Since the weather has been so consistently fabulous around the Grand Strand, I’ve made it a point to take my granddaughter out biking and hiking. And sidenote: she sleeps much better at night since we’ve embarked on these mini adventures.
In the past two weeks, we’ve visited 3 different trails for the very first time. I’m amazed at what’s around town if you just look.
The first trail we checked out was one in the Market Common area. I loaded up our bikes and headed over to Airpark Dr. which is just off of Farrow Parkway.
I had no idea there was a path off the road until I saw a runner emerge from that way. I I looked it up online and sure enough….there is a bike/running/walking path which runs along the back side of a housing development….though most of the path is cut into the woods and runs alongside a pond. The evening we went, we saw a bit of everything….young guys fishing, a couple riding bikes, two women walking, and an older couple walking their dogs.
I’ve tried to locate information concerning the length of this path, but haven’t found anything as yet. We rode it back and forth a few times and we ended the night by feeding the ducks and turtles our stale bread from dinner.
We parked on Airpark Dr. The spot can only accommodate 2-3 cars.
The next day, I read about the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. I saw that there were trails in the local area of the Refuge just off of Hwy. 544 in Conway. Take Jackson Bluff Rd. and that will turn into Gary Lake Boulevard. Once you round the corner by the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority, the road breaks off. You can continue on Jackson Bluff Rd by veering to the Left or continue straight….onto the gravelly road….which is Gary Lake Blvd. That’s the way you want to go. If you make the left onto Jackson Bluff Rd, you’ll get that uneasy feeling that you’re driving too far out of the way. That feeling will be solidified when you reach a T-intersection and realize you have to turn around and go back.
When I found the parking lot, and we began our trek……I realized that I would definitely need my backpack of sanitary wipes and other essentials to have on hand with a 6-year old. I did not see any sort of portable potties, but I didn’t check the main board before beginning on the path.
There is a point when you have to choose between the bike trail or the blue trail. We chose the blue trail as I was wanting to take the little one over the boardwalk which I saw on the website. When we came to another intersection and had to choose a trail, we stuck with the blue. We saw the boardwalk in the distance, but when we arrived……it was closed off. There was nothing to indicate whether or not it would be reopened. That was slightly annoying, as I don’t recall seeing anything about a closure on the main board at the entrance.
Because we haven’t had rain in a while, the Cypress swamp was mostly just mud, but that’s OK with me, as it enabled us to get a real feel for the place. It was serene in there….but if you’re not used to being alone in the woods…..then it takes getting used to.
If we go back; we will definitelhy take one of the other trails.
The third trail we checked out over this past weekend was the Carolina Forest Bike and Run Park. @ 150 Frontage Rd, B-2, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579.
This was definitely our favorite. The link will take you to the Facebook page. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can call them at 843.915.5330. There are a few website links for this group, but they are not current.
The folks who run it are very nice and helpful and they seem to be working on improving the trails all the time. I have to admit that I was a bit confused by the trail markings and how it all worked. There were some folks in the parking lot who were willing to clue me in, but that didn’t stop us from getting off the path we started on and ending up somewhere entirely different.
This place is great for riders, runners and walkers. We spent two hours there and the only reason we left was because our feet started to get sore. The only facility I saw for a bathroom was a free-standing portable potty in the parking lot at the entrance to the trails.