The picturesque city of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a part of The Grand Strand—a 60-mile stretch of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean’s uninterrupted coastline. Many beachfront communities, like its neighbor, Murrell’s Inlet, are popular tourist spots and offer a lot of fun activities. If you are a runner, bring your running shoes along. With so many trails and fun running routes in the area, you can see some spectacular views while maintaining your running routine. Here are five locations and routes, some with pretty enticing names, to consider for every skill level.
This run and bike trail is located at the Horry County Bike and Run Park, located just off the Carolinas Bay Parkway (State Hwy 31) at 150 Frontage Road. The challenging seven-mile trail run will take you through the entire park with lush Carolina forest areas and beautiful grassy meadows. You can even see some views of the Intercoastal Waterway as you wind through the nature trail’s changing elevations. Just keep in mind that trail runners will be sharing the running and walking trail with cyclists, so stay aware.
THE OCEAN BOULEVARD 10K
If beach running with an ocean view sounds like a great way to train for your next 10K, you’re going to love the Ocean Boulevard route, one of the most spectacular in the Myrtle Beach area. Start at the intersection with 14th Avenue North and head south on the beach parallel to Ocean Boulevard. You’ll want to head all the way to 14th Avenue South as your half-way turning point. You’ll know you are there when you pass in front of the luxurious Bahama Sands Condominiums. If a 5K is more in your wheelhouse, you can turn around farther up the beach between 6th and 7th Avenue South, which would put you in a turn-around between the Mar Vista Grand and Chateau by the Sea Hotels.
THE CHERRY GROVE PIER RUN
For more ocean front running with a spectacular half-way spot, start on the beach near 11th Avenue South and head north. This 6.9 mile run will take you to Cherry Grove Pier as your turn-around spot. You may want to consider doing half the run at a time to allow yourself plenty of time to explore the pier and take in the local fishing community. You don’t need a license to fish—that’s included in your $3 one-day fishing pass. They even have rods and reels for rental. If you’d rather watch the other fisherman mid-run, think about cooling off with some ice cream before kicking it in gear to finish your 6.9 miles.
Maybe you are looking for a quick run that doesn’t involve taxing your muscles on a sandy surface. Here is a quick two-miler that will burn off last night’s ice cream and give you a quick workout. Start at the intersection of 17th Avenue South and Havens Drive. Just head southwest on Havens to 26th Avenue South, turn left and go one block to Holly Drive, then head back to 17th Avenue South. The route is all pavement on smaller side streets. Some areas are tree-lined for nice bits of shade. You’ll see some nice residential homes and smaller vacation rentals.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH PARK & SPORTS COMPLEX
Finally, for walking and running trails that cover a variety of distances, plus other sports facilities, the Park & Sports Complex is a beautiful area to experience. If you’re traveling with man’s best friend, there is even a dog park to stretch Fido’s legs as well.
Aside from its ideal location next to the ocean, North Myrtle Beach’s numbered avenues make it easy to get your orientation, even if you are brand new to the area. Their public sports facilities are well maintained and inject great variety into your healthy routine. Running this area is a great way to maintain any training while still taking in all the different sights and activities to visit after your run.