All Things Charleston: Hiking in the Lowcountry


Here at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we’re always brainstorming strategies to help women reduce stress and promote wellness.

Sometimes we feel the need to revert to a classic approach.

So here’s a not-so-off-the-wall idea…

Go for a walk.

Call us biased, but there’s no better place to go for a walk or hike (or bike!) than Charleston, S.C., and the surrounding Lowcountry. This area provides countless opportunities to enjoy breathtaking natural beauty, historic sites, and gorgeous antebellum homes and mansions.

While walking or hiking in Charleston and the surrounding area is a great way to unwind, it also provides a simple but effective exercise. (Let’s call that a win-win.)

That said…

If you’re a person who cares about a breast cancer survivor or somebody who’s recently gone through a mastectomy, take her hiking in this beautiful part of the country.

Here are a handful of our favorite places to calm the mind, appreciate this incredible corner of the world, and spend time with the important people in your life.

Awendaw Passage

As part of the Francis Marion National Forest, Awendaw Passage of the Palmetto Trail offers both mountain and sea views. As you take the 7-mile trek, you will cross through pines and palmettos.

When you reach the terminus, you’ll be treated to a tropical view. Oh, and to gain an up-close look at wildlife and natural details, don’t forget your binoculars.

I’on Swamp Trail

Also a part of the Francis Marion National Forest, the I’on Swamp trail is an easy, 2-mile loop that follows the abandoned rice fields that once made up the Witheywood Plantation.

As you take this gorgeous walk, you’ll pass through bald cypress wetlands that allow you to observe migrating songbirds.

Swamp Fox Passage

One of the Lowcountry’s oldest trails, the Swamp Fox Passage offers a long, flat, one-way journey through coastal pine forests and wetlands. Located in the Francis Marion National Forest, this trail is the longest option of the refuge.

However, if you’re not into the idea of hiking 40+ miles, you can walk until you feel like turning around.

Bull Island

Touted as an easy two-mile loop trail, Bull Island is part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Keep in mind: this is an island, so you’ll need to catch a ferry in order to check it out.

When you walk this trail, you’ll see a variety of Lowcountry topography—including forests, wetlands, and beaches.

West Ashley Bikeway

If you and your friends are more cyclists than walkers, the West Ashley Bikeway is the perfect place for you to be. What’s particularly spectacular about this trail is not its beauty, but its story.

Once a dumping ground for torn-up mattresses, discarded appliances, and other trash, this path has experienced a transformation as Charleston locals sought to create something beautiful and replace litter with lush scenery.

Downtown Charleston

Maybe you’re not a nature person. Or perhaps you simply want to take in all the historic sights, architecture, and breathtaking homes Charleston has to offer. You’re in luck, because downtown has been called a “living museum.”

Rightfully so. When you stroll along the peninsula, you’ll see shops, beautiful churches, plantations, museums, and historic landmarks.

What’s your favorite place to walk or hike in Charleston?

Tell our Facebook community all about it!