Best Walking Trails near Myrtle Beach
New residents of Myrtle Beach and the general area of the Grand Strand have multiple options to keep in shape. Just to name a few, community fitness centers, local gyms, golf clubs, and sports complexes appeal to all types of people. That being said, there's nothing quite like taking in the fresh air, local fauna, and small wildlife sightings while maintaining your figure. Let's take a look at just some of the popular options in or near Myrtle Beach.
Located southwest of Murrells Inlet, Brookgreen Gardens is a 9000+ acre paradise of botanical gardens, sculptures, and the Lowcountry Zoo. General Gardens are open from 9:30am - 5:00pm daily. Tickets are free for children 3 & under. Otherwise, prices range from $10-20. Memberships are offered annually, the cheapest options offering year-round access for individuals at $70 or families at $110.
Walk the Lowcountry Trail which features a boardwalk crossing rice fields from a former slave plantation. Enjoy the area on your own, or take on Brrokgreen Gardens' offerings of audio tours and informative, interpretive panels.
The botanical gardens are comprised of butterfly habitats, Sabal palmettos, and a garden room for children with beautiful mature trees perennials, shrubs, and roses.
With claims of "...the largest and most comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture in the country..." it would be a mistake not to witness these wonderful galleries and gardens. Over 2000 artworks were created by 400+ artists as of 2022.
The Lowcountry Zoo has been a favorite in Brookgreen since the beginning. Meet the zoo's animals in one-of-a-kind classes and then stop for a snack or two at Mother Nature's Cafe. Native animals include alligators, bald eagles, grey foxes, hawks, and more.
Enjoy a nice quiet walk along the famous Waccamaw River in Conway. There are views of pretty flowers, trees, dragonflies, turtles, and a pleasant little playground for kids to explore on this peaceful 1.3 mile trail. Leashed dogs are permitted, so feel free to bring your best friend!
The area often serves for festivals and events but also highlights the region's history of tobacco shipments and fishermen. Walk these great trails from dawn to dusk for free.
Heritage Shores Nature Preserve
Another short albeit lovely trail is available in Heritage Shores Nature Preserve located in North Myrtle Beach. Try leisurely strolls, birdwatching, or kayaking with a nice view of House Creek.
Huntington Beach State Park & Atalaya Castle
Huntington Beach State Park is one option in the greater network of South Carolina State Parks. Typically $8 per day, frequenters may choose to pay annually for unlimited access to all or most state parks depending on the plan purchased. The following Myrtle Beach State Park gives off a similar appeal, but Huntington Beach stands out due to the National Historic Landmark and former summer residence of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, Atalaya Castle.
Atalaya Castle is reason enough to visit Huntington Beach State Park due to its historical context and gorgeous architecture. This site is often used for tours, weddings, and the annual Arts & Crafts Festival.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Another park within South Carolina's impressive list of state parks, Myrtle Beach State Park is one of the two located in or near Myrtle Beach. A short walking trail in the woods, a family-oriented beach, tourist campgrounds, and a nature center make Myrtle Beach State Park a worthwhile experience for families and solo walkers at only $8 per day. Much like Huntington Beach, frequent visitors may wish to purchase an annual package for $100.
The Market Common
The Market Common is a planned community and former defunct military base. History panels and mile markers welcome visitors around Grand Park, Grand Lake, and Savannah's Playground. Children usually pack the playground out in the afternoon, while the neighboring downtown area of shops and restaurants provides weekend events. The events attract vendors and even more Myrtle Beach residents beyond those who live in The Market Common. What's the best part of this 5+ mile walk or run? It's FREE!
Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge
Established back in 1997, Waccamaw Refuge is a protected area that provides a habitat for the local river ecosystem and wildlife. Providing options for hikers of all levels, the refuge contains three unique trails:
The Red Trail is a scenic loop that wraps around Salty Lake and takes around 10 minutes to complete at only 0.6 miles.
In terms of difficulty, the 2.7-mile Yellow and Blue Loop is next in line. Being popular for birdwatching and jogging, visitors may enjoy a pleasant walk in the shade.
Waccamaw Island Canoe Loop is the longest trail of the refuge at 4.1 miles. It'll take over an hour to complete the loop and it is a great option for walking your leashed dog, paddle sports, and wildlife.
Posted by Eric Emond