Nestled in the midst of North Charleston is a hidden Charleston County Parks gem, Wannamaker County Park. With over 1,000 acres of mixed upland forest and gorgeous southern wetlands, this park is home to over 2 miles of interconnected dirt and paved trails for anyone looking to experience the outdoors a little closer to downtown Charleston. With 7.7 acres of grassy meadows, don’t leave that soccer ball or frisbee behind. You just might need it.
There are several different trails here that can be connected in different ways for many different runs. For a run around the park’s lagoon, hop on the .56 mile “green” trail. From there you can connect with the .84 mile “purple” trail and have a quick jaunt in the woods. For a longer run, take the red trail from the parking lot near Cypress Hall and connect it to the purple trail which will put you at about 1.5 miles, total. The trails here are wonderfully diverse and offer a bit of root to keep your mind sharp and your foot nimble. Although they are mostly flat in elevation gain, there are some hills that allow for a moderate run. If you’re feeling frisky, try all of the trails, which will put you at more than 2 miles total.
What Makes it Great
There are 9 trails at Wannamaker County Park to choose from, 6 of which are on pure, good dirt. In Charleston, this is a rare find, so come here and get your fill. Unlike the more manicured parks around town, this one gives you a bit of rustic feel with roots and hills, although it is altogether a very easy experience. Don’t forget water and bug spray in the warmer months, and Fido is welcome on a leash.
Who is Going to Love It
People from all walks of life will enjoy this park. The activities range from bikers to hikers and the sights are out to inspire. The dirt trails are easy enough for the young and if you are worried about being tripped up, then there are 3 paved trails to choose from. If this is a family affair, make sure to bring any sports gear you would use. There are volleyball courts, dog parks, open fields and playgrounds all housed within the park. Plenty of space for a day of outdoor fun.
Directions, Parking and Fees
This is a quick and easy ride from downtown Charleston. Head out of downtown on I-26 W. After a little over 15 miles, you will want to take Exit 205B to merge onto US-78 E towards US-53 E. The park entrance will be on your left.
Parking is ample within the park’s gates with multiple lots depending on what activity you want to do. Hours of operation are:
January - April
8 a.m. - Sunset
May - Labor Day
8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
September - December
8 a.m. - Sunset
There is a $1 fee to enter in the park for anyone above 2 years old. Also, heads up that the gates close one hour before the park closes to incoming traffic. For more information, check out the CCPRC website.