Georgetown County paving the way for new bike trails

Georgetown County paving the way for new bike trails

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) - Construction is underway to bring you a new way to get around and enjoy the outdoors. Two bike trails are being created to give you more freedom and space to ride in Georgetown County.

The first is part of the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway. It will add three more miles to the current trail, which connects Murrells Inlet to Pawleys Island.

The new section is along Kings River Road. It extends from Willbrook Boulevard the same road Quigley's is on, to Waverly Road, to Waccamaw Elementary.

The goal is to provide safe travel for the bikers and pedestrians in the area. It will also enhance beach access across Ocean Highway.

The additional miles of trails cost $1.5 million. The county, SCDOT, Bike the Neck Contributions and grants are funding the project.

It's also an addition to the East Coast Greenway, an established nearly 3,000 mile trail system which stretches from Maine all the way to Florida. The Grande Dunes community has also recently announced plans to eventually add trails, as well.

Georgetown County is also adding four miles of dirt trails at 8 Oaks Park.

"There's a good bit of cycling in the area already, a lot of this paved bike trail cycling which is good for commuters and things like that," said Adam Payne with Georgetown County Parks and Recreation. "But the mountain bike sport is actually growing in the area, especially in Horry County and in Charleston."

Parks and Rec, along with the Waccamaw Trail Blazers, felt there was a need for Georgetown county to have its first ever mountain bike trail. The new four mile trail is tucked behind the baseball field at 8 Oaks Park. It wraps around trees, hills and wetlands. The goal is to eventually stretch it to eight miles.

The trail will be ready to ride once signage is added and a new parking lot is built.

Payne also says it promotes health in the Grand Strand and it is a unique draw for sports tourism.

"There's a Coastal Carolina Off Road Series, which is a series of mountain bike races, which is happening between Wilmington and Charleston, or maybe even as far south as Savannah," Payne said. "Were kind of in the middle of all that so we'd love to be able to capitalize and get in on those type of events."

Both the Waccamaw Neck Bike Way and the mountain bike trails are expected to see more growth in the future, according to Payne. In the meantime, they're scheduled to open as early as the next month. A formal ribbon cutting will follow.

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