With the South Carolina fall bringing refreshing weather to Myrtle Beach, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature! The hiking and biking trails around Myrtle Beach are woven between beaches and forests, and contain native plants and wildlife, waiting to be explored. Here are five local trails that are perfect for beginner hikers and bikers.
Located just 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach, this 10,427-acre nature preserve is uniquely composed of mysterious bays that are several feet lower than the forest. Visitors to the preserve can find rare and endangered plants and wildlife, including red-cockaded woodpeckers, bald eagles, black bears, and orchids. Among the diverse flora and fauna of the preserve is also the Venus flytrap, which can only be natively found in coastal bogs in small parts of the Carolinas. Visitors should be warned that the preserve is an active hunting preserve, and they must wear orange attire if planning to visit during hunting season. Visiting the preserve is a must if you are looking to hike some of the best trails near Myrtle Beach!
This state park is home to two little trails that are perfect for a relaxing stroll with the whole family. Both the Sculpted Oak and Yaupon trails are less than half a mile to hike and are easy to navigate through the woods and along the undeveloped beachfront. Since the trails intersect, you can easily combine the two to create a longer hike. The Myrtle Beach State park is a quiet spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist-centered town. In addition to hiking and biking, visitors can also enjoy fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Payment is required for admission at $8 for adults, $5 for SC seniors 65+, $4 for children 6-15, and free for children 5 and under.
Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet offers both long and short options for hiking trips. The Sandpiper Pond trail is an easy 2-mile hike that intertwines between a forest of red cedars and oaks and along the beach. During the hike, you will also find a pond where an observation tower will allow you to see an abundance of active wildlife, including herons, ospreys, and egrets. The Kerrigan trail is only 0.3 miles long but is full of native wildlife and a perfect quick hike for bird watchers. Payment is required for admission at $8 for adults, $5 for SC seniors 65+, $4 for children 6-15, and free for children 5 and under.
This peaceful wildlife refuge is located in Conway along the Great Pee Dee River. One of the best hiking spots of the refuge is the Cox Ferry Lake Recreation Area, which has three trails that allows visitors to explore the flooded cypress swamp. Each of these trails varies in length, but are all easy for hikers to navigate. Visitors can expect to see a variety of plants and wildlife that are associated with bottomland hardwood habitats. In addition to hiking, the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot for kayaking, canoeing, and boating.
Located in North Myrtle Beach, the Heritage Shores Nature Preserve is a bit farther than other hiking spots, but a must-see. Visitors can enjoy seven acres of walking paths, including a 40-station interpretive trail that highlights the native land. Uniquely located on an island in the Cherry Grove marsh, the preserve is home to a wide variety of birds, including brown pelicans, white ibis, and blue herons. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, kayaking, bird watching, and picnicking for free year-round.
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