Kiawah Island is a fantastic running destination if you’re in the Charleston area, featuring 10 miles of runnable beach and 30 miles of bike trails. This barrier island located 25 miles southwest of Charleston is mainly a private beach and golf resort: visitors must be staying at one of the hotels or have a golf/restaurant reservation. HOWEVER, one is permitted to enter the island by bike or on foot. Enter via Mingo Point of Beachwalker Parking Lot. Our recommendations for running:
Run on the Beach. There are 10+ miles of beach running on hard, packed sand. This is one of the best beaches for running on the east coast — in fact, biking on the beach is really popular! The beach goes from just west of Beachwalker Park, and heads east to the Stono River, unbroken.
Bike Paths. There are 30 miles of bike paths, which are all lovely for running, passing by scenic golf courses and lovely homes. This link from Timbers Kiawah, a resort on the eastern side of the island has some good descriptions. Favorite golf course loops are paths around the Cougar Point course on the western side of the island and the Turtle Point Golf Course, starting at The Sanctuary Hotel. On the eastern end of the island, good paths for 2 miles along Ocean Course Drive and then around then ~2 miles around the Ocean Course Golf Club.
Night Heron Park. Pleasant paths, roads, and fields in this area. Plus an Olympic-sized swimming pool for a post-run dip!
Good Roads for Running. Some of the more scenic roads, with little traffic, are on the northeast part of the island. Blue Heron Pond Rd. passes by numerous ponds and marshes, with some great views and observation towers. A loop of this area is ~5 miles (MAP). Ocean Course Drive on the eastern side of the island is also scenic. It’s 3 miles from St. John’s Fire Station to Sandy Point.