National Trails Day 2012

This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the country’s largest trail celebration, and groups all over the state have organized events to allow you to get involved! For a complete list of events in South Carolina, please visit the American Hiking Society.

In the Midlands, Friends of Harbison State Forest have planned an active day of running, hiking, and biking. Festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and begin from the kiosk at the trailhead of Firebreak West, located in the Broad River Road parking lot. All activities will be free of charge, but participants should bring water, sturdy footwear, and clothing suitable for off-road trail conditions. Bike riders need to bring helmets and should ensure their bikes are in proper condition for the trails. Though online registration is not required, it is appreciated, and you can email Friends with the number of people you are bringing and the events in which you will be participating.

For the second year in a row, Midlands SORBA has been invited to join CRSA SORBA for a group picnic and ride at Long Cane Horse Trails near Greenwood. As the ride begins at 10 a.m., those interested in carpooling from Columbia should plan to meet at the Waffle House at Hwy 1 and I-20 at 7:30 for a prompt departure at 7:45 a.m. Please RSVP to CRSA to allow for proper food preparations and also email Stuart White to say if you are going and if you would like to carpool.

Upstate SORBA wants you to join them at Paris Mountain State Park for a morning of service open to volunteers of all ages. There is plenty of work to do, and this is a great way to give back to your local park! Volunteers will needs to wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and are encouraged to bring work gloves, sunscreen and plenty of water. If you would like to participate in the service project, meet in the main parking lot across from the park office. The park fee will be waived for volunteers.

In Conway, the Waccamaw Trailblazers are getting together to build a new section of single track that will eventually be connected to other trails expected to cover eight miles. Food and drinks will be served to participants; volunteers should bring work gloves, bug spray, and any tools available. To take a break from the work and enjoy the trail, bring your bike for some dirt road riding in the country as well as some trail riding on cleared sections. To RSVP, please leave a comment on the Trailblazers’ site or sign up for the Facebook event.

Mountain bikers in Charleston are about to get a new spot to ride on Saturday with the grand opening of the Wannamaker North Trail. This roughly eight-mile loop winds through a vacant tract of Charleston County Park and Recreation woodlands in Goose Creek, and is open to walkers and runners, though it is the first local trail to be designed and built on public land specifically with off-road cyclists in mind. Cyclists flow through a slalom-like course that makes use of subtle natural obstacles and features a challenging half-mile rollercoaster along the banks of an old canal. The trail moves in one direction and costs $1 per rider to use, though CCPRC Gold Pass holders may ride for free. Helmets are suggested, and there are no restroom facilities, so please plan accordingly.

Finally, our friends at the Palmetto Conservation Foundation are hosting the official opening celebration of the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail. This rail trail begins on the banks of the Broad River at Alston in Fairfield County and continues west into Newberry County. The PCF invites its members to join them for a fun-filled day of hikes, bike rides, kayaking, a BBQ lunch, and ice cream starting at 10 a.m.

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