Run The West Ashley Trail

Run the West Ashley Greenway

Run the West Ashley Greenway (West Ashley): Paralleling Highway 17 but far enough away to escape the noise, this 10.5 mile hard-packed dirt path begins at the Ashley River and continues to the Stono River at John’s Island. You’ll pass through neighborhoods and parks as the route grows increasingly rural before opening up onto the marsh and the Stono. The West Ashley Trail is part of the East Coast Greenway. The greenway offers views of beautiful marshes, regional wildlife and recreation areas. The greenway is a popular place for running, walking and cycling. 

Read on for more info on Running The West Ashley Greenway or browse other Charleston running options in our Charleston Running Guide.

West Ashley Trail

A Trail for Every Runner

Paved Beginnings: From Folly Road to Stinson Drive, enjoy a smooth start (or finish) on fully paved surfaces.

The Middle Ground: Embrace the thrill of hard-packed dirt underfoot, offering just the right amount of challenge for trail enthusiasts.

Gravel Glory: The final stretch introduces a gravel pathway, guiding runners through picturesque salt marshes, complete with local wildlife encounters.

Trail Experience

Starting at the Folly Road end, the greenway weaves through residential and commercial areas, demanding a touch of alertness with its road crossings. But as you progress, it transforms, leading you past the Clemson Agricultural Lab and into the embrace of nature. The trail’s gravel segment promises serene views of salt marshes, where alligators, egrets, fiddler crabs, and ospreys make frequent appearances.

This trail doesn’t discriminate; it’s a haven for runners pressed for time and those seeking to set new personal records on its flat, forgiving terrain. Distance runners will also find their stride here, making the most of the trail’s generous length.

Memorable Moments

The West Ashley Greenway offers more than just a run; it’s a journey through Charleston’s diverse landscapes—from suburban settings to the tranquil salt marshes. And when the run is done, treat yourself to a well-deserved sandwich at Normandy Farms or a quick snack from Earth Fare’s hot bar.

Accessibility and Convenience

Parking is a breeze, especially compared to downtown Charleston’s hustle. With ample space at both trail ends, including a notable spot behind the South Windermere Shopping Center, starting your adventure is hassle-free. For a scenic beginning, start at the McLeod Mill Road terminus, where the estuary greets you pretty early into the run.

Did You Know?

The West Ashley Greenway is more than just a path; it’s a corridor through time, offering glimpses into the area’s rich ecosystem and Charleston’s evolving landscape. As you venture through, consider the blend of urban development and preserved natural beauty, a balance that makes this trail a unique Charleston experience.

Whether you’re chasing a new record, seeking tranquility, or simply in need of a quick outdoor escape, the West Ashley Greenway welcomes all.

Directions from Charleston: Take Hwy 17 S to left on Folly Rd. and park behind EarthFare grocery store on your right. The trail passes behind the shopping center. For closer access to the marsh, keep in mind the trail is usually only a few blocks off Hwy 17 so consider parking on Farmfield Ave. or McLeod Rd.

The Adventure Collective

The Adventure Collective publishes a series of outdoor adventure sports guides to adventures in Asheville, Boone, Brevard, Chattanooga, Charleston and The Great Smoky Mountains.

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