Charleston and Mt. Pleasant greenways, MTB trails, bike paths- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Charleston and Mt. Pleasant greenways, MTB trails, bike paths

    Hello all,

    Just curious about the greenway and MTB trail situation around the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant areas? There is a slight possibility for job opportunity for us in the area, we are currently in North Al and around a lot of trails and greenways.

    My wife loves riding her XC hardail on the greenways and smoother hard pack.

    I love riding single track, flow trails, technical and also really enjoy rides on the greenways with the wife.

    Does the Mt.P/Charleston area have anything that will appease us? MTB Project shows a few trails scattered outside the city but surely there are more?

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    Anyone?

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    https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8010208

    Looks like Marrington is the most popular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StellaBlue View Post
    https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8010208

    Looks like Marrington is the most popular.
    Marrington kept me sane through a three-year job assignment in the Charleston area about 12 years ago. Night rides (only way to avoid summer heat) could be a bit strange when the Border Patrol folks were training with automatic weapons on the north side of Foster Creek (don't know if that still goes on), and 'gators on the trails were not uncommon. Stopping at the boat ramp on Foster Creek and shining lights up and down the creek gave riders a real appreciation of the 'gator population, too! Now I'm lucky enough to have DuPont and Pisgah in my back yard.

    TZ
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

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    There is nothing really here. Marrington is nice but gets boring real fast - and I mean 8 miles in you wish you were somewhere else. The other place, Wannamaker is more of the same but with more bugs. You can take a 2 hour drive to Columbia for another trail that has maybe 1:30-2 hours of riding. The best option is to drive 4 hours and go to Dupont or Pisgah.

    Road riding is also difficult as the drivers are terrible and take pleasure in hitting both bikers and other drivers. Come to this area if you want to boat, drink, get fat and develop cirrhosis. I moved from Pennsylvania and other than my job, this place makes me want to kill myself.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    There is nothing really here. Marrington is nice but gets boring real fast - and I mean 8 miles in you wish you were somewhere else. The other place, Wannamaker is more of the same but with more bugs. You can take a 2 hour drive to Columbia for another trail that has maybe 1:30-2 hours of riding. The best option is to drive 4 hours and go to Dupont or Pisgah.

    Road riding is also difficult as the drivers are terrible and take pleasure in hitting both bikers and other drivers. Come to this area if you want to boat, drink, get fat and develop cirrhosis. I moved from Pennsylvania and other than my job, this place makes me want to kill myself.
    This post sponsored by the Charleston Visitors Bureau.

    Charleston is a great place for a lot of things, but biking isn't one of them. I took my bike down there last fall and rode some trail out near Goose Creek and it was the rootiest, most boring thing I have ever ridden in my life. No fun at all. I had a better time the next day riding over the big bridge. But if you want fancy restaurants where you can get a $25 plate of shrimp, it's the perfect town.
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    I lived in Charleston for 5 years, I can't comment a lot on the riding, but I wanted to move back so badly for several years. I really loved Charleston, it was a great place to live for a while.

    There is no way in hell I'd live there now, though. It's too congested and I feel it's lost a lot of the charm that made it so nice 10 years ago or so. I don't go back often, but my impression is that it's too congested, the infrastructure can't handle the increase in population, and the cost of living is through the roof. I'll always look back fondly on my time there, but there is no way I'd go back now, especially given the riding situation.

    Drivers in SC have always sucked, though. The tourists driving through downtown have always been idiots and most people with SC plates drive like their eyes point out either side of their head. No way I'd get on a road bike there outside of a park, not because of malicious intent but because of some bizarre lack of driving skill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    This post sponsored by the Charleston Visitors Bureau.

    Charleston is a great place for a lot of things, but biking isn't one of them. I took my bike down there last fall and rode some trail out near Goose Creek and it was the rootiest, most boring thing I have ever ridden in my life. No fun at all. I had a better time the next day riding over the big bridge. But if you want fancy restaurants where you can get a $25 plate of shrimp, it's the perfect town.
    $25 for a plate of shrimp? Not possible. More like $35 to start.


    Yes, I was spending weekends in the upstate and riding Paris MTN, Dupont or Pisgah. I like those places and especially riding up the Brissy Ridge trail in Paris mountain! However, it has been almost 3 months since I have been up there and have not had a good MTB ride in 2 months. Almost killed twice road riding and had some guy in a diesel truck roll me and told me to go back to Mexico.

    No good mountain biking make Vesp angry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    $25 for a plate of shrimp? Not possible. More like $35 to start.


    Yes, I was spending weekends in the upstate and riding Paris MTN, Dupont or Pisgah. I like those places and especially riding up the Brissy Ridge trail in Paris mountain! However, it has been almost 3 months since I have been up there and have not had a good MTB ride in 2 months. Almost killed twice road riding and had some guy in a diesel truck roll me and told me to go back to Mexico.

    No good mountain biking make Vesp angry.
    Wow - this is definitely sort of disheartening. Honestly all of the replies in this thread even outside of biking kind of makes me realize that Charleston doesn't sound like the place for me. I love food, drinks, art, and the beach but I also love biking, not being stuck in traffic everywhere I go, and having a 15 min drive to the office.

    Huntsville AL is where I currently live, I have visited Charleston for work and my wife and I are going in October for a vacation and to scope things out. My wife hates traffic and bad drivers, probably more than anything in life so it sounds like she'd hate that aspect of it. Plus looking at houses the cost of living in the areas we'd want to live in seems... hrm, a bit excessive is the best way to put it.

    Ah well, we're going in October regardless, if she likes it maybe we'll consider it but this thread has sort of changed my opinion on the area, again not due to biking, just from the not so positive comments about the area.

    Thank you everyone for your information!

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    Just to add a couple of comments to what has already been shared...

    Bad drivers is a SC thing. Frankly, it's downright scary.

    I rode street motorcycles for 25+ years but finally gave it up after moving to SC 8 years ago. I lasted 5 years on the roads here and then after an especially close call, called it quits. I determined at that moment I was going to get killed or kill someone eventually. Listed my bikes for sale the following day...

    My father in law who is from here and rode for 50+ years, gave it up a year before I did. I miss road riding dearly but it's just not worth it anymore unfortunately. Bad drivers + cell phones = not good.

    I'm tempted to get a road bike but then I come to my senses...

    As for the riding in Columbia at Harbison State Forest that another commenter mentioned, I ride there 4-5 times a week. We have 16+ miles of flowing single track. A decent trail system considering how close it is to town and to where we live (10 min or so). I volunteer there when I can and the regular crew keeps the trails well maintained. That being said, I can't envision it being a regular riding destination being 2 hours from Charleston if I'm being completely honest.

    I head to FATS quite often but that's 3 hours from Charleston. And has already been mentioned, WNC is the spot but that's a hike from the Lowcountry.

    We spend a fair amount of time in Charleston and well as south of Charleston in Edisto. I can say that the entire Lowcountry has changed considerably in the short 8 years I've been here. We considered moving to Charleston/Folly Beach about 6 years ago but quickly abandoned that idea after spending more time down there.

    Nonetheless, it's a great place to visit and I'm certain you'll have a great time in October. Enjoy!

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    The only other thing I will add, is that Charleston has one of the best mountainbike clubs: the low country fat tire freaks. What trail systems there are, they have built and maintain. They do everything they can to to make it fun. They are an amazing group of people that deserve recognition for their dedication to the sport and their desire to ride. A truly amazing group.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    The only other thing I will add, is that Charleston has one of the best mountainbike clubs: the low country fat tire freaks. What trail systems there are, they have built and maintain. They do everything they can to to make it fun. They are an amazing group of people that deserve recognition for their dedication to the sport and their desire to ride. A truly amazing group.
    That does make a difference, I don't mind driving a little for a ride, especially if there is a group of people who make riding fun and worth the drive. Are there a lot or any of paved bike paths or greenways in the area? I don't mind driving a few hours on the weekend for trials if my wife and I can do some bike path/green way riding after work during the week. We'd be looking in the Mt. Pleasant, James Island, or Goose Creek areas if we decide to move that way. Still, the way it sounds with traffic, the increase in housing costs, etc sort of has me thinking it may not be the place for us BUT I moved away from the Gulf Coast 4 years ago and I miss the freaking water, fresh seafood, and island life!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls2ndblessing View Post
    That does make a difference, I don't mind driving a little for a ride, especially if there is a group of people who make riding fun and worth the drive. Are there a lot or any of paved bike paths or greenways in the area? I don't mind driving a few hours on the weekend for trials if my wife and I can do some bike path/green way riding after work during the week. We'd be looking in the Mt. Pleasant, James Island, or Goose Creek areas if we decide to move that way. Still, the way it sounds with traffic, the increase in housing costs, etc sort of has me thinking it may not be the place for us BUT I moved away from the Gulf Coast 4 years ago and I miss the freaking water, fresh seafood, and island life!
    There are some bike paths. The Greenway in West ashley is being paved and may suit your needs. Any kids? Mt. Pleasant has the best schools (actually the only decent schools that go from elementary to high school) but also the highest housing prices. Expect to spend a minimum of 450-600K for a house that can survive flooding conditions (which has happened for three straight years). How often do you need to go to downtown Charleston? If not often, Goose Creek could be a much better option as you are close to the one MTB trail (Marrington) and also closer to Harbison (90 minutes from that point) and Poinsett (maybe only 60 minutes from that point). There is also another trail called Biggen that is only 4-5 miles long but still fun and only 20-30 minutes from Goose creek. Also, housing prices are much cheaper in the Goose Creek area. Traffic is building up but still nothing like West Ashley, MT. Pleasant or James Island.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    $25 for a plate of shrimp? Not possible. More like $35 to start.
    Yeah, I think the $25 plate was at Long John Silvers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    There are some bike paths. The Greenway in West ashley is being paved and may suit your needs. Any kids? Mt. Pleasant has the best schools (actually the only decent schools that go from elementary to high school) but also the highest housing prices. Expect to spend a minimum of 450-600K for a house that can survive flooding conditions (which has happened for three straight years). How often do you need to go to downtown Charleston? If not often, Goose Creek could be a much better option as you are close to the one MTB trail (Marrington) and also closer to Harbison (90 minutes from that point) and Poinsett (maybe only 60 minutes from that point). There is also another trail called Biggen that is only 4-5 miles long but still fun and only 20-30 minutes from Goose creek. Also, housing prices are much cheaper in the Goose Creek area. Traffic is building up but still nothing like West Ashley, MT. Pleasant or James Island.
    Downtown would be a weekend thing I'm sure same as the beach. One of my offices is located in North Charleston so GC would be pretty quick to drive to it. However - we don't know the GC area at all. If you were to want a nice dinner and cocktail for the wife, would the only option be driving in to Charleston or are there some local places to GC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    ...and Poinsett (maybe only 60 minutes from that point).
    Good call on the Poinsett recommendation. Not a lot of mileage but certainly some fun trails. And they keep adding to what they do have as the park staff are super supportive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Yeah, I think the $25 plate was at Long John Silvers.
    Too funny but accurate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls2ndblessing View Post
    Downtown would be a weekend thing I'm sure same as the beach. One of my offices is located in North Charleston so GC would be pretty quick to drive to it. However - we don't know the GC area at all. If you were to want a nice dinner and cocktail for the wife, would the only option be driving in to Charleston or are there some local places to GC?
    I do think there are some good place that are not downtown. One place in North Charleston that is really good is Evo Pizza. Great pizza and great beer. The whole Park Circle area area in North Charleston is very nice. There is also a great Jamaican place up there as well. Food in the whole Charleston is generally very good. But priced accordingly. The places I mentioned are very reasonably priced.

    Getting back to mountain biking, the key thing to remember is that there is no elevation gain and there is nothing technical. No rocks at all. If you can live with that, you may be OK. And if you live out by Goose creek, you could have easier access to Harbison and Poinsett, although the drive is still a pain. Check it out in October and see what you think! I should mention that Irma dumped lots of rain on us so Marrington may not be open. Has been closed for much of the summer from all the rain.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

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