Local in the Lowcountry: The West Ashley Greenway

In the spirit of truly feeling “at home” in Charleston, I’m reviewing some of my favorite “hidden gems” around town. You might not see these places on TV, none of them are tacky tourist traps, and most people from outside Charleston won’t have heard of them.

With TV shows filming here and my city gaining various accolades in the public eye, here’s where the Lowcountry locals go!


When I moved to Charleston, one of my best finds was the West Ashley Greenway.

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About 10.5 miles total, the Greenway is a paved to trail path that begins at the South Windermere Shopping Center on Folly Rd. in West Ashley and ends on John’s Island (In South Windermere, you can park in the Earth Fare parking or behind the store in that shopping center). It has mile markers along the route as well as some businesses that make for bathroom or water stops, if you need that.

If you’re an active person in the Charleston area- meaning you like to run, walk, or bike, the Greenway is a great place to do it. In fact, the West Ashley Greenway is one of my favorite running spots in the lowcountry, and here’s why:

  1. The West Ashley Greenway is pretty long- 10.5 miles. If you’re training for a marathon, you can do a long run on it- just run the whole thing (or close to the whole thing). If you’re training for a 5K, you can run there too, just don’t run the whole thing (unless your 5K has a 23.1 mile warmup or something).
  2. The West Ashley Greenway has a variety of terrain types. If you want to run on pavement, the Greenway has a paved section for about 3 miles. If you’re a trail running fan, there are dirt roads on the greenway, too.
  3. The Greenway is in West Ashley. Face it, not everyone is fortunate enough to live downtown or be able to afford downtown parking every time we want to run. Most runners with Charleston ZIP Codes live in West Ashley or James Island, and the Greenway is much closer to us than downtown.
  4. The Greenway has traffic. No, not car traffic- although some people were scared that would happen when they started paving part of it. No matter when you visit the Greenway, you can find runners, walkers, or bikers. That’s motivating!
  5. At the end of the Greenway, near South Windermere, you have great post-run hydration and snack options, such as Earth Fare, Normandy Farms Bakery, Starbucks, TCBY, and Yo Bo Cantina.

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If you’re in Charleston and looking for a cool place to be active, check out the West Ashley Greenway! Chances are you might like it as much as I do.

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This entry was posted in Avondale/West Ashley, Charleston SC, James Island, John's Island, Local in the Lowcountry, Running, Rural West Ashley and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Local in the Lowcountry: The West Ashley Greenway

  1. I have done a ton of long runs on the Greenway! Only 2.1 miles from my house (yep, I know the exact distance #runnerproblems )

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Haha, I know the exact distances of loops in the neighborhood and everything. It’s so crazy how we know distances of things and how much further it seems in a car vs. running…

  2. Thanks for demystifying the West Ashley Greenway! It’s good to know that you can park behind Earthfare and access it from there. We once tried to find the end of the Greenway down off Hwy 17/Main Rd. and we were never successful. We never even located the road where the parking lot was supposedly at.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’ve actually NEVER found that entrance. I always start at the Earth Fare bc I like to run the paved area. I think you have to turn off the bridge to get to that Main Rd. entrance to the Greenway (so says Clay’s coworker who lives near it on John’s Island and rides his bike down it to the Earth Fare).

      The first time I ran it, I actually went inside Earth Fare to ask where it started and the worker in there did not know. Craziness. Anyway, it’s right there- just walk back behind the Barre Fitness and you’ll see the entrance. I hope that helps!

  3. what a great idea to post some of your favorite places that aren’t a tourist attraction

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks :). Yeah, I love my city and there’s so much here that people don’t see when they visit, so I want to show the side of Charleston that people don’t see unless they live here!

  4. LilMysNinja says:

    Hmmm…I’m a little ticked that my sister hasn’t shown me this running gem! Especially since she lives in West Ashley! Eh, I can’t be too mad at her, she’s always working anyways. Thanks for sharing! I’m definitely going to check this out!

  5. I wish we had something like this in Mt. P. Maybe we do, and I’m just too lazy to find it. Ha!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Well, it’s pretty close to Mt. Pleasant. Just go over the bridges and run it- it starts at Earth Fare and that’s not too far from downtown.

      As for MTP, there’s a trail near Patriot’s Point because Noah’s group runs it (They call it Peyton’s trail, after his son). Laurel Hill near Park West has trails too.

      And hey, you guys have the bridges, beaches, and connector :).

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