Run Wild: Prep for the Cooper River Bridge Run in Kiawah River’s Forests

Water views, lush live oak canopies and swaying marsh grass are hallmarks of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s natural beauty. Its flora and fauna create a haven for birdwatchers, anglers and nature enthusiasts and for runners and joggers hoping to discover the landscape by foot. Instead of road running, why not try trail running on one of the area’s many nature paths? It’s a healthier alternative, with lower impact and stress on the body while contributing to overall mental wellness.

Defined by its sea islands, salt marshes and dune fields, the Lowcountry is a year-round runner’s paradise, offering a timeless and peaceful space for runners to fully immerse themselves in nature. As spring rolls around to reveal nature in full bloom, the Charleston area presents an abundance of outdoor activities and community events to encourage locals and visitors alike to enjoy the outdoors, none of which draws a larger crowd than the annual Cooper River Bridge Run.

The Cooper River Bridge Run is a world-class 10K walk/run promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for participants with breathtaking views of the Charleston harbor and the peninsula skyline as runners and walkers cross the Cooper River Bridge, also known as the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Since the inaugural race in 1978, the Bridge Run has grown to 40,000 participants. On April 6, 2019, the nearby streets of downtown Charleston will swell with an ambitious crowd of runners and walkers who travel from all over the world to participate. Following the race, participants and spectators celebrate at the Finish Festival downtown, where the streets overflow with entertainment, food and refreshments.


Whether you’re prepping for the big race or searching for new paths to explore on foot, Kiawah River’s abundant nature trails stretch over 15 miles, winding through the maritime forests and along the creeks and riverbanks of the Kiawah River.

Along the routes, runners can pause to appreciate the forest and many wildlife species that also call Kiawah River home. From brilliantly colored painted buntings, pink roseate spoonbills, wood storks and osprey overhead to bottlenose dolphins venturing inland from the ocean, or Spanish moss in swaying from the live oaks, studies show added health benefits of interacting with nature. No matter your choice in exercise or ability level, spending time on Kiawah River’s trails offers a boost to your immune system and can help lower blood pressure and reduced stress.