Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Friendly Greenway - West Ashley (Part I)

The purpose of this blog is to give busy parents quick facts on lots of state-wide activities. I try to keep the words to a minimum and the facts concise. In doing so, I often go back to a post pick two or three times to get the info straight or to get a better picture. I never post anything a) I haven't tried myself (hence, all my own point and click photos) and b) don't like. If Pluff Mud Kids don't love it, you won't see it here! This particular post is an example of this...

Part I - Vanishing trail head?
I have lived in Charleston for 15 years but had never set foot on the Greenway path in West Ashley until this past weekend. On Friday, a girlfriend and I, with her toddler in tow, thought we would stroll part of it but it took us 15 minutes to locate the trail head. When we found it, we realized we were short on time and that it looked like a better spot for biking. You need to take a good look at the map linked below before heading to the trail and know that it runs along the right side of South Windemere shopping center if you are approaching from the entrance. As soon as you pull into the shopping center off Folly Road, park near the Starbucks coffee shop as the trail runs directly behind it. The sign is wooden (one-sided and facing away from the shopping center) and hidden by the canopy of a tree. *This isn't actually the "trail head", but rather the 7 mile marker point and a perfect place to park.

Part II - Biking the Greenway
The trail is 10 and 1/2 miles long, one way. The best way to see a good bit of it with children is to hop on bikes and establish a goal of a certain number of miles according to the ages of your children and their ability before setting off on the trail. On Sunday morning, my husband and I ran while my boys biked a 5 mile stretch of the trail (round trip). It was a gorgeous day, so there were lots of runners out. Everyone we met was so friendly and courteous. As a military child, my family was stationed in Stuttgart Germany and this pathway reminded me of the neighborhood paths there winding through the allotment gardens. This initial 2 and 1/2 miles connects quiet neighborhoods and is a great way for children to practice stopping briefly on their bikes to look both ways before crossing these intersecting roads.

While the path is not stunningly scenic, it is a long, straight-as-an-arrow, flat-as-a-pancake, peaceful stretch of pathway and I loved it for that reason alone. Runners training for long distance are in heaven here!

My boys had a ball cycling here. We look forward to starting at the opposite end of the trail next time... stay tuned!

No amenities - pack drinks and snacks. The shopping center has lots of dining options.

Winston approves- dog friendly bag stations available

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