West Ashley Bikeway

South Carolina

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West Ashley Bikeway Facts

States: South Carolina
Counties: Charleston
Length: 2.5 miles
Trail end points: Wappoo Rd. & US 17/Savannah Hwy and the Ashely River
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017145
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking

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West Ashley Bikeway Description

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 2.5-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.

While the route rolls along largely unobstructed, it is sparsely maintained and marred by one particularly hazardous intersection. 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. 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.

Parking and Trail Access

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.

Charleston Department of Parks
30 Mary Murray Drive
Charleston, SC 29403

West Ashley Bikeway Reviews

We rode this trail at the same time as we rode the West Ashley Greenway. I rated it 4 stars because about the western half would rate about 3 stars because of very rough unsafe pavement. The eastern half was very nice and would rate 5 stars easy. Even with the bad conditions on the western end, it was a nice ride. Just had to be very careful of the bad pavement conditions.

This trail used to be in rough shape but it has been newly paved as of this year and work is still being done in terms of landscaping etc. I am on the trail on a daily basis and have never had any safety issues. Its a great gem in west ashley

Not a trail to feel safe.


4/21/2014... I accidentally discovered this trail while having my truck serviced at Geralds Tires. To kill time and enjoy the outdoors, I rode the trail. Though not perfect, its enjoyable. While the nearby West Ashley Greenway is very straight and around 10 miles long, the West Ashley Bikeway trail is much shorter and meanders slightly making it less monotonous. It goes through neighborhoods and at times is surrounded by large creeks on both sides. I spotted Canadian geese with chicks and a Kingfisher. Parts of trail are broken by tree roots, but nothing too dangerous.

I did spot some trash in the waterway, but it must be an improvement from years past as described by other reviewers. To continue to end of trail you have to cross St. Andrews Blvd. Just use common sense to cross. Once you cross and get to the end in 5 minutes, you are rewarded with a view of the Ashley River.

Continuation and update on review: garbage cans, benches, and gas line poles that are well-painted and maintained, are well distributed from the end of the bikeway to just about 1500 feet, near the parking area at the foot of the bikeway. There are no restrooms, so one has to be creative when eliminating. The trail is in a seedy area, so one must be careful, not drive alone, and not drive at night without good lighting and audio equipment.

I heard there was going to be a pier at the end, which would be magnificent. I heard of this back in 2008, but have not heard anything since: money problems?

My husband and I rode this path last weekend and was very disappointed. We have recently ridden several other Rails to Trails paths and have nothing but praise and great reviews for them, but this one........well, it was very disappinting and actually dangerous. The few (maybe 4 people) on this path did not seem to be there for the enjoyment or the beauty, but for maybe hiding for illegal activities? We were approached by 3-4 teens that wanted to "buy our bikes?" I was afraid that they would actually "take" our bikes.

The path itself was in poor repair and severly neglected. The asphalt was all broken, covered over with bushes and trash with broken glass everywhere. At the end closest to the river, a beautiful location to view the river was the best part of the trail but was still desolate and deserted and gave no warm feeelongs of safety.

If you decide to ride this path, please be very careful and DO NOT GO ALONE!!! Be very aware of your surroundings and stop for no one.

It appears the trail is open round-the-clock. So be careful of your surroundings!

It does go through some seedy neighborhoods and I wouldn't put it past the fact that drug activities may occur there, from reports I have seen. I drove my powerchair through the path this afternoon, and I must admit I haven't seen anything like it. While the portion of the path appears neglected-- the pavement broken mostly by tree roots-- the portion that resumes after crossing St. Andrews (RS-61) appear to be recently repaved and very smooth! As you reach toward the end of the path at the river there are benches, garbage cans and newly-painted signs of gas pipelines. I hope the repavement continues throughout the rest of the path.

"While riding on this trail, the only scenery you will see will scare you. There was graffiti, broken glass, and missing pavement. Luckily I was with another person; if I had been alone, I would have felt extremely uncomfortable. "

"I visited this trail again yesterday, and it STILL has not been cleaned up. Trash, vandalism, and grafitti still litter the trail. There is still no safe, easy way to cross the busy highways."

"Unfortunately this trail has fallen into poor maintenance, partially because it goes through a bad part of town. I have been in Charleston for seven years and have only ridden the trail once. Some seedy looking teenagers asked me as I rode by, ""You five-oh? You five-oh?"" This in itself was enough to tell me that illegal activities were going on and it is probably not a safe area to ride.

I seem to recall a police officer being shot there several years ago as well -- while on his bicycle. In addition, the trail is only about a mile and a half long, so you are better off using the West Ashley Greenway or going up to the Palmetto Trail near Awendaw."

This is the worst maintained bikeway I have ever seen. The crumbling pavement is covered with litter and broken glass. Vandalism and graffiti are everywhere.

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