Check it out, trailrunners. How difficult is it to find coastal trails online? VERY! Usually the featured trails on websites are the worst ones...ever. The least-known trails often are the best! So, where can you run and not be stared at, beeped at, or run over? I'll try to inform you of as many trails as possible from my research, experience, and trespassing...I mean...exploration!!!
DIRT ONLY (no specific order):
1. Hunting Island State Park (Beaufort, SC Area) It costs a few bucks, but you can get a season pass. There are about 10 miles of trails (plus roads and 4 miles of shoreline). Once again, the best ones are the least publicized. Take Diamondback or Magnolia Forest trails-they have hills (bumps, dunes, whatever they are) and hopefully, I have already cleared out the spiderwebs for you!!!!! The Maritime Trail is the most traveled; it's straight, boring, and flat. Boooooo! Shade is nice; sandgnats and fireants can be bad, so stay moving. LENGTH RATING: 6 out of 10. TECHNICAL RATING: 3 / 10. RATING COMPARED TO COASTAL TRAILS: 9 / 10.
2. West Ashley GREENWAY (Charleston, SC) - Free. 8 miles one way. Flat, suburban but ends up in a beautiful open marsh. Shaded about 3/4 of the way. LENGTH RATING: 8 out of 10. TECHNICAL RATING: 1 / 10. RATING COMPARED TO COASTAL TRAILS: 7 / 10.
3. New River Linear Trail (Bluffton, SC) - 3.5 miles one way. Free. Soon to be made longer! Gorgeous views of open marshes and birds galore. Can get sunny and hot. LENGTH RATING: 4 out of 10. TECHNICAL RATING: 1 / 10. RATING COMPARED TO COASTAL TRAILS: 6 / 10.
More to come...when I moved here I thought there were ZERO, but I have proved myself wrong. So get out there and get DIRTY!
4. Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge (Hilton Head Island, SC) - Free. 7 miles of flat sandy or grassy trails. LENGTH RATING: 4 out of 10. TECHNICAL RATING: 1 / 10. RATING COMPARED TO COASTAL TRAILS: 7 / 10.
5. McQueens Island Trail (Savannah, GA) - Free. Off US-80E. 3 miles one way; 3 miles the other way. Open, Sandy, Flat & Sunny. LENGTH RATING: 7 out of 10. TECHNICAL RATING: 1 / 10. RATING COMPARED TO COASTAL TRAILS: 6 / 10.
6. Tom Triplett Community Park Trails (Pooler, GA) - Free. 6.5 mile loop - marked and kept up for mtn biking. Nice mini hills and twists, turns, and roots keep it fun. There are another 3 miles of trails, plus access to the old Sav/Ogeechee Canal, and even a 1.5 mile paved loop around the long pond. You'll feel like you've made your getaway on these quiet, woodsy, unpopulated trails. Take unmarked turns; get lost; get found; explore! LENGTH RATING: 6 out of 10. TECHNICAL RATING: 3 / 10. RATING COMPARED TO COASTAL TRAILS: 9 / 10.