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A favorite of local bikers and joggers, the West Ashley Greenway takes you on an eight-mile ride from suburban Charleston west to the scenic Lowcountry wetlands that surround this charming city. The trail's western end features an unpaved dirt surface, reflecting the wilder and undeveloped surroundings, while the majority of the trail within the Charleston neighborhood of West Ashley features a paved asphalt pathway lined with overhead power lines along this former railroad corridor.
On Johns Island, the dirt gives way to rough gravel and narrow bridge crossings—mountain bikes are a must. Here the broad wetlands flank the trail, presenting magnificent views and rewarding bird sightings. If your timing is right, you may catch sight of the tidal flow that carved these lacework channels. The agricultural heart of the region, Johns Island is the nation's largest producer of tomatoes. In fact, much of the fresh produce served in local restaurants hails from this rural community.
At the Wappoo Road crossing you can head north on narrow sidewalks for a quarter-mile, crossing over US 17/Savannah Highway to hop on the southern start of the 2.5-mile West Ashley Bikeway.
The West Ashley Greenway forms a key component of the developing East Coast Greenway, which aims to one day provide a complete series of trails across the entire east coast of the United States. For now, the trail provides a great local recreation spot for Charleston's western neighborhoods, as well as a means for visitors to get outdoors and experience some of the area's natural beauty.
To reach the eastern trailhead from downtown Charleston: take US 17 west across the Ashley River Memorial Bridge. A half-mile past the bridge turn left on Folly Road. At the second light, turn right on Windermere Boulevard and enter the South Windermere Shopping Center. Park beside the trailhead on the north side of the shopping center.
To reach the western (Johns Island) terminus: head south on US 17 and turn left on Main Road. The entrance to the trail is 2.5 miles ahead on the right, just before the bridge. Turn right, then continue right onto McLeod Mill Road. The trailhead is on the left-hand side with parking.
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