Capital City Trail Life

Get in a great workout just steps from downtown Charleston.

Nuts display at the Peanut Shoppe.Want to know a secret, that’s not really a secret? Sightseeing in Downtown Charleston is a fantastic workout. Our city is walkable, bikeable and parts are even hike-able! To see the sights by foot, start at Capitol Market. Grab a bottle of water and head down Capitol Street. You’ll know you’re close to the Peanut Shoppe when the powerful aroma of freshly roasted nuts and popcorn hits you. Stay strong – you can stop on the way back. At the end of Capitol Street, cross Kanawha Boulevard to Haddad Riverfront Park and take in the view of the river.

Ready for a hike? Cross the Southside Bridge to the Sunrise Carriage Trail. The Carriage Trail begins at the foot of the hill behind the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Depot, which itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you drive, you can park at the bottom of the Carriage Trail or at the top.  Dogs are welcome on the trail if they are leashed. Need to clear your mind?  Put in the work and hit the gravel trail rising 200 feet through the forest. Along the way you’ll find several historical gems, including the graves of two female Civil War spies and a memorial to Christa McAuliffe, American teacher and astronaut, and the view from the top is breathtaking.Trees surrounding the Carriage Trail.

Looking for flatter terrain? Take in the Kanawha River, while traveling on a paved path that is full of Charleston history and connects to parks and some of Charleston’s most famous landmarks, including Haddad Riverfront Park. The trail begins on Patrick Street and heads south along Kanawha Boulevard. As you travel, by foot or bike, it transforms into a two-lane cycle track with a pedestrian path – with very generous space for bikers. At Magic Island there is a labyrinth path, or you can keep going until you reach the gold-domed State Capitol.  Just a little further and you’ve conquered the Boulevard! Stretch, because now you must walk back – or call for a ride. We won’t tell, we’re great at keeping secrets.