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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.