Whether you’re literally by yourself this holiday, or you’re just with your immediate family (spouse and/or kids), this year’s Thanksgiving Day could be sad or melancholy if you let it be… or you could plan a fun and safe day thanking God for what He has given you – including the great outdoors! Interrupt anxiety with gratitude! Look forward to Thanksgiving Day!
As I am writing this, and looking at the Weather Channel forecast (which can change, obviously) – Thursday November 26th looks like clear sailing with a high of 66* and just a 20% chance of rain. Great walking weather!
Local parks with nice walking trails:
Hopefully, the rivers will have receded and the parks will reopen by Thanksgiving. Have you walked all the sections yet? Paved and well maintained.
Riverfront Park – This stretch of the Riverwalk offers 2.5 miles of trails that run parallel to the river, with lots of beautiful views of the water rushing over rocks, with benches and overlooks. Park in large lot at 312 Laurel Street. If you’d like to ride a bike, you can rent a Blue Bike here.
West Columbia and Cayce Riverwalk – on the west side of the Congaree River, you’ll find the longest continuous stretch of the Riverwalk. You can park in West Columbia in the parking garage adjacent to the new Brookland development (Black Rooster) or in the lot on Alexander Street. In Cayce park at 201 Naples Avenue, or for the southern part of the trail, park in the lot beside the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center at 1120 Fort Congaree Trail.
Saluda Riverwalk – although not “officially open”, people have been using this new section of the Riverwalk since summer 2020. Not sure why it hasn’t officially opened yet (go ask the City or County – good luck – I have been waiting two weeks to get a call back from Richland County), but walkers have been parking on Candi Lane and enjoying it nonetheless. You might have to walk at your own risk since it’s not officially open.
Palmetto Trail – from Peak to Prosperity
The Peak to Prosperity Passage proceeds west from the Alston trailhead in Fairfield County across the impressive Broad River trestle. The view from the 1,100-foot-long bridge is spectacular, especially when bald eagles soar. Across the river in Newberry County, the rail-trail skirts Peak and cuts an easy swath through piedmont forest to Pomaria and Prosperity. Along the passage, 14 wooden trestles span the meandering Crims Creek where German immigrants settled in the 1730s. The area is known as the Dutch Fork. (more at PalmettoConservation.org)
Saluda Shoals Park – closed on Thanksgiving Day
Sesquicentennial State Park
From the half-mile-long Jackson Creek Nature Trail to the six-mile-long Mountain Bike Trail, Sesqui has something for everyone. And so close to home! More here.
Fourteen Mile Creek Trail in Lexington
A 1.7 round-trip trail that features wide pathways, places to sit and walk your pup. An easy walk for most everyone. Parking lot is on Old Cherokee Road next to the Stop-n-Shop gas station on N. Lake Drive (Hwy 6).
Goodale State Park
Begin this, easy walking, 1.7-mile loop at the trailhead to the left of the playground area. Follow the trail signs on a sandy path through a forest of pine, oak, and rhododendron. Watch for a variety of wildlife, including wood ducks, blue herons, turtles, snakes, and possibly an alligator. More here.