You’re on vacation, where the most strenuous thing you want to do is choose a restaurant for dinner. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a bike ride and take in some of the local scenery.
You’ll find paved pathways all over the state where you can pedal at your leisure with nary a grimace. Even the little ones can navigate these smooth tracks.
Here are 10 trails you can bike without breaking a sweat — well, almost:
1. GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail
Located in Greenville, this 13.5-mile asphalt pathway runs along an old railway line through the city’s trendy downtown and over the Reedy River to two of its signature green spaces: Falls Park and Cleveland Park.
2. Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail
Located in Spartanburg, the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail was once part of the old Norfolk Southern railroad. The 1.9-mile urban multiuse rail trail passes restaurants, shops and recreational facilities on its way to the city’s historic downtown.
3. Riverwalk Trail Riverwalk Trail in Rock Hill is a 2.25-mile asphalt path that meanders through the woods, offering scenic views of the Catawba River. While most of the trail is flat, there are a few sections traversing hills.
4. North Augusta Greeneway
The North Augusta Greeneway is a mostly flat rails-to-trail. It runs seven-plus miles through tunnels and over bridges, under the shaded canopy of wooded alcoves, past Brick Pond and Riverview parks. A spur trail takes you out to the Savannah River and Boeckh Park.
5. Three Rivers Greenway
Located in Columbia, the Three Rivers Greenway is almost 10 miles long and growing. This series of riverfront pathways, where the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers meet, offers outstanding views of the downtown skyline.
6. Sawmill Branch Walk/Bike Trail
Seven miles long and flat as a pancake, the trail runs alongside the old Sawmill Branch Canal, connecting a number of neighborhoods to Summerville’s historic downtown.
7. Bike the Neck
The Bike the Neck trail in Murrells Inlet runs along U.S. 17 on the historic Waccamaw Neck, a long, narrow peninsula tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Waccamaw River from just south of Myrtle Beach to just north of the historic seaport of Georgetown.
8. Spanish Moss Trail
The Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort was built along the old Magnolia railroad line. A 12-foot-wide paved pathway runs 3.3 miles from Beaufort to Port Royal, offering stunning views of Battery Creek and its expansive salt marshes. Another four miles will be added to the trail by the end of 2014.
9. Island Pathways
With more than 60 miles of public trails crisscrossing 12-mile-long Hilton Head Island, you can get virtually anywhere on your bike. No wonder the League of American Bicyclists awarded it silver status as a “Bicycle Friendly Community.”
10. The Ravenel Bridge
Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge is no ride in the park. You’ll burn some calories traversing the 2.7-mile bridge, the longest cable-stayed span in North America, but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of Charleston Harbor.