Multi-Use Trail

Riverfront Park

(Columbia, SC)


This flat, easy walking, paved trail follows the old towpath of the Columbia Canal, which had a brief career in the 19th century, but became obsolete because of the railroads. From the parking area, follow the paved walkway past the Visitor's Center and cross the Columbia Canal on the footbridge. Turn right to enjoy a walk/ride atop the levee separating the canal from the Congaree and Broad Rivers. You will pass an amphitheater, a picnic shelter, and several overlooks with benches, which provide a place to stop a minute and enjoy the sounds of birds. During the springtime you may also see spider lilies on rocky shoals of the river. The trail ends at the canal diversion dam, which provides a miniature impersonation of Niagara Falls after heavy rains. On your return, you can vary your walk by descending a stairway and following the lower paved section along the river. Although there is stairway at each end of this section, there is ramp at the Broad River Overpass.

You can also turn left and walk to, or start from Edventure, but be aware that the gate at the power plant may be closed.

Length: Main trail is 2.9 miles one-way. Add approximately 0.3 mile from the parking area. Lower section from stairway to stairway is approximately 1.0 mile.

Fees: None

Directions: From downtown Columbia, drive west to Huger Street and turn toward Interstate 26. At Laurel Street turn left (west). Laurel dead-ends into the parking area for Riverfront Park. You can also park at the State Museum and start behind Edventure.

Hours: Dawn to dusk.

Camping: No camping.

Information: Columbia Riverfront Park and Historic Columbia Canal, 312 Laurel St., Columbia, SC, 29201. Telephone: 803-733-8613. Or City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, 1932 Calhoun St., Columbia, SC, 29201. Telephone: 803-545-3100.

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 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173 
Updated: June 2, 2008
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