I started running less than two years ago when I realized I was going to be traveling too much to make my gym membership worthwhile. With running, I figured I could do it anywhere with minimal equipment (mostly just clothes) and it would give me a chance to see a city or rural area from a different viewpoint. So on a recent trip to Myrtle Beach, I took some time out from the conference I was attending to get some exercise. Here’s a little roundup of the trails I discovered that are good for both biking and/or running.
The Boardwalk on the Grand Strand
The Grand Strand runs for 60 miles on the East Coast, from Little River to Georgetown, S.C. In downtown Myrtle Beach, where the majority of hotels, restaurants, and activities are located, you’ll find a 1.2-mile boardwalk that provides lovely views of the ocean on one side and a host of activities and food on the other. I’m sure I totally negated the good of my run when I stopped for frozen yogurt with toppings afterward. But it was so worth it!
Viewfinder Tip: Since the boardwalk can get busy, schedule your run for times when you don’t have to dodge so many people.
Bikes are allowed on the boardwalk from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. from May 1 through Labor Day and all day during other times of the year, making it ideal for winter, shoulder season, and early mornings during the high season. There’s parking throughout the downtown area, either in parking lots or on the street. Note that it’s paid parking on the street from 6:00 a.m. through midnight from March 1 through September 30.
Trail Behind YMCA
Behind the YMCA and near the Barc Parc, you’ll find a running and biking trail that goes from the Marina Inn at Grand Dunes Hotel to Highway 17. Though this three-mile path runs parallel (and sometimes close) to Highway 17, it’s tree-lined, only lightly trafficked, and very peaceful. The best time to use it is during broad daylight, as coyotes are known to come out at dawn and dusk! You can use the parking lot at the YMCA or the Barc Parc, which will put you close to the middle of the trail. Bike or run one way and reverse back to your vehicle or keep going on the path. Alternately, you can find free parking near the Marina Inn.
Farrow Parkway Path
This 3.5 mile biking and running trail runs through Market Common (a popular shopping area) and a large park with a pond, water fountains, and recreational area. There’s an interior pathway that’s slightly better for running, as it’s away from the road and meant only for foot traffic, while the outer path is suitable for bicyclers and runners. You can use this path just about any time, except when there’s a large event happening. Foot traffic can be somewhat heavy in the summertime when events are regularly held at Valor Park across the street. There’s plenty of free street and garage parking within walking distance.
Where are some of your favorite places to bike/run on a beach vacation?