A 5.8-mile down-and-back between waterways, this flat trail follows the Congaree River along the old path mules crossed as they towed boats along the historic Columbia Canal. For a little variety, head downstairs to the paved stretch along the river. The park offers restrooms and picnic tables, and the trail is open to bikers and rollerbladers. It's not exactly the AT, but still a much-appreciated bit of nature smack in the middle of the city.

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Expert Review of Columbia Riverfront Park and Historic Columbia Canal

Parks and Outdoors Review of Columbia Riverfront Park and Historic Columbia Canal

Away Travel Expert: Mike Sigalas
ParksExpert Rating 3.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Birding,Day Hiking
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • A great combo-attraction to anybody visiting the State Museum or EdVenture. If you get a little buggy after too much time indoors, hit the museum early and save time in the afternoon for a hike and/or picnic along the river. Most times, you can even park at EdVenture and walk to the trail from there, though the access gate at the power plant is not invariably unlocked.
  • Thankfully, the old state penitentary brooding over all this beauty is no longer in operation. When the park first opened, you'd hike along the often deserted trail to the sounds of murderers and rapists at play behind the barb-wire.
  • Back when the mountains-to-beach Palmetto trail was first proposed, lawmakers gave their support with one caveat, that the trail lead hikers directly past the state Capitol itself. And that's what the Capital City stretch of the Palmetto Trail now does. You can pick it up from the Riverfront Trailhead.

On the Columbia side of the Congaree River
312 Laurel St.
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Parking: Dawn to dusk
Price: Free

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 803-733-8613
Neighborhood: Vista District
Price Information: Free
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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