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The Three Rivers Greenway is actually composed of the West Columbia Riverwalk and the Cayce Riverwalk. This beautiful series of riverfront pathways, at the confluence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers, includes lighted trails and boardwalks, an outdoor amphitheatre, restrooms, wayside exhibits, picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
The paths wind through a shaded forest of southern hardwoods and is home to a variety of wildlife, including chimney swifts that nest under the numerous bridges. At the end of the newest extension you will see the remains of the locks once used by riverboats.
You can also fish or toss in inner tube in the water on a hot day and float the river. In addition, the Three Rivers Greenway is close to shopping and restaurants in South Carolina's capitol city.
There are several access points and places to park along the Three Rivers Greenway.
To Granby Park from Spartanburg: Take I-26 toward downtown Columbia. Veer off onto Huger Street and cross over Blossom Street. Make a right onto Catawba Street.
To the West Columbia Riverwalk from West Columbia: Take Meeting Street toward the Capitol and turn right onto Alexander Road before the Gervais Street bridge. Park by the amphitheater on the left beside New Orleans Restaurant.
To the West Columbia Riverwalk from Columbia: Take Gervais Street toward West Columbia and cross the Gervais Street bridge. Turn left onto Alexander Road. Park by the amphitheater on the left beside New Orleans Restaurant.
To the West Columbia Riverwalk from Spartanburg: Take I-126 from Spartanburg toward downtown Columbia. Veer off onto Huger Street and go about 1 mile; take a right onto Gervais Street and cross over the Gervais Street bridge. Turn left onto Alexander Road. Park by the amphitheater on the left beside New Orleans Restaurant.
The trail is only 8 feet wide and often has a lot of pedestrian traffic, many of whom do not know how to share a trail. I have had to stop and walk my bike several times. Do not recommend for riding.
As of April 2018, much of the trail is still closed with no obvious signage explaining how to access the open sections. We could not find a printed trail map in Columbia, and those found online are deceiving and do not accurately reflect the closed sections. We walked the full 2.5 miles that was open north/upstream of Laurel Street to the top of the canal. Great parking, clean restrooms at each end, very interesting history, and great views of the river. The trail south/downstream from Laurel Street was gated, and also closed at the south end except for a few hundred feet. Too many walkers and too short to be a suitable bike ride, but recommended as a walk. The plan to expand the path and connect the various sections looks wonderful, but not suitable for a bike outing yet.
trail in need of repair as there are a few places that are barricaded off and so impossible to ride the trail. Please post this on site for future trail riders who will not be frustrated and disappointed with their attempt to ride the full 8plus miles. Thanks
Went to ride this trail this weekend and found the road to the upper parking area closed with police barricades. Then drove into Columbia to get on it at the Riverfront park and was told by ranger that the trail was closed due to the flooding last year. No mention of this was on the trails official website that I could find.
Nice meandering trail with plenty of shade and picnic spots by the Congaree River.
After 30 years, I returned to Columbia from Atlanta, and found this trail to bike. The website says it's 9.5 miles, but it's more like 3 or 4. Perhaps that's combined with both trails, but it's sooooo pretty! The ads weren't kidding, smiling faces, wide open spaces. ...everyone speaks on the trail. Not in Atlanta. Happy to be back.
On 5/10/2013 the flooding from the river has receded several feet below the path. It left areas covered with wet, gooey, stinky mud. Also, there are some areas with piles of debris left from the flooding. Crew are working to clear it but it going to need a lot of trail volunteers to help get it back to the beautiful trail condition of last year.
If you are biking, go SLOW or you will slip over.
Walking-you can expect to go through areas of several inches of mud.
The path along the Columbia Canal is actually separate from the West Columbia Greenway and Cayce Greenway on the other side of the Congaree River. We did both the same day. The West Columbia and Cayce sections are narrow and primarily used by walkers. Bike riding is possible. Once one gets away from the parking areas and concentration of walkers it is more enjoyable. It is quite scenic with views of the river.
The Columbia Canal path is wider and much more conducive to biking. It is much flatter and straight compared to the sometimes winding greenways across the river.
An enjoyable afternoon of riding or walking is possible on either section.
Can I just say this is one of the prettiest trails my husband and I have traversed! We started out riding the trail. Close to the rivers the trail winds and you must bike with caution to avoid walkers and curves but along the canal side trail is straighter and visability better. Lots of historic markers. A must see. Will definitely go back!
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