South Carolina
Bicycle Touring Guide


The South Carolina Bicycle Touring Guide was first produced in 1983 and updated and reprinted in 2000. The Guide was printed on waterproof paper and given out free. In 1980, Walter Ezell, then president of the Spartanburg Freewheelers, proposed the idea of mapping a bicycle route from the mountains to the sea. He obtained a $10,000 Highway Safety grant to be administered by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT) for the project. However, Walter took a job out of State before the project got started and PRT approached the Carolina Cyclers for assistance. Jim Schmid, then president of the Carolina Cyclers, volunteered a year of his time to research five additional routes and produce the 1983 Bicycle Touring Guide. The Guide proved to be very popular and in 1987 Jim volunteered to research the routes and update the guide for another printing in 1988. PRT handed out the last Guide in 1992 and the project files were turned over to the new Bicycle Pedestrian Program in the newly renamed South Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT). While the Guide has been out of print the past five years, both PRT and DOT receive many requests for bicycling information. The World Wide Web has made it possible to update the Guide and make it once again available to the public and for free.

The Bicycle Touring Guide is offered to bicyclists planning a tour in or through the state of South Carolina and should be viewed as a general planning tool to be used in conjunction with the official South Carolina State Highway map, county maps, and other planning sources to help you meet your individual bicycle touring needs.

South Carolina is a great state for bicycle touring with its winding back roads, world famous gardens, magnificent homes and historic battlefields, mountain peaks and clear lakes providing a constantly changing backdrop of beauty, quaintness, and charm. With the help of this guide, bicyclists can enjoy the State's aesthetic qualities while experiencing the pleasure of bicycle touring.

NOTE: It is important to stress that South Carolina's roads were not designed for bicycle touring and they are not currently maintained for this activity. The inclusion of any route in this guide does not certify it as a "safe bicycling route."

The objective of this guide is to point out routes which have been found to be scenic and enjoyable to ride. Three (3) east/west and three (3) north/south routes through the state are offered for bicyclists wishing to traverse the state on an extended tour.

NOTE: The mileages shown are based on county map mileage, so they should only be used as a reference. You can access county maps at the following address:

Northern Crescent
Coastal Route
Central Route
Savannah River Run
Carolina Connector
Walter Ezell Route


Other South Carolina Bicycling Guides

Biker's Map of Greenville County

The Greenville Bicycle committee and the Greenville County Planning Commission have identified 12 bicycle day-trip routes that utilize wide streets with low traffic volumes, are accessible to bicyclists of all skill levels, consider connectivity between schools, parks, and neighborhoods, and create a balanced system that traverses most of Greenville County.

Click on the map icon for a PDF printable version of the Bikers Map or to order a map contact the Greenville County Planning Commission, 301 University Ridge, Suite 400, Greenville, SC 29601-3660, (864) 467-7270

Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast Route (Wilmington, NC, to Statesboro, GA - 345 miles)

The Wilmington to Statesboro map is one of a set of seven maps that take you from Bar Harbor, MA to Ft. Myers Beach, FL. The route in South Carolina roughly parallels Highway 17 and offers a spur route into historic Charleston. Adventure Cycling maps are designed for bicyclists, providing information not available on typical road maps - for example, the locations of bike shops, sources for food and water, and overnight accommodations.

To order Adventure Cycling maps call 1-800-721-8719.

Bicycle Camping In South Carolina

Touring by bicycle has become more and more popular as a way to see and experience South Carolina. Many bicycle tourists have come to prefer the added flexibility afforded by camping. Whether your destination for the night is a state park, a private campground, or an impromptu road side location, self-contained bicycle travel is the way to go. But in order to fully enjoy the experience you must be well-prepared. For information on campsites and nature areas contact the following:

South Carolina State Parks (33 State Parks with camping facilities)
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173
(803) 734-0156

United States Forest Service (Maps of Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests)
4931 Broad River Rd.
Columbia, SC 29210-4021
(803) 561-4000

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (Heritage Trust Preservation & Wildlife Management)
Heritage Trust Preserves
PO Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202
(803) 734-3893

South Carolina Campground Owner's Association (Free guide to 30 commercial campgrounds)
PO Box 1184
Irmo, SC 29063
(803) 772-5354

Local Bicycle Shops

Remember that careful preparation will reduce the chances of any mechanical problems while bicycle touring in South Carolina. However, should you run into problems, know that with over 50 shops in the state, you are never far from help. If you need help, limp to the nearest telephone book and look in the yellow pages under "Bicycle Dealers" and "Bicycle Repair."

Tourist Information  provides a storehouse of information on what the bicyclist can see and do in the Palmetto State. National monuments, military installations, 48 state parks, points of interest, and South Carolina Information Centers are listed.

Safety Statistics

Experienced bicyclists have an accident rate only 20 percent that of casual bicyclists. Bicyclists can prevent most accidents by knowing how to control their bicycles and by riding according to the established rules of the road. Ride to be visible and predictable. Give other drivers time to notice you and react to you.

Common Accidents

  • 50% are falls
  • 20% are collisions with cars
  • 18% are collisions with other bicyclists
  • 8% are collisions with dogs

Other frequent causes are . . .

  • Bicyclists turning out from the curb lane without looking back
  • Motorists turning right or left into the path of the bicyclist
  • Bicyclists or motorists failing to yield when crossing a stream of traffic

Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Accidents

Although only 20 percent of bicycle accidents involve motor vehicles, these are often the most serious. More than half of these occur at intersections. Of all car-bike collisions, more than 25 percent involve a bicyclist riding the wrong way, a very dangerous behavior.


Head injuries account for 75% of all deaths and permanent disabilities in bicycle accidents. Don't leave home without your helmet!!!

In Case of an Accident

  1. Call the police IMMEDIATELY
  2. Do not move any vehicle until the police arrive
  3. Do not attempt to move any injured persons
  4. Obtain the following information from all parties:
    • Name and address of all involved vehicle operators
    • License plate and registration numbers
    • Name and address of all involved insurance companies
    • Name and address of all witnesses
  5. Request a thorough police investigation
  6. Ask for a copy of the accident report

South Carolina Traffic Laws Pertaining to Bicyclists

Bicyclists in South Carolina are subject to the traffic laws applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle and are required to obey the following traffic laws:

  • Ride on the right hand side of the road with the flow of traffic. In all 50 states bicycles are considered vehicles and must follow the same rules as cars.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • No bicycles are allowed on freeways

  • .

    There are several special laws pertaining to bicyclists and their equipment:

  • No hitching rides on moving vehicles
  • Form a single line in heavy traffic
  • At least one hand is on handlebars at all times
  • Bicycles operated at night must be equipped with a lamp on front that produces a white beam of light visible at least 500 feet away. Also, the bike must have a red rear reflector
  • Brakes adequate enough to slide the rear tire are required.

Equipment Checklist

  • Drive Train:

  • Clean chain & gears.
    Tightness of chain.
    Derailleur adjustment.

  • Brakes

  • :

    Tightness of cables.
    Condition of cables.
    Pad alignment.
    Clean rims.

  • Wheels

  • :

    Tire inflation.
    Tire condition.
    Wheel trueness.
    Grease in hubs.
    Wheel bearing adjustment.


Bicycle Clubs in South Carolina

More and more South Carolinian's are rediscovering the fun of bicycle riding. This renewed interest has resulted in a phenomenal growth in bicycle club memberships around the State.

If you want to start bicycling again, meet new riding companions, discover the best places to ride, or find out about bicycle touring, there are people ready to help you. Don't wait any longer to explore the possibilities open to you when you journey by bicycle.

National Bicycle Groups

International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
League of American Bicyclists
Adventure Cycling Association

Other Resources

SC DOT, Bicycle Pedestrian Program
SC State Trails Program

SC DOT - Map Sales
PO Box 191
Columbia, SC 29202
or Pick up:
955 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29201

North Carolina Department of Transportation
Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
PO Box 25201
Raleigh, NC 27611

Trails Logo
 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173

Updated: August 25, 2008
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1996-2008  South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.




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