The best hiking trails near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, are full of native wildlife, serene forests, and sandy beaches. There are tons of great hiking trails near Myrtle Beach that are waiting to be explored. From hiking in a fabulous botanical garden to witnessing Venus Flytraps in the wild, Myrtle Beach has the perfect hiking adventure.
TIP: Don’t forget to grab your sunscreen, insect repellent and plenty of water before hitting the trails. It can get sweltering and humid in Myrtle Beach during the summer months!
Lewis Ocean Bays Heritage Preserve
Venture off the beaten path to discover a nature preserve that is home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Venus flytrap. The Venus flytrap is only native to a small part of the Carolinas in the coastal bogs. The Venus flytrap isn’t the only carnivorous plant that calls this preserve home. The Yellow Pitcherplant can also be found throughout the preserve.
Sadly, many poachers remove the Venus flytraps to propagate and sell, which is infuriating because there are widely available at hardware stores and flower nurseries.
The Lewis Ocean Bays Heritage Preserve is unique in that this 10,427-acre preserve is composed of mysterious bays. The bays are depressions that are several feet lower than the forest. However, the origins of the bays remain unknown.
During your visit to the preserve, keep your eyes peeled for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, bald eagles, black bears, and orchids. A fun fact is the Lewis Ocean Bays Heritage Preserve is home to South Carolinas largest population of black bears. This one preserve has some of the best hiking trails near Myrtle Beach.
How To Get To Lewis Ocean Bays Heritage Preserve
Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve can be reached from SC Highway 90, which runs from US Highway 501 to SC Highway 9. To get to the preserve from Conway use Business US 501 north and turn left on SC Highway 90, go approximately 6 miles north on SC Highway 90, turn right on International Drive, directly across from Wild Horse Subdivision, travel 1.5 miles down International Road, take a left at the first fork on Kingston Road. The preserve lies on both sides of the road.
Address: 2575 International Dr. Conway SC 29526
Tips To Visiting Lewis Ocean Bays Heritage Preserve
- There are no restroom facilities or running water.
- The preserve is an active hunting preserve. Visitors are required to wear blaze orange hats or vests if visiting during the hunting season per the SCDNR.
- The preserve does do periodical burning throughout the year.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach State Park has two great little trails that are perfect for kids. The Sculptured Oak Trail and the Yaupon Trail are a half-mile or less and easy to navigate. The two trails so intersect so you can make your hike a little longer. A short path off the Sculptured Oak Trail will lead you to a small, quiet pond with a beautiful overlook. The trailhead for the Sculptured Oak Trail is located directly across the street from the parking areas for the nature center.
The park has a mile of undeveloped beach, a nice change of pace from the miles of condos and hotels. Visitors enjoy fishing, swimming, pack a picnic, or enjoy an ice cream from the gift shop. The park has boardwalks, outdoor showers, and changing facilities near to the beach.
Myrtle Beach State Park offers cabins, campsites, and picnic shelter reservations. The park is quite popular and does get busy during peak times, so plan accordingly.
Myrtle Beach State Park Admission
The State Park charges admission. As of 2020, the fee’s price was $8 adults; $5/SC seniors (age 65 & older);
$4/ child age 6-15; Free for children five and younger. Keep in mind that pier fishing has an additional charge.
Address: 4401 S Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575
Huntington Beach State Park
For those looking for a little bit longer hiking trail consider a visit to Huntington Beach State Park. The Sandpiper Pond Nature Trail offers hikers an easy 2-mile hike through the forest of red cedars and oaks, by the beach, and to a gorgeous pond. Once you arrive at the pond there is an observation tower that I highly recommend everyone go up in. The pond is normally full of wildlife! Be on the lookout for herons, ospreys, and egrets who call this pond home.
A shorter trail is the Kerrigan Nature Trail which is only a quick .3 miles but is bound to be full of birds and wildlife. Huntington Beach State Park has an extensive bird population, which keeps birders coming back year after year.
What once was the winter home to Archer M. Huntington and his wife the Atalaya Castle was built in the early 1930s. The castle has a fascinating history which can be read here. The Castle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 to preserve the history of Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer Huntington. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the castle.
Admission Into Huntington Beach State Park
$8/adult; $5/ S.C. Senior; $4/youth age 6-15; Free for children 5 and younger.
Atalaya admission: $2/person ages 6 and up. Children 5 and under admitted free.
Brookgreen Gardens -The Prettiest Hiking Trails Near Myrtle Beach
For a truly spectacular hike or walk, take time to visit Brookgreen Gardens. The gardens are full of beautiful sculptures, well-maintained walking trails, and the only accredited zoo on the Carolinas coast. Prior to visiting the gardens, check to see if any special exhibits are going on or if any exhibits are closed.
The Botanical Gardens
Throughout the gardens, there are 2,000 works by 430 artists. This includes works of art found in the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion. Spend hours discovering all the hidden gems located throughout the 9,127-acre property. The four wings butterfly garden is a popular spot to visit along with the Dorothy P. Peace Garden Room for Children. Discover flowing fountains, a stunning array of fauna, and ancient trees looming over pathways.
The Low County Zoo
Your general admission ticket also gets you into the zoo. The zoo may not have exotic animals such as tigers and giraffes, but it is home to animals who have suffered injuries or have been bred in captivity and could not survive in the wild. Farm animals also call the zoo home, including chickens, bulls, and sheep. Be sure to swing by the otters as they can be quite entertaining if you visit while they are active.
Admission to Brookgreen Gardens
Admission to Brookgreen Gardens as of 2020 is $18.00 for general admission to the gardens. Daily general admission tickets are good for return visits to the gardens for seven days. Children 4-12 are $10. Children under 3 are free. Seniors 65 and older are $16.
Address: 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge
The best place to hike in the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge is at the Cox Ferry Lake Recreation Area in Conway. The Cox Ferry Lake Recreation Area has three trails of varying lengths, including a boardwalk that allows hikers to meander through a flooded cypress swamp. The trails are easy to navigate, and one can expect to see a variety of forest wildlife, including an array of plants and animals associated with bottomland hardwood habitats. There is also a bike trail located at the Cox Ferry Lake Recreation Area.
There are hiking spots along the Great Pee Dee River at the Hwy. 701 bridge just north of Yauhannah Lake.
The Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot to go kayaking, canoeing, boating, and hiking.
Address: 1403 W Cox Ferry Rd, Conway, SC 29526
Heritage Shores Nature Preserve
With seven acres of walking paths visitors to the Heritage Shores Nature Preserve will enjoy a 40 station interpretive trail highlighting the native land. This preserve is unique in that it is on an island in the Cherry Grove marsh. Tons of wildlife can live throughout the preserve, including a wide variety of birds. Be on the lookout for brown pelicans, white ibis, and blue herons.
Admission is free year-round to this scenic preserve. Guests can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, birdwatching, and picnicking.
Address: 5611 Heritage Dr, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Great Hiking Trails Near Myrtle Beach