Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Beautiful Bike Trails on the Grand Strand

What's a great way to exercise, spend time with family and enjoy nature all at once? Bike riding! Fall is just around the corner and the milder weather provides the perfect opportunity to be active and outdoors. The Grand Strand has a variety of bike trails to explore some of the area's most scenic locations.

Grand Park at Market Common
The Market Common occupies what was once the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. The base closed in 1993 and the property has now been developed into town homes, a shopping complex and picturesque park. The Grand Park at Market Common is nestled around a scenic lake. The 2 mile trail circles the lake past playgrounds, interactive games and fitness stations. Be sure to bring a lunch to enjoy in the picnic areas while watching the ducks, turtles and fish that call this park their home.

There's a lot of ground to cover in this 2,500 acre preserve! The many roads and bike trails lead you through a wide variety of coastal ecosystems including fresh and saltwater marshes, lagoons, maritime forests and beaches. If you'd like to ride alongside the ocean, bikes are permitted on the beaches. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife. This fowl sanctuary is a bird-watchers dream and alligators can be spotted lurking among the marshes.

Myrtle Beach State Park
If you're looking for a quiet, serene trail, this is it! Located on the southern end of the city, Myrtle Beach State Park gives you the opportunity to become one with nature. As you bike through the beautiful forests, watch for signs that identify the many species of trees native to the region: oaks, magnolias, wax myrtles, hollies and poplars. The nature trails will also provide overlooks of their ponds, a journey by the wetlands, through the dunes and to the ocean.

Pawley's Island Loop
If you're looking to go the distance, head down to the Pawley's Island Loop. Circle the 3.5 mile trail as many times as you'd like while enjoying delightful scenes of the Low Country. This popular route leads through one of the East Coast's oldest summer resorts and furnishes sweeping views of the marsh.

The Riverwalk
Myrtle Beach's neighbor, Conway, is a historic town settled alongside the Waccamaw River. Dating back to the 1700s, Conway is a fascinating treasure that tourists often overlook. The Riverwalk, which runs along the Waccamaw River, is the perfect place to bike while becoming acquainted with the town. You'll bypass historic homes and quaint churches included on the National Historic Register, boats puttering along the river, playgrounds and marinas. You're rewarded at the end of your excursion by reaching the Conway Arboretum, home to a wide variety of stunning trees and plants.

Be sure to take advantage of these scenic locations. Don't have a bike? No problem! Bicycles can be rented from our Recreation Department at an hourly rate of $4 or $12 for the entire day. Be sure to plan ahead as bikes are first come first serve. For additional information, call 1-800-845-5039.

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