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Running arrow-straight from the Ashley River west to a wholesale produce stand on Wappoo Road, the West Ashley Bikeway links several suburban Charleston neighborhoods, providing a 2.7-mile cycling and walking path.
Initial plans called for an entirely different corridor. After the Seaboard Coastline Railroad abandoned the line in 1976, the state wanted to build an expressway along the route. When that plan fell through, the city of Charleston negotiated to lease the corridor from the state for $1 a year and completed the trail in 1983.
The trail had developed a reputation for poor maintenance and a difficult surface, but a major repaving project completed in 2019 upgraded large portions of the path with smooth and pleasant fresh asphalt. The trail still has its share of challenges, though: leaving the riverfront, pedestrians must negotiate busy, four-lane St. Andrews Boulevard without benefit of a light or crosswalk. Use extreme caution when crossing.
You can continue your journey on the nearby West Ashley Greenway - a separate trail, despite the confusingly similar name. Cross over US 17/Savannah Highway on Wappoo Road and pick up the the West Ashley Greenway, heading both east and west from the access point.
To reach the western trailhead from downtown Charleston, drive west on US 17 and cross the Ashley River. Turn right onto Wappoo Road and the trailhead sign is on the right immediately after the turn.
To reach the eastern trailhead from downtown Charleston, drive west on US 17 and cross the Ashley River. Turn right onto SC 61/SC 171. Shortly before SC 61 and SC 171 split, there is a trailhead sign on the left.
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