Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail

South Carolina

18 Reviews

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Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail Facts

States: South Carolina
Counties: Dorchester
Length: 6.9 miles
Trail end points: E Richardson Ave. and Crosscreek Dr. (by the YMCA)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6492656

Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail Description

Starting at E Richardson Avenue, just east of Summerville's main drag, you can walk or ride this flat, 10-foot wide, paved trail, which follows the Sawmill Branch Canal along a wooded area in the southern part of the city for just shy of seven miles.

Most of the road crossings on this trail go under the roads, making for a pleasant—and safe—ride or walk. The adjacent canal and wooded lands make for scenic accompaniment, although the trail itself receives minimal shade, so be sure to come prepared with sunscreen. Keep an eye out for wildlife like egrets and heron along this wooded trail - and signs warn to be mindful of alligators, which can occupy the canal.

Parking and Trail Access

E Richardson Ave: A trailhead is available at the northern end of the trail here, located just a quarter-mile southeast of Main Street on Richardson Avenue, near Challedon Drive just past the parkway overpass.

Gahagan Road: From Exit 199 on I-26, drive west on US 17A into Summerville. Turn left onto Gahagan Road (S-18-199) and cross the canal.

Luden Drive parking area: From Exit 199 on I-26, drive west on US 17A into Summerville. Turn left onto Luden Drive (S18706). Drive to the canal and 6-car parking area adjacent to the trail.

Crosscreek Drive: From Exit 199 on I-26, drive west on US 17A into Summerville. Turn left onto E. Carolina Ave. then left onto Old Trolley Rd. Drive about 3 miles and turn right onto Cross Creek Drive.

Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail Reviews

Major Construction - March 2024

We got on the trail at E. Richardson Avenue. To our surprise there is a major road being put in a couple miles into the ride. You can pass through the construction but it is definitely a boot unpleasant.

My car got broken into Bacon Bridge parking lot Dec 2021

I moved to Summerville Nov 2020. I enjoyed this trail until Dec 2021 (one year). Charge cards and cash stolen from the trunk of my car. A police report was taken. I have not felt self nor been back since.


My wife and I rode our tandem bike on this trail Mon-Thurs beginning on 4Jan21. We parked off of Richardson Rd and went about 6 miles out and back each day. There are no bathrooms. There were very few riders/walkers. When Mel says she liked the trail, she means it was not hard pedaling! This one met her requirements and she was willing to go back daily for an hour of easy exercise! Watch out for two road crossings where the trail changes to the flip side of the canal! I enjoy a bike trail that is clean of trash, and this one was very clean! We had a great time!

Nice but a bit too rough for inline skating.

Nice but a bit too rough for inline skating.


Corona trail walk

It’s a nice trail and I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t recommend it during the summertime. It’s open and there’s no shade. It’s amazing during the wintertime though.

Nice Afternoon Ride!!

Very nice trail. Smooth surface and fairly flat trail. Need more signage. We didn't see many signs and it was a little confusing at times. Not much shade so it was a hot ride (in the 90's). Might be better to plan to ride it in the morning or late in the afternoon or just during cooler weather.

Great for dog walks/jog too

this is a fantastic trail with many areas to gain access to. safe for all types of exercise walks jogging bikers runners and even the recreational dog walk. although I would recommend they add more trash bins along the way for "poo-bags" to be left. they even have a water fountain for dogs at midway. My dogs enjoy this trail jog.

Might be great for running or hiking, not scenic.

My girlfriend and I have used this trail twice for walks and jogging. The trail is very flat and looks like it would be great for quick bike rides or some longer distance running. There is not much shade from the trees in the daytime, and the scenery is uneventful. The section we walked was close to a main road, so the road noise was easy to hear for the 1.5 miles we walked. If you're looking for a scenic trail for walking or hiking, this isn't it. If you are looking to run or bike on a paved surface without having to worry about traffic, you'll get a lot of use out of the Sawmill Branch Trail.

I enjoy bike riding on this trail. It is smooth, peaceful, well maintained and safe for casual biking and walking. There are only two, two-lane roads to cross, as the path goes underneath the busier roads. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. So far this month (May) I have seen deer on almost every ride, hawks, 2 soft-shell turtles in the canal (among the midst of yellow belly turtles), a tree full of barred owls and more cardinals than I can count. It is nice to hear the birds call as they fly over and enjoy the shade of the oaks and maple trees. I can't wait for the construction on Bacon's Bridge Road to finish so that the whole trail is accessible.

1st trail

This was my first bike trail and the scenery is good. There are a few places to stop and rest and even a few places set up to do strength training exercises. Trail maps lack specifics but use of Apple maps made quick work of map issues. Overall good, safe, easy trail.

Great trail for marathon training

I've walked, run, and cycled on this trail for close to 20 years. It's perfect for long runs, especially as you can incorporate adjoining neighborhoods for additional miles. I've felt safe running on my own for the most part, but be sure to lock your vehicle and put valuables out of sight. People have gotten into my car twice in the last year, though I almost always remember to lock it.

Portion of trail closed

One of the bridges that goes over the trail is being replaced. As a result, the trail is closed at that point. There is no official detour which is sad because many people use this trail as a safe alternative to riding or walking on Dorchester Rd. I made a map showing the closure and the detour that I use.

New Trail From South End of Trl to Trolley Rd

I rode out and back the full length of the Sawmill Trl 12/12/2013. I agree with all the positive reviews below. I found that at the south end of the trail, where the recreation fields are located, there is a bridge that crosses the canal to west. A rider can then ride a narrow circuitous trail through a grove of trees up to Dorchester Rd and follow it to Trolley Rd. My guess is they will eventually join trails on Trolley Rd. I was pleased to gain a bit more latitude in my quest to cross the country from Canada to Mexico on trails only.

Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail Review

I'm a newcomer to "TrailLink"...and the Sawmill Branch Trail was my first hike as a result of using this website. The trailhead was difficult for me to find, although, once I stumbled upon it, it seemed rather obvious. It may of been a combination of my lack of familiarity with the area, and the directions I was using. I started the trail at the endpoint near the YMCA, and hiked the entire trail, turned around and came back. The entire trek took me about 4 hours. The hike was satisfactory-although, I found myself thinking this would be a great training avenue for running (particularity for distance runners.) Nothing spectacular really to see, and the terrain was very flat. I could envision using this trail more often if I lived in the local area; but since I'm some distance away, it's probably not something I would attempt again.

Nice Trail

The trail is paved and is good for cyclists, walkers, and runners.

The best walk/bike trail in the Summerville/Charleston area

If you're looking for 6.75 miles of uninterrupted walking and riding trails...this is it. No super-busy streets to cross...ample parking...100% paved....well-maintained, marked down to how far you've walked. You cannot go wrong with the Sawmill-Branch Walk/Bike trail. No seedy neighborhoods, excellent views and beautiful nature.

Great trail for a bike ride or to stretch the legs!

Sawmill Branch is a great choice for walkers, joggers & cyclists who live in the Summerville/Goose Creek/Charleston area. The asphalt path is wide & pancake flat throughout, & at ~6 miles one way is a good distance for cyclists who are looking for a quick out & back. There are multiple parking areas throughout the length of the trail & only a couple of points where the trail crosses a road. The only downside to the trail is there are no "restrooms" or porta-johns along the trail. However, there is a porta-john at the end of the trail near the YMCA soccer fields. The trail is located in a typical suburban setting w/ a nice adjacent tree-lined buffer to the surrounding neighborhoods. While not a refuge for wildlife, one may often see egrets, herons & turtles down in the creek.

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