Flowers are blooming, temperatures are ideal and shorts weather is upon us. Spring has sprung in South Carolina and the scenery is spectacular. With mountains, rivers, lakes and the ocean all within a few hour drive, opportunities for outdoor activities are endless. Here are some ways to beat the stress of schoolwork by staying active in the outdoors.
Whether floating down the river or challenging yourself to paddle up rapids, kayaking is a great outdoor activity to try this spring. There are many places in and around Columbia to kayak, some of the best being the Saluda, Congaree and Broad rivers and Lake Murray. Places like Saluda Shoals Park in Irmo even offer kayak rentals for one hour, three hours or a full day.
Upstate South Carolina is home to some great hiking trails, such as Table Rock State Park in Pickens, the trails at Falls Park in Greenville and Caesars Head State Park in Cleveland, South Carolina. Closer to Columbia, Harbison State Forest in Irmo is perfect for a shady hike. Those who are really dedicated should try the Palmetto Trail, which runs all the way through the state. All these trails offer amazing views, and most have picnic tables, shelters and campsites to rest for a lunch break or camp overnight.
Runing or walking a 5K
A 3.1-mile run might seem daunting, so don't be afraid to walk and enjoy the flowers in bloom. Spring is the perfect time to sign up for a 5K because most are held in the morning, so the weather is usually sunny and warm by the time the race begins. Some races coming up in Columbia include The Palmetto Half Marathon and 5K on April 9 and the Color Run on April 16.
Whether mountain biking rugged trails or cruising along a paved path, South Carolina has many scenic spots for a bike ride. Some of the best paved trails are at Saluda Shoals Park and the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which runs through downtown Greenville and along the Reedy River. The Forks Area Trail System in Edgefield near Sumter National Forest is a great trail for beginner mountain-bikers, with rolling hills and wooded trails.