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Old 12-09-05, 03:42 PM   #1
Jerry F
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Question - passing through Charleston SC

I am planning on touring from Savannah GA to New Jersey next spring. I would like to route my trip to parallel as much of the Intra Coastal Waterway through SC and NC as possible. (I am a retired boater and have spent many hours on the ICW and would get a kick out of seeing many of the sites from a bike).

Which of the bridges in the Charleston area allow bicycles that would allow me to get from the South Charleston area up to Mt Pleasant. Probably approaching and departing on Rt 17 unless advised otherwise.

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Old 12-09-05, 05:31 PM   #2
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ok, DO NOT RIDE 17 FROM BEAUFORT TO CHARLESTON. You'll die, seriously. That I know of there havbe been 8 cyclist deaths on that stretch. find another way. the bridge on 17 in charleston has a twolane bike lane going to mt p from downtown.
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Old 12-09-05, 05:57 PM   #3
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Avoids US 17 from Beaufort to Charleston which I agree is a bad road.

Perhaps take US 17 ALT instead then SC Rt 61 to Charleston. It will add 40 miles or so to the trip.

It's impossible to parallel the coast from Savannah to Charleston so you're going to be at 20-30 miles from the ocean no matter what route you choose.

Good luck
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Old 12-09-05, 06:02 PM   #4
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-Ditto on 17. My folks live off that north of Charleston-south of Myrtle Beach. I've only seen a few cyclists riding on it (apear to be "commuter/transportational" cyclists to me), hugging the right & getting passed way too close by inconsiderate motorists at very very high speeds. Gives me the willies when I see them (while a passenger in a car).

A bit before Myrtle Beach there are a "couple" 17's. The original as well as a bypass. The bypass (if memory serves) seems much more suitable (shoulder and/or bike lane), for cycling. Perhaps there is a similar bypass near Charleston I'm not aware of?
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Old 12-10-05, 02:29 AM   #5
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I was down there a couple of months ago. I did some riding but mostly driving and scouting out bike routes.....Between Beaufort and Charleston there are a few side roads to get you off of US 17 but you still have to get on 17 to cross the rivers. about 10 miles south of Charleston there is a railtrail (unpaved) to take you to the bridges over the Ashley river into Charleston. there is a the Rt 17 bridges that look pretty treacherous but There is a fairly new bridge with about a 3' shoulder south of those bridges that looked better I don't know if you can ride on it or not. as mentioned above there is a new bridge of the north side of Charleston that has a bike lane. 17 is a little better north of Charleston you still got some bridges to deal with going to Georgetown there are a few side roads to get you out of the traffic for a little while .

Here is my suggestion for the rest of the way to Va Beach.......

Once you get to Murrell's inlet you can ride the backroads and along the beach through Myrtle Beach then you are back on 17 till you get to Supply NC. then you can turn east on NC 211 and find your way to Southport ( some of the filming for the TV show "Surface" is done here)where you can get a ferry to Fort Fisher on the Cape Fear Pennisula. from there you will be following the ICW for a good 20 miles. If you happen into Kure Beach ( just north of Fort Fisher) around dinner time there is a great mom and pop seafood place across the street from the public fishing pier. The fried Flounder is the best I ever had.

eventually north of Wilmington you will be back on US 17 in about 10 miles the traffic will lighten up. 6 miles after you go through Holly Springs look for rt 172 to Sneads Ferry this a shortcut through Camp Lejuene Marine base. as far as I know tell is no restriction on bicycles passing through the base. once through the base you can wind around on the back roads that get you to swansboro and Rt 24,Cross the bridge to Cape Carteret continue on Rt 24 to US 70 to Beaufort .

I have ridden this section between Beaufort NC and Va Beach Va. twice on a bike ........

From Carteret you can go north on NC 101 (IIRC) and catch a ferry across the Neuse River and follow an inland route around the sound. Or you can continue on US 70 to Morehead city.

From Morehead City you continue on into Beaufort. Past Beaufort and if you have time take a side trip down to Harkers Island they still build boats the old way.. from wood! If you still have some time catch the ferry from Harkers island out to the Cape Lookout national seashore.
After Harkers Island you can ride on out Rt 70 to Rt 12 and then to Cedar Island where you catch the Ocracoke ferry to Ocracoke Island(outer banks) from here you can either ride up the outer banks to Nags Head or catch another ferry to Swanquarter. I have ridden both routes. The outer banks are nice but if the winds are not in your favor it can be a tough ride especially during tourist season.

From Swanquarter you would ride north on US 264 to Nags head (this route follows the ICW pretty close) From Nags head you would take US158 north about 40 miles till you see Rt 168 to your right, ride that road to the Currituck Ferry. The ferry will take you across the sound to Rt 615 north which will take you to Va Beach.

Last edited by velonomad; 12-10-05 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-10-05, 03:39 AM   #6
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One of the Nastiest sections and also longest that you cannot bypass on 17 between beaufort and CHS is the Ace Basin. It is maybe 10 miles and bad. no shoulder, and high speed limit. Not Good. Charleston- MB shouldn't be too bad, thwere are several alternates that I cant hink of off top of the head. will look at map and repost with reccs.
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