If you are tired of seeing gorgeous historic houses on cobblestone streets and eating some of the best food the southeast has to offer, you can escape to one of the biggest green spaces in downtown Charleston: Hampton Park. Nestled in the midst of the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood, the aptly named Hampton Park is a respite for everyone from runners to cyclists. Once a zoo, the Park now boasts pedestrian friendly paths, a cycling track, and refreshingly wild garden beds.
What Makes it Great
Once you are ready to go, there are two options for running. The inside loop is a one mile paved loop that meanders through the heart of the park, and has both workout and stretching stations dotted along the way to aid your run. This is the more scenic route, as you can catch glimpses of ducks and dogs enjoying the natural beauty of the space. The second option is the outer loop, which is also a one mile circumnavigation of the Park. Here you have the choice of running on a the paved road or the dirt path right next to the road. Be watchful on the outer loop however, because both cyclists and cars will be close by.
As beautiful as Hampton Park is, don’t forget to travel even further into the surrounding area! If you feel like exploring this part of the city a bit, make a turn at 10th avenue out of Hampton Park to run into the Wagner Terrace neighborhood. Here, you are extremely close to the Ashley River and the beautiful marsh that accompanies it. Run about .5 miles up to Mary Ellen Drive and hang a left. At the end of this street, there is a public dock where you can catch a stunning sunset and feel like you are far from the hustle of downtown.
Who’s Going to Love It
The runner that want to explore the city will love this one. It lets you see the “suburban” side of Charleston, and the sights are stunning. Beautiful old historic houses line the streets, and an abundance of flora and fauna present this part of Charleston nicely on a dreamy run. Easy and flat, all you have to do is take it all in. Tip: Go right at golden hour and catch the sunset at the dock.
Parking and Hours
To access the park, travel northbound up Ashley Avenue until it dead-ends at Moultrie Street, where you will see the Park directly in front of you. Parking is some of the best in the entire city, as there are two parking lots on either side of Hampton Park. However, know that on Tuesdays and Thursdays the city closes the park to motor traffic from 6-8 pm and Saturday from 12 am to noon, allowing safe use of the park for all participants. Don’t fret, parking is still readily available on the surrounding streets.