straight ride that’s good for all ages.

Trailhead is located at 70 State Hwy 171, Charleston, SC, 29407, just off Folly Road and behind the Windermere Shopping Center.

Westview: Short, paved, 0.2 mile-trail in Goose Creek, adjacent to Westview Boulevard.

Parking at the corner of Westview Boulevard and Pineview Drive in Goose Creek.

For more information, visit South Carolina Trails at sctrails.net or download the AllTrails app for trails in your area.

Local Cycling Hubs

Find a local expert to help with bike repairs.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your ride or need to have your old bike fixed, these local stores will have what you need.

Cooper River Cycles: Daniel Island, www.cooperrivercycles.com

Trek Bicycle Store of Mount Pleasant: www.trekbikesofmountpleasant.com

The Bicycle Shoppe: Charleston www.thebicycleshoppe.com

Sweetgrass Cycles: Mount Pleasant, www.sweetgrasscycles.com

Easy Rider Bikes: Mount Pleasant, easy-rider-bikes.business.site

Mike’s Bikes: Folly Beach, www.mikesbikescharleston.com

Main Street Bike Shop: Summerville, mainstreetbike.com

Area 51 Bicycle Shop: 8350 Dorchester Road, North Charleston. 843-552-2699

Ride Bikes: http://ridebikes.net/recycling/

Charleston Bicycle Company: https://www.charlestonbicyclecompany.com/

Did we miss any bike trails? Let us know in the comments below!

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