Twelve Trails for Exploring Greenwood

Explore Greenwood on foot, bike or horseback for a breath of fresh air.

  • Publication date March 30, 2021
  • Categories Outdoors
Get fit and have fun on the hiking, biking and horseback riding trails of Greenwood County.

Greenwood’s mild climate makes it easy to get outdoors and explore new landscapes, city views, historic sites, forests and shorelines. Here are a dozen (or more) trails that can help you see more of the area’s natural beauty and unique history while you get a little exercise along the way. 

Most of these trails have an easy rating, so you can take the kids (and the dogs) to burn off some steam while exploring nature, history and architecture. Many are wheelchair accessible, and each trail is near other interesting places to explore, from Uptown Greenwood to the rich history of Ninety Six National Historic Site. 

Beautiful sunsets over Lake Greenwood are just one of the pleasures of Greenwood's trails.

Greenwood State Park Trails

The more than 900 acres of Lake Greenwood State Park include beautiful parkland and forest, with the lake as its centerpiece. Built by the Civilian Conservation Core during the Depression, the park has a fishing pier and two boat ramps, playground, picnic shelters and the Drummond Center. It’s the host site of the Festival of Flowers Triathlon and a popular site for swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching, camping and geocaching. 

You can bike or hike through the woods or along the lake, catching site of wildflowers and wildlife. From the Recreation Building, follow the blue markers for the easy, 0.8-mile loop trail. Enjoy beautiful lake views, with ducks and other water birds along the shore. Several footpaths cross the trail near the camping area, but the blue markers will keep you on track. 

Trail Length: 0.8 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Hiking, biking

If the shorter nature trail just whets your appetite for more lakeside scenery, take the east and west shoreline loops for a constant view of the water. Watch for turtles, songbirds, herons, even eagles, in addition to the diverse plant life and especially the blooming wildflowers along the way. There are numerous benches and excellent spots for bank fishing along the route. You can pick up the well-marked trail at either Campground 1 or at the Lee Chappell Road entrance to the park.

Trail Length: 4.21 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Trail Activities: Hiking, biking

In-Town Trails

The Heritage Trail is a walk through Greenwood’s industrial history. It was the first completed piece of the Greenwood County Rails to Trails project, repurposing old Georgia & Florida Railroad beds as recreational resources. The two-mile trek begins on Main Street in Uptown Greenwood, winds south through shady countryside, and ends near Florida Avenue. 

The trailhead is at the plaza outside the kid-favorite Railroad Historical Center’s visitor center, an area once called Hobo Jungle, where train-hopping transients used to gather and share tails of adventure. The plaza includes interpretive signage and two passenger cars from the early 1900s. 

Not far away is the Uptown Market, with local produce, baked goods and crafts, as well as the Splash Pad, a great place for children to cool off on a warm day.

The trail passes the old Coca-Cola building, an adjacent field where trains used to transport circus animals and equipment for a downtown parade, and the 100-year-old Panola and Mathews mills and other historic sites. The paved trail ends in the countryside near Florida Avenue.

Trail Length: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Biking, Walking, Inline Skating; Wheelchair Accessible

The one-mile trail for walkers, runners and cyclists begins at West Cambridge Park near Greenwood Country Club and winds past stands of oaks and crape myrtles to the 72 Bypass. The trail runs adjacent to Emerald High School and the Greenwood YMCA. It links to the 1.4-mile West Cambridge Trail and then to the Capsugel Walking/Jogging Track at Lander University. The Trail is well landscaped, lined with rock dust, and has good signage. 

The trailhead is near the shops, restaurants and museums of Uptown, as well as the Uptown Market and Splash Pad.

Trail Length: 1.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Biking, Walking

Situated on an abandoned rail switching yard, the 11-acre West Cambridge Park has a playground, gazebo and walking trails. The park at Grove Street and West Cambridge Avenue in Uptown Greenwood was developed in the early 2000s through the work of hundreds of volunteers. An easy one-mile trail, eight feet wide, is great for walking, running and biking and is easy for strollers.

Trail Length: 1.0 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Biking, Walking

This beautiful trail runs through lovely wooded areas with native plants, and has several bridges that cross a small creek. The easy gravel trail begins at the Self Regional Healthcare Express Care facility off Rock Creek Boulevard just off the 72 Bypass. Wooden posts at the end of the lawn mark the trailhead.

Trail Length: 0.9 mile, one way

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Walking, Hiking

The 54-acre Grace Street Park has a unique history and a diverse landscape. The centerpiece is a large pond and fountain, once a CPW reservoir, and a beautiful Japanese pavilion, a dog park and duck feeding station. Only 1/8 mile long, the trail at Grace Street Park is another part of the area’s rail-trail project. Running along the water between backyards of houses and businesses, the trail is a popular connector between Uptown and Lander University. Another entrance to the 10-foot-wide trail is at Blake Street. 

Trail Length: 0.4 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Walking

Outlying Trails

For a bigger adventure, try the Long Cane Horse Trail, a network of more than 25 miles of intermediate trails, located in the northern Long Cane Ranger District between Greenwood and Abbeville. The trail winds through pine and hardwood forest and passes the largest shagbark hickory tree in the U. S., a historic cemetery and the original “Charleston Road.” There are numerous access points and a convenient cut-through that allows hikers, bikers and horseback riders to create adventures of varying length. 

Trail Length: 26.7 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate

Trail Activities: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding

The beautifully landscaped Ninety Six Town Trail runs through the middle of town, with end points on Highway 34 toward Newberry and Greenwood. Built on the disused Norfolk Southern rail corridor, the 1.5-mile trail is marked with signage and passes through the town’s business district, beside the Visitor Center and the historic Southern Railway Depot.

Trail Length: 1.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Activities: Walking, biking

Revolutionary War-era Ninety Six National Historic Site has several trails for hikers, runners and horseback riders to explore. At the Visitor Center, you can pick up a trail map (or go to the brochure page on the park website) and choose one of several primitive hiking trails, like the Cherokee Path or Gouedy Trail. The park also has several equestrian trails. 

For an accessible trail, visit the paved, one-mile Historic Interpretive Trail with signage explaining the history of the reconstructed siege works and Stockade Fort, original 1781 Star Fort, town site of old Ninety Six, and historic roads.Trail access is from the visitor parking lot and is for pedestrians only.

Main Trail 96 Loop is a 1.1-mile trail perfect for walkers, runners and nature-lovers. Good for all skill levels, the paved path around the site is stroller-friendly and has plenty of signage with information about battles and the siege of the fort. The trail connects to other wooded trails, historic features and an observation deck for viewing the whole field.

The 26-acre Star Fort Pond, at the back of the park along Highway 246, has excellent birdwatching and wildlife viewing along the 1.7-mile trail that circles the lake. There are  benches near the water if you prefer to stop and just enjoy the view, and a fishing pier and boat launch. Fishing is allowed on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from April 1 through October. 

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice with a stroller in tow, an avid mountain biker or devoted equestrian, Greenwood County has a place for you to get outdoors and see the world from a different point of view.

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