The Longest Biking Trail in South Carolina

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Written by Emilio Brown

Updated: July 26, 2023

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South Carolina is filled with natural beauty, from its coastal beaches to its large forested mountains. This article will cover the longest biking trail in South Carolina, which is great for those who love long bike rides and amazing sights. The eastern states of the US are filled with diverse plants and wildlife. With over 400 trails in South Carolina, you can find countless ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

The Longest Biking Trail in South Carolina: The Palmetto Trail

There are around 31 passages to the Palmetto Trail, traveling through swamps, mountain ranges, forests, and urban areas.

The Palmetto Trail is the longest biking trail in South Carolina, also used for hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding. Today around 380 miles of the Palmetto Trail are complete, and when finished, it will be around 500 miles long. When finished, the Palmetto trail is set to be the largest construction project in South Carolina, extending from the Oconee County mountains and going to the Intracoastal Waterway in Charleston County.

1994 is when the Palmetto Trail was created, with an estimated cost of $20 million to complete. There are around 31 passages to the Palmetto Trail, traveling through swamps, mountain ranges, forests, and urban areas

The Palmetto Trail is one of 16 cross-state trails in America. This trail runs through multiple historical and natural attractions across South Carolina. It is great for biking, but there are also other activities that you can do. Not every section can be biked, as some are only for hiking. 

Navigating the Palmetto Trail

Hiking the entirety of the Palmetto trail is possible and takes around 60 days. Not every segment of the trail is for biking. Around 24 of the 31 segments on the trail are bikeable. Various difficulty levels exist along the Palmetto Trail, and you can choose what part of the trail to travel on based on the landscape, sights, and difficulty level you prefer.

Because of the trail length planning your route is essential and can be done with a map of the area. Some may hike the trail in one long continuous trip, but it is best explored in segments over a long period. Having the right gear for your trip is essential, such as bringing water and dressing in the proper clothes.

Some biking paths are meant for mountain bikes, while others are all types of bikes. The Palmetto trails go in the upstate, sandhills, and coastal regions of South Carolina. Because of its length, the trail comprises many different types of segments.

Upstate Segments:

Around 166.11 miles of the Palmetto Trail are upstate segments.

  • Ross Mountain Passage-5 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Stumphouse Passage-1.5 miles: hiking/biking
  • Oconee Passage-3.73 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Eastatoe Passage-4.6 miles: hiking
  • Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage-12.6 miles: hiking
  • Roundtop Mountain-5.9 miles: hiking
  • Middle Saluda Passage-11.1 miles: hiking
  • Saluda Mountains Passage-9.1 miles: hiking
  • Poinsett Reservoir Passage-6.6 miles: hiking
  • Blue Wall Passage-14 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Peach Country Passage-14.1 miles: hiking/biking/running
  • USC Upstate Passage-2.2 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Hub City Connector-12 miles: hiking/mountain biking/running
  • Cedar Springs Passage-2.9 miles: hiking/biking
  • Croft Passage-12.6 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping/horseback riding
  • Glenn Springs Passage-7.3 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Blackstock Battlefield Passage-4 miles: hiking
  • Enoree Passage-36.88 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping/horseback riding

Sandhills Segments:

While there are fewer sandhill segments than upstate, around 167.28 miles of the Palmetto Trail go over this natural terrain.

  • Lynch’s Woods Passage-36.88 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Newberry Passage-10.7 miles: hiking/biking
  • Peak to Prosperity Passage-10.7 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping
  • Capital City Passage-10.2 miles: hiking/biking
  • Fort Jackson Passage-16.3 miles: hiking/mountain biking
  • Wateree Passage-11.4 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping
  • High Hills of Santee Passage-11.4 miles: hiking/biking/camping/horseback riding
  • Lake Marion Passage-35.9 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping
  • Santee Passage-13.9 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping
  • Eutaw Springs Passage-21.3 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping

Coastal Segments:

81.4 miles of the Palmetto Trail are coastal terrain.

  • Lake Moultrie Passage-26.7 miles: hiking/mountain biking/camping
  • Swamp Fox Passage-47.6 miles: hiking/biking/camping/horseback riding
  • Awendaw Passage-7.1 miles: hiking/mountain biking

Where is the Palmetto Trail Located on a Map?

The Palmetto Trail is a scenic hiking trail, spanning across South Carolina. It runs from the mountains of Oconee County to the sand dunes of Hunting Island State Park, with various trailheads located along the way. Trailheads can be found in Oconee County, Pickens County, Greenville County, Spartanburg County, Union County, Laurens County, Newberry County, Lexington County, Richland County, and Beaufort County.

Wildlife on the Palmetto Trail

With over 400 bird species in South Carolina, the Palmetto Trail is a great

place

to look for birds across the state’s different regions.

The Palmetto Trail goes through the entire state of South Carolina and does a great job of showcasing its diverse habitats. Waterfalls, rivers, lakes, bridges, streams, and swamps are the types of water sources located along the trail. Several of South Carolinas large range of animals, including beavers, skunks, hogs, otters, foxes, deer, bobcats, and black bears, live in the wilderness nearby. 

With over 400 bird species in South Carolina, the Palmetto Trail is a great place to look for birds across the state’s different regions.

When camping or traversing the area of the Palmetto Trail, It is important not to disturb any of the wilderness or leave any garbage. South Carolina’s longest trail is perfect for exploring the state’s great outdoors and has something for everyone to enjoy. 


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About the Author

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are my favorite types of animals, and I enjoy keeping some species as pets. I love learning about the various wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you can find me getting out into nature.

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