Three Rivers Greenway Trail In South Carolina

Here is everything you need to know about the Three Rivers Greenway Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: South Carolina
  • Length: 8 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: River Alliance
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Three Rivers Greenway Trail is a scenic pathway located in Columbia, South Carolina, that stretches along the banks of the Congaree, Broad, and Saluda Rivers. The trail holds a rich historical significance, as it follows the path of the city’s early transportation routes and showcases remnants of its industrial past.

The area surrounding the Three Rivers Greenway Trail has a long history of human habitation, dating back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Congaree and Catawba, once inhabited the region and relied on the rivers for transportation and sustenance. European settlers arrived in the 18th century, establishing trading posts and plantations along the rivers.

During the 19th century, the rivers played a crucial role in Columbia’s economic development. The Congaree River served as a major transportation route for goods, connecting the city to Charleston and other coastal areas. The construction of the Columbia Canal in the early 19th century further enhanced the city’s industrial capabilities, providing power for mills and factories. Today, remnants of the canal can still be seen along the Greenway Trail, serving as a reminder of Columbia’s industrial past.

In the 20th century, the rivers faced challenges such as pollution and neglect. However, in the 1990s, the city of Columbia recognized the potential of the rivers as a recreational and environmental asset. The Three Rivers Greenway Trail was established as a collaborative effort between the city, Richland County, and private organizations. The trail was designed to provide residents and visitors with a scenic and accessible pathway for walking, jogging, and cycling, while also preserving the natural beauty and historical significance of the rivers.

Today, the Three Rivers Greenway Trail is a beloved recreational resource that showcases the historical and natural heritage of Columbia. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the city’s past while enjoying the beauty of the rivers and surrounding landscapes. The trail’s historical significance, combined with its scenic charm, makes it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park: This access point is located at 312 Laurel Street in Columbia, South Carolina. It offers parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a playground.

2. Granby Park: Situated at 100 Catawba Street in Columbia, this access point provides parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat ramp.

3. Riverfront Park: Located at 312 Laurel Street in Columbia, this access point offers parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat ramp.

4. West Columbia Riverwalk: This access point is located at 109 Alexander Road in West Columbia, South Carolina. It provides parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat ramp.

5. Cayce Riverwalk: Situated at 201 Naples Avenue in Cayce, South Carolina, this access point offers parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat ramp.

6. Timmerman Trailhead: Located at 1900 Granby Lane in Cayce, this access point provides parking, restrooms, and picnic areas.

7. Saluda Shoals Park: Situated at 5605 Bush River Road in Columbia, this access point offers parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat ramp.

8. Irmo Town Park: Located at 7507 Eastview Drive in Irmo, South Carolina, this access point provides parking, restrooms, and picnic areas.

9. Lake Murray Dam: Situated at 100 Murray Dam Road in Irmo, this access point offers parking, restrooms, and picnic areas.

10. Ballentine Landing: Located at 1000 Marina Road in Irmo, this access point provides parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat ramp.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Columbia SC Pedicab – Pedicab service offering eco-friendly transportation.
4. Yellow Cab of Columbia – Traditional taxi service available for transportation needs.
5. Blue Ribbon Taxi – Taxi service providing reliable transportation options.
6. Lime – Electric scooter and bike-sharing service for short-distance travel.
7. Bird – Electric scooter rental service for convenient mobility.
8. Bolt Mobility – Electric scooter rental service for quick transportation.
9. Gotcha – Electric bike and scooter-sharing service for easy commuting.
10. Columbia SC Segway Tours – Segway tour service offering guided tours around the area.


The Three Rivers Greenway Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: The trail provides designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while using the trail.

3. Camping Sites: There are camping sites available near the Three Rivers Greenway Trail for those who wish to stay overnight. These sites may have facilities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: The trail features designated picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack amidst the natural surroundings. These areas often have picnic tables and benches.

5. Water Access: The Three Rivers Greenway Trail provides access to the rivers, allowing visitors to engage in activities such as fishing, kayaking, or canoeing.

6. Bike Rentals: Some sections of the trail offer bike rental services, allowing visitors to explore the trail on two wheels.

7. Dog-Friendly: The trail is dog-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their furry friends along for a walk or run. However, dogs must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after.

8. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signs providing information about the local flora, fauna, and history of the area.

9. Benches and Seating Areas: The trail offers benches and seating areas at regular intervals, providing spots for visitors to rest and take in the scenery.

10. Water Fountains: There may be water fountains available along the trail for visitors to stay hydrated.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the Three Rivers Greenway Trail you are visiting. It is always recommended to check with the local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on amenities.

Nearby Services

1. Hotel Trundle – Boutique hotel offering modern accommodations in downtown Columbia.
2. Hampton Inn Columbia-Downtown Historic District – Comfortable hotel located near the heart of downtown Columbia.
3. Aloft Columbia Downtown – Stylish hotel with contemporary rooms and a rooftop bar in downtown Columbia.
4. The Whig – Lively pub serving craft beers and pub fare in downtown Columbia.
5. Blue Marlin – Southern seafood and traditional dishes served in a casual setting in downtown Columbia.
6. Liberty Tap Room & Grill – American grill and bar offering a diverse menu in downtown Columbia.
7. Prisma Health Richland Hospital – Full-service hospital providing emergency medical care in Columbia.
8. Columbia Fire Department – Local fire department offering emergency services in Columbia.
9. Columbia Police Department – Local police department providing law enforcement services in Columbia.
10. Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital – Comprehensive medical center offering emergency care in Columbia.

Three Rivers Greenway Trail Difficulty Notes

The Three Rivers Greenway Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. The trail consists of well-maintained paths that are mostly flat, making it accessible for walkers, joggers, and cyclists of all skill levels. However, there are some sections that feature slight inclines and uneven terrain, providing a bit of a challenge for those seeking a more vigorous workout. Overall, the Three Rivers Greenway Trail strikes a balance between ease and excitement, allowing individuals to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding rivers and wildlife while engaging in a satisfying physical activity.

Features And Attractions

1. Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park: This park offers beautiful views of the Congaree River and the Columbia Canal. It also has historical significance as it was once used to power the city’s textile mills.

2. Riverfront Park: Located in downtown Columbia, this park provides stunning views of the Congaree River and the Columbia skyline. It features a large amphitheater, a splash pad, and a beautiful riverwalk.

3. West Columbia Riverwalk: This section of the Three Rivers Greenway Trail offers scenic views of the Congaree and Saluda Rivers. It also passes by the Gervais Street Bridge, providing a unique perspective of this historic landmark.

4. Cayce Riverwalk: This portion of the trail runs along the Congaree River and offers picturesque views of the water and surrounding nature. It also features a kayak launch, picnic areas, and a fishing pier.

5. Granby Park: Situated along the Congaree River, Granby Park is a beautiful green space with walking trails, picnic areas, and river access. It offers a peaceful retreat from the city and stunning views of the river.

6. Timmerman Trail: Located in Cayce, this section of the trail follows the Congaree River and offers scenic views of the water and surrounding wetlands. It is a popular spot for birdwatching and nature photography.

7. Saluda Shoals Park: Although not directly on the Three Rivers Greenway Trail, Saluda Shoals Park is a nearby natural landmark worth visiting. It features miles of walking trails, a river observation deck, and beautiful views of the Saluda River.

8. Columbia Riverwalk: This section of the trail runs along the Congaree River and offers panoramic views of the water and the city skyline. It also passes by the historic Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park.

9. Congaree National Park: While not directly accessible from the Three Rivers Greenway Trail, Congaree National Park is a short drive away and offers incredible natural beauty. It is home to the largest intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern United States.

10. Historic Columbia Foundation: Located in downtown Columbia, the Historic Columbia Foundation offers guided tours of various historical sites, including the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. These sites provide a glimpse into the city’s rich history and architectural heritage.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and pedestrians should yield to horses on designated equestrian trails.
4. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail, except for authorized maintenance vehicles.
5. No hunting or fishing is permitted along the trail.
6. No camping or overnight stays are allowed.
7. No open fires or barbecues are allowed.
8. No littering or dumping of any kind is permitted.
9. No alcohol or illegal substances are allowed on the trail.
10. No unauthorized signage or advertisements may be posted.
11. No unauthorized modifications or alterations to the trail or its surroundings are allowed.
12. No unauthorized commercial activities or events may take place on the trail.
13. No unauthorized motorized or non-motorized races or competitions are allowed.
14. No unauthorized feeding or disturbing of wildlife is permitted.
15. No swimming or wading in the river or other bodies of water along the trail.
16. No unauthorized use of drones or other aerial devices is allowed.
17. No excessive noise or disruptive behavior is permitted.
18. No soliciting or panhandling is allowed on the trail.
19. No unauthorized camping or sleeping in vehicles is permitted.
20. No unauthorized use of firearms or fireworks is allowed.

Seasonal Information

The Three Rivers Greenway Trail, located in Columbia, South Carolina, offers a picturesque and serene escape for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant colors as flowers bloom and trees regain their lush foliage. The weather is pleasant, with mild temperatures and occasional showers that add to the trail’s natural beauty. Fall is equally enchanting, with the trail adorned in a tapestry of warm hues as the leaves change, creating a stunning backdrop for hikers, joggers, and cyclists.

It is important to note that the Three Rivers Greenway Trail does not have any seasonal closures. It is open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty and tranquility regardless of the season. However, it is worth mentioning that during the summer months, the trail can get quite hot and humid, making early morning or late afternoon visits more comfortable. Additionally, it is advisable to bring insect repellent during this time as mosquitoes can be prevalent.

Overall, the Three Rivers Greenway Trail offers a delightful experience throughout the year. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring, the warm hues of fall, or the peacefulness of winter, this trail provides a scenic escape for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. So, pack your walking shoes or hop on your bike and explore the beauty of the Three Rivers Greenway Trail at any time of the year.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathways: Smooth and level surfaces throughout the trail, suitable for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways.
4. Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic spots with accessible tables and seating arrangements.
5. Accessible Trailhead: An accessible entrance to the trail, featuring ramps or level pathways.
6. Braille Signage: Trail signs with Braille text for visually impaired individuals.
7. Accessible Water Fountains: Water fountains designed to accommodate wheelchair users.
8. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions.
9. Accessible Seating: Benches or seating areas along the trail designed for wheelchair users.
10. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.
11. Accessible Trailside Interpretive Panels: Informational panels along the trail with accessible features, such as audio descriptions or tactile elements.
12. Accessible Trail Experiences: Opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in guided accessible nature walks or programs.
13. Accessible Trail Events: Inclusive events organized on the trail, ensuring accessibility for all participants.
14. Accessible Trail Lighting: Adequate lighting along the trail to enhance visibility for individuals with visual impairments.
15. Accessible Trail Crossings: Safe and accessible crossings at road intersections or other trail junctions.
16. Accessible Trail Maintenance: Regular maintenance to ensure the trail remains accessible, including clearing debris and repairing any accessibility features.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and watch out for other trail users, wildlife, and potential hazards.
3. Use proper lighting: If using the trail after dark, carry a flashlight or wear reflective gear to ensure visibility.
4. Share the trail: Be courteous to other users, including cyclists, runners, and walkers, and yield to faster-moving traffic.
5. Keep pets on a leash: Prevent your furry friends from straying or causing any disturbances to other trail users.
6. Stay hydrated: Carry water with you, especially during hot weather, to prevent dehydration.
7. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for walking or biking on the trail.
8. Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen before heading out.
9. Carry a cell phone: Have a fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergencies or to report any incidents.
10. Stay on the right side: When walking or running, stay on the right side of the trail to allow others to pass on the left.
11. Be cautious at road crossings: Pay attention to traffic signals and use designated crosswalks when crossing roads along the trail.
12. Report any suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious behavior or witness any incidents, report them to the appropriate authorities.
13. Stay on marked paths during flooding: Avoid areas prone to flooding and follow any trail closures or detours during heavy rain or flooding.
14. Carry identification: Have your identification and emergency contact information with you in case of an accident or medical emergency.
15. Respect nature: Do not disturb or harm plants, animals, or natural habitats along the trail.
16. Travel in groups: If possible, walk or bike with a companion or in a group for added safety.
17. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a basic first aid kit and know how to use it in case of minor injuries.
18. Follow all trail rules and regulations: Observe any posted signs and adhere to the trail’s guidelines for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Conservation Notes

The Three Rivers Greenway Trail is a significant conservation area that plays a crucial role in preserving and protecting the natural environment. The trail is located in Columbia, South Carolina, and spans approximately 12 miles along the banks of the Congaree, Broad, and Saluda Rivers. It serves as a vital habitat for a diverse range of plant and animal species, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the region.

The conservation status of the Three Rivers Greenway Trail is considered to be of high importance. The trail encompasses various ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and riverbanks, which are home to numerous native species. These habitats provide essential resources such as food, shelter, and breeding grounds for a wide array of wildlife, including migratory birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.

Efforts have been made to protect and conserve the natural integrity of the Three Rivers Greenway Trail. Conservation initiatives focus on maintaining the ecological balance, preventing habitat degradation, and minimizing human impact on the area. This includes implementing measures to control invasive species, managing water quality, and promoting sustainable recreational activities. By preserving this natural corridor, the trail contributes to the overall health and resilience of the local ecosystem, ensuring the long-term survival of its diverse flora and fauna.

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