Coastal Carolina Biking
Possibly one of the prettiest single-track trails along the coast of South Carolina, this easy, four-mile-long (round-trip), out-and-back single-track trail in Edisto Beach State Park.also offers a glimpse of an unusual feature. As the name suggests, the trail leads to a bend in Big Bay Creek where ancient Native American shell mounds rest. Believed to be more than 4,000 years old, these mounds sit on cliffs overlooking the creek.
The path begins by zipping through a maritime forest that features some of the tallest palmetto trees in the state. The graceful branches of live oak trees, garnished with drapes of Spanish moss, lend an air of gentility to the surroundings. The trail peeks out of the dense, lush forest several times, crossing a marsh on a wooden boardwalk and clinging to the open bank of Scott Creek. The drone of tree frogs and the higher-pitched song of crickets complement this classic Low Country scenery. See MAP.
Elevation change: There is no appreciable change in elevation.
Season: The trail can be ridden year-round, though some summer rides can be miserably hot, humid, and plagued with annoying insects.
Services: This trail is located within the Edisto Beach State Park, which offers campsites as well as rustic cabins for rent. Restaurants (Salty Mike's, which overlooks the Edisto marina, is my favorite eatery on the island), grocery stores, and gas stations are located on Edisto Island. However, for a bike shop, pharmacy, or medical treatment facility, you will need to drive to Charleston, about 40 miles away.
Hazards: Poisonous snakes do slither and slink about this trail; keep a watchful eye out for them. There are also sections of trail with exposed tree roots that should be negotiated with some degree of caution, especially after a rain when they are slippery and wet. Flying over your handlebars from having your front wheel tweaked by a root is certainly grand entertainment for the rest of your pedaling party, but it greatly increases the probability of returning home with a fractured clavicle or shattered wrist. Ouch!
Rescue index: The rescue index is fair. Though you are on single-track trail away from any roads carrying traffic, the trail is short.
Land status: State park.
Maps: The trail can be found on two USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles: Edisto Beach and Edisto Island.
Finding the trail: Edisto Island can be reached by driving in on SC 174 and following the road signs. Just before the road ends, there will be a sign on the right for the Edisto Beach State Park. Turn right toward the cabins. At .2 miles, there will be a trailhead sign and a dirt parking area on the right. Park here.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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