Many visitors bring their bicycles to the beach when they come for the weekend or a vacation to get in some exercise while they are here. The Grand Strand has many bicycle paths and trails that are ideal for walking, running and bicycling, but one of the best and most beautiful is the Grand Strand itself. It is a beautiful 60-mile stretch of uninterrupted Carolina coastline that runs from Little River to Georgetown.
Before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. during the peak season, or all day during the off-season which begins after Labor Day, bicycles are welcome on the beach. It is best to go for a ride during low tide when the sand below the tide line is packed down and provides better traction than loose sand. Of course, walkers and joggers are welcome on the beach at any time.
If you prefer a man-made trail, we have listed some of the most popular trails in the Grand Strand area below:
Swamp Fox Passage/Palmetto Trail—Head south on Highway 17 to hit the 42 miles of Swamp Fox Passage. It is one of South Carolina Lowcountry’s oldest trails and offers a long, flat, one-way journey through the swampy wetlands and coastal pine forests of Francis Marion National Forest. From the southeastern end of the Swamp Fox Passage, continue to the coast on the Palmetto Trail.
Waccamaw Neck Bikeway—This is a 12-mile multi-purpose path that runs alongside U. S. 17 from Murrells Inlet to Huntington Beach State Park. Although the path is not fully complete yet, you can ride or walk from Pawleys Island to Murrells Inlet by using sections of the completed trail and Share the Road routes. There are six miles of continuous trail and two sections of approximately four miles that can be used by cyclists and walkers to exercise and enjoy the Grand Strand scenery. When the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway is complete, it will stretch 27 miles from the Horry/Georgetown county line in Murrells Inlet to the bridge connecting Georgetown to Waccamaw Neck. Enjoy your ride and bike the neck trail Myrtle Beach.
Huntington Beach State Park—There is a Huntington Beach State Park 26-mile bicycle trail that you can walk or ride through South Carolina’s scenic Lowcountry that runs from Murrells Inlet to Litchfield Beach. The trail is built on a former rice plantation that winds through oceanfront forests, swampy coastal terrain, past Palmetto groves and the Atalaya Castle, and finally opening on the oceanfront.
The Market Common—There is a two-mile paved walking and bicycling trail overlooking the lake and recreational fields. You can ride The Market common bike trails Myrtle Beach before visiting one of the Market Common’s restaurants, entertainment options or stores for shopping.
A-10 Mountain Bike Trail—The Waccamaw Trail Blazers, a local mountain biking club, call this 1.4 mile loop the “fast and flowy”. They built this single-track mountain bike trail in the heart of the Grand Strand located in the Market Commons area of Myrtle Beach. It is right next to the Barc Park and is a constant work in progress. The A-10 Mountain Bike Trail was named after the A-10 Bomber because it has many of the same characteristics as the aircraft which was highly suited for combat conditions. This name fits the trail nicely because of the amount of work it took to cut trails and the way the trail winds through the forest. The trail head can be accessed near the Barc Park in The Market Common.
Horry County Bike and Run Park also known as “The Hulk”—This is a single-track mountain biking trail located off River Oaks Drive in Carolina Forest that begins with a 30-foot hill climb before taking on the characteristics of a wooden rollercoaster. The Hulk presents bicyclists with a true test of skill with dirt trails and imposing obstacles.
East Coast Greenway—This is a developing bicycle trail system that will span 4,000 miles from Canada to Key West Florida when completed. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was the first city to complete its segment of the Greenway. The Myrtle Beach segment is 12.5 miles that crosses S. C. 31 near Carolina Forest. It is open to walkers and runners as well as bicyclists.
Perrin’s Path—For a more carefree and traffic-free bike ride, the new Perrin’s Path offers a 1.2-mile paved path away from the hustle and bustle of the streets. It is a part of the East Coast Greenway that runs along the Intracoastal Waterway and behind the historic Pine Lakes Country Club which was the first golf course in Myrtle Beach before returning to the street-side route. Perrin’s Path is lined by trees and native shrubs for most of its length, and it features park benches and informational signage about local plant and animal life. This trail is perfect for kids still on tricycles or training wheels.
Grissom Parkway/Harrelson Blvd–Both trails are out and back, paved, and flat. The Grissom Parkway Trail parallels the Robert Grissom Parkway from 62nd Avenue North to Harrelson Boulevard, and the Harrelson Trail parallels Harrelson Boulevard from the Mark Garner Highway to the airport entrance. You can start from the intersection of Mark Garner Highway and 62nd Avenue North or from the shopping center at the intersection of the Mark Garner Highway and Harrelson Blvd. The trails are also a part of the East Coast Greenway and is 10.2 miles long.
Ocean Boulevard—The city of Myrtle Beach recently installed bike lanes on northbound and southbound Ocean Boulevard, allowing cyclists to enjoy the same scenic views that could be seen by the cars cruising the strip for years. On the north end of Myrtle Beach, the Ocean Forest Trail runs along the oceanfront to The Golden Mile, which is actually about two miles long, and has bike lanes and sidewalks where you get gorgeous views of the ocean, beaches and dunes as well as the historic beach homes. The bike paths run all the way to The Dunes Golf & Beach Club before you have to turn around.
North Myrtle Beach Sports and Recreation Park–This is a 350-acre facility on the North Strand with North Myrtle Beach bike trails. Bikers and hikers have plenty of options with three half-mile trails that explore different sections of the park. Walk or ride past a 25-acre lake, a 10-acre meadow, and the densely wooded forest that surrounds the property.
Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens–Head north to Little River, just this side of the state line, for a 114-acre tract of woodlands and salt marshes. 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 view for the nature enthusiasts makes this a popular spot.
Conway Riverwalk—There is a scenic walking and bicycling path that runs along the Waccamaw River in downtown Conway. It takes you on a relaxing, stress-free adventure where you can see many of the old buildings along the route.
As you can see, there are many options in Horry County for you to enjoy our beautiful Grand Strand and surrounding scenery while getting some exercise. If you want Grand Strand Cyclists for a group ride, they have a Myrtle Beach Cycling Calendar at of upcoming outings at www.myrtlebeachcycling.com/calendar/. Enjoy your ride and don’t forget to wear your safety equipment.