Charleston is often overlooked as an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. The city’s epic history and landmarks tend to overshadow all of the incredible resources paddlers, surfers, runners, and cyclists get to enjoy year round. In other words, Charleston is the outdoor world’s best-kept secret.
The city’s trail running community is growing exponentially thanks to organizations like The Charleston Running Club, Eagle Endurance, LLC., and a core group of individuals who have taken it upon themselves to offer more races and opportunities for runners throughout the lowcountry. Our coastline is home to choppy, inconsistent, incredibly fun little waves that have produced a humble and welcoming surf culture, and our tidal areas and flats draw in thousands of fishermen and paddlers every year
Trails: Beyond Charleston proper lie dozens of smaller islands crisscrossed with some amazing trails. Capers Island, which is only accessible by boat, features primitive sandy trails. Further inshore we have carefully managed trails like the Awendaw Passage and the I’on Swamp trail. Pine forests, hardwoods, swamps, marsh and beach can all be accessed via trails no more than 45 minutes away from each other, giving locals and visitors plenty of options to change up their routine.
Water: Charleston is a coastal city that also lies between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. To say the least, this city is a paddler’s paradise. From flatwater paddling along the Intracoastal Waterway, to exploring the marsh behind Folly Beach, the jury is still out on whether or not all of our waterways surrounding Charleston have been discovered. The holy city is also home to some great waves for surfers and kite boarders, some favorite spots among them being the notoriously frothy Washout, as well as the Isle of Palms pier.
Rock: The closest thing to a rock you’re going to find in Charleston is probably an oyster shell, or maybe a sand dollar. All jokes aside, Charleston is overwhelmingly flat, though it has not discouraged the lowcountry’s climbing community. Coastal Climbing is a testament to the will of South Carolina’s climbers, and their answer to the city’s lack of altitude. Some of the best traditional and sport routes in the south can be found a few hours away in North Carolina, but between weekend trips, Coastal Climbing and the James Island County Park Wall keep climbers busy during the week.