Spring is when nature truly comes alive: there’s no better time to get out and breathe in fresh oxygen from blooming flowers or to observe wildlife activity in the upstate of South Carolina. With 262.5 miles of trails across six state parks and a national forest, South Carolina’s Old 96 District is teeming with natural beauty. Gear up for spring and start planning your getaway to explore South Carolina’s Freshwater Coast!

LONG CANE TRAIL

Located in Sumter National Forest, the 655-acre Long Cane Scenic Area, containing both ancient trees like the champion shagbark hickory and a significant canebreak thicket of giant cane, forms the center around which the 26.7-mile trail revolves. Shorter loops of 16.7 miles and 15.1 miles are also possible.

TEN GOVERNORS TRAIL

The trail starts off as a boardwalk over Slade Lake and then becomes a paved path that curves past historic homes and gubernatorial memorials, painting a picture of public service across three centuries.

STEVENS CREEK TRAIL

With its combination of beauty and tough terrain, the Stevens Creek/Modoc Trail is one of the top highlights of this region for mountain bikers. Access to the trail is possible through Hamilton Branch State Park.

SAVANNAH VALLEY RAILROAD

A trail that leads visitors past historic sites along a well-graded former rail line, making this the most comfortable bicycle route in the region. The trail is deeply shaded for most of the route and is easy for hikers and fat-tired cyclists to follow. The history it touches on makes it especially enjoyable—watch for ancient posts and mile markers along the way.

FORKS AREA TRAIL SYSTEM

A brisk ride down the shared trail leading to where all six trails splinter off into the woods becomes a gentle introduction to the terrain ahead, deeply shaded by deciduous forest. Little whoop-de-doos start right away but the trail is well-worn, so you can keep your eyes on what’s coming up next.