UPDATED! Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in Charleston

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Looking to spend some more time outside before it gets too hot and humid in the Lowcountry? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite kid-friendly hiking trails recommended by our Charleston Moms team and you, our readers!

*This article was originally published in 2018 with photos and information contributed by guest author Nicholl Summers. We’ve since updated it with more current information. While we make every effort to crosscheck current links we always encourage you to do the same before making final plans. If details are missing or incorrect, please let us know so that we can correct them. Are we missing a local kid-friendly hiking trail? Email us at [email protected] so we can add it! 

Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails Around Charleston

Rosenbrock Park Trail

Summerville-Trailhead on Highway 61 at Bacon’s Bridge

Cost: FREE

Restrooms: Outhouse at the trailhead, no amenities on the trail.

Stroller Access: All-terrain stroller only

Located at the corner of Bacon’s Bridge Road and Highway 61 in Summerville, Rosenbrock Park Trail is nature’s playground! With several small hills that children can traverse as well as vines and roots to duck under and over, this trail is so much fun for little legs!


Old Santee Canal

Moncks Corner

Cost: $3 per person, Free for kids under six and pass holders.

Restrooms: Bathroom at the trailhead, no amenities on the trail.

Stroller Access: Some trails are not stroller-friendly, but the boardwalk loop is all-wheels accessible.

Located in Moncks Corner, Old Santee Canal Park is a hidden gem of the Lowcountry. With its boardwalks winding through marsh and swamplands, there are many opportunities to view wildlife. This is also one of the few trails in the area where you can explore hills! With over four miles of trails to explore, there is something for everyone. There is also a small museum to visit after your hike.


Laurel Hill County Park

Mount Pleasant

Cost: $1 per person, free for Gold Pass Holders and children under two. Cash or check only.

Restrooms: Restroom with a changing table available near the trailhead but no amenities on the trail.

Stroller Access: All-terrain only.

Nestled in the back corner of the Mt. Pleasant Park West Recreation Center, Laurel Hill County Park has scenic hiking trails, wide gravel paths, a historic oak allée, and open fields that are perfect for running off energy. There is also a lake where children may spot frogs, turtles, and other wildlife.


Caw Caw Interpretive Center

Ravenel – 5200 Savannah Highway

Cost: $2 per person, free for Gold Pass Holders and children under two.

Restrooms: Restroom with a changing table available at the trailhead, no amenities on the trail.

Stroller Access: All-terrain only.

Just a short drive outside of the Charleston area, this is a great place to get your children excited about nature! There are over six miles of trails with trail-side exhibits and interpretive plaques that provide insight into the flora and fauna found in the area. There are also several exhibits indoors that children love. From the scale model of a rice field irrigation system that floods with the push of a button; to blind boxes where children can explore sensory items from the natural environment, Caw Caw Interpretive Center engages children of all ages!


Audubon Francis Beidler Forest

Harleyville-  336 Sanctuary Road

Cost: $10 Adults, $8 Seniors & Audubon Members, $5 Children, under age six free.

Restrooms: Restrooms available at the trailhead, no amenities on the trail.

Stroller Access: Yes

Exploring the Audubon Francis Beidler Forest is like entering another world. The 1.75-mile boardwalk through the cypress forest allows you to explore depths of the swamp that would otherwise be inaccessible. The entire walkway is stroller-friendly, and the railings allow even the youngest walkers to check out the sights without the worry that they will wander too far away. Be sure to pick up the free guide book and look for the corresponding plaques along the railings. There is also a free app for iPhone that you can download in advance that is perfect for engaging older children. There is so much to see here!


Palmetto Islands County Park

Mount Pleasant- 444 Needlerush Pkwy

Cost: $2 per person, free for Gold Pass Holders and children under two.

Restrooms: Restrooms with a changing table available throughout the park.

Stroller Access: Yes

With something new around every corner, Palmetto Island County Park is great for little wanderers with a budding sense of adventure. Take a walk out to Nature Island, walk along the paved nature path, run through the open meadow, duck through the thickets and climb the observation tower! If that isn’t enough to exhaust your little ones, take them over to the Big Toy Lot to get out whatever excitement and energy remains!


Wannamaker County Park

North Charleston- 8888 University Blvd.

Cost: $2 per person, free for Gold Pass Holders and children under two.

Restrooms: Restrooms with a changing table available throughout the park.

Stroller Access: Yes

Wannamaker County Park has several trails, all of which are accessible by jogging stroller. There is also a one-mile paved loop that allows for strollers of any type. If you have child walkers, try venturing outside of the paved loop for a closer look at the swamps, trees, and wildlife. This is a great park to let the children lead the way since you are never too far from the main park.


James Island County Park

James Island- 871 Riverland Dr.

Cost: $2 per person, free for Gold Pass Holders and children under two.

Restrooms: Restrooms with a changing table available throughout the park.

Stroller Access: Yes

James Island County Park is another park that is very accessible. With several loops to choose from, you can create your own route between one and six miles in length. Print the park map off of the county park website and let your child do the navigating! With color-coded trails and markers, as well as easily identifiable landmarks, this is a great way to engage children of all ages. Some of the trails do cross over streets, so make sure children know to stop if they wander ahead. Make sure to visit the fishing dock and check out the lake if you want to see birds, turtles, and other wildlife!


Charlestowne Landing State Park

Charleston, 1500 Old Towne Rd.

Cost: $10 per adult, $6.50 Senior, $6 youth age 6-15, five and under, and pass holders are free.

Restrooms: Restrooms with a changing table available at the park center.

Stroller Access: Yes

Charlestowne Landing is a family favorite! In addition to scenic river views, you can also explore a historical ship and visit the animal forest. They also have organized educational activities for young children throughout the week. With paved paths throughout this is a great location for all ages and is very accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.


Colonial Dorchester State Park

Summerville, 300 State Park Rd.

Cost: $2 per adult, under 15 are free.

Restrooms: One restroom on site.

Stroller Access: All-terrain only.

With wide trails, open meadows, and interesting structures to explore throughout, this is a great place to hike with toddlers. Additionally, with the parking situated at the park center, you are never too far from home base. For older children, this park is an active geocache site as well!


Givhans Ferry State Park

Ridgeville, 746 Givhans Ferry Rd.

Cost: $6 adults; $3.75 SC seniors (age 65 & older); $3.50 children ages 6-15; ages five and under, free.

Restroom: Yes

Stroller Access:

Givhans Ferry State Park sits at the end of the 23-mile long stretch of Edisto River kayaking paradise known as the Edisto River kayak and canoe trail that begins at Colleton State Park. A shaded campground, nature trail, and picnic shelters are also available at the park.


Cypress Gardens

Moncks Corner, 3030 Cypress Gardens Rd.

Cost: 8-64 years, $10.00; 6 – 17 years, $5.00; 65+, 911, Military, $6.50 (Free for Berkeley County residents on certain Saturdays).

Restroom: Yes

Stroller Access:

Enjoy picturesque views along 3.5 miles of walking/hiking paths that loop through the swamp and gardens. Let the kids play on the playground afterward to burn off any extra energy!

We are always on the lookout for new trails! Feel free to share your favorite trails in the comments. Happy Hiking!

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