Welcome to the Palmetto State, where beautiful scenery and invigorating trails await those seeking a memorable running experience. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or simply enjoy exploring the great outdoors, Columbia SC has a plethora of options for you.
In this article, we will guide you through the top seven scenic trails that showcase the natural charm of this vibrant city. From the tranquil Broad River Trail to the picturesque Saluda Riverwalk and the captivating Palmetto Trail: Capital City Passage, these carefully selected locations promise panoramic views and an unmatched sense of tranquility.
Jump to places
- Finlay Park
- Vista Greenway Trail
- Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park
- Palmetto Trail: Capital City Passage
- Riverfront Park
- Elmwood/Roy Lynch Park
- West Columbia Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater
Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park offers a picturesque and family-friendly outdoor experience for visitors. This park, known for its old pump houses and natural hiking and biking trails, is a great place to spend quality time with loved ones. According to guests, the walking trail is excellent and even handicap accessible in some areas.
While it may be challenging to get close to the canal near the turtles, the park still provides great views and unique features. The telescope vision midway through the canal walk is often regarded as the favorite section of the trail by many. With moderate pedestrian traffic, it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, particularly on days with great weather.
The park provides ample parking, a restroom, photo spots, and kids areas, making it a quaint little park with something for everyone. For those looking to get a good workout, the park's well-maintained trail is perfect for running, biking, or walking with dogs.
While shade may be limited, visitors can still enjoy breathtaking river overlooks, as well as spot interesting critters such as alligators, deer, frogs, and turtles. Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park is truly a gem for outdoor enthusiasts and families seeking an enjoyable time in nature.
Capital City Passage, the first urban passage on the Palmetto Trail, is a great place to go for a run in Columbia SC. This park offers visitors a flat trail that is perfect for walking, hiking, running, and biking. Reviews mention that it is a nice place to enjoy the outdoors and offers a serene environment.
The trail follows city sidewalks through beautiful neighborhoods, past city parks and schools, and even along the historic Horseshoe at the University of South Carolina. It also takes you across the steps of the State Capitol, adding a unique touch to your running experience.
Additionally, guests appreciate the opportunities to wander a few blocks off the Trail and explore the surrounding shopping, restaurants, and points of interest. With its scenic route and convenient location, Capital City Passage is certainly a must-visit for fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Riverfront Park, located along the canal, offers a peaceful and scenic escape for visitors. It is a beautiful spot for a walk or run, providing residents with a wonderful resource. Guests have appreciated the park's natural beauty, with one reviewer mentioning how the breeze added to the adventure of their walk to the dam.
The park also offers educational value, as it features historical fact boards about the area. However, some visitors have noted that the trail can be a bit narrow, requiring a slight adjustment when others pass by. Despite this minor inconvenience, people love this park and often plan to return.
So, if you're looking for a tranquil and picturesque destination for your next run, Riverfront Park is a must-see.
Elmwood/Roy Lynch Park, featuring a range of delightful amenities, is a beautiful place to visit for a run. This park is praised for its adorable and well-maintained landscape, impressing visitors with its cleanliness. While restroom facilities are not available on-site, guests appreciate the park's charming play structures, including a zip-line that ensures endless fun for children.
Additionally, the presence of a splash pad near the entrance adds an extra layer of excitement, though its availability may vary. Moreover, the park boasts a lovely grassy area perfect for relaxation and various activities. Another highlight of Elmwood/Roy Lynch Park is its enchanting butterfly garden, creating a serene atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.
Overall, this park provides a picturesque setting for a refreshing and enjoyable run, alongside being an ideal location for celebrating special occasions.
Located on the Congaree River, West Columbia Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater is a place that people say is worth visiting for a run in Columbia SC. With its lovely river view and abundance of water birds, it offers a picturesque setting for a jog. While it can get busy on the weekends, visitors have noted that the park has the smallest parking lot they have ever seen, but there is additional parking available across the street.
Public bathrooms are conveniently located near the amphitheater. The park is not only ideal for running, but also for biking, as the trail offers breathtaking sights along the way. However, guests advise bringing their own water, as there are no working water fountains on the trail.
The park also provides a serene atmosphere with its green grass, tall shade trees, and the soothing sounds of birds chirping and water running. Additionally, it is dog-friendly and offers doggie bags along the path. Whether visitors prefer a run, walk, bike ride, or fishing excursion, the West Columbia Riverwalk Park and Amphitheater is the perfect destination.