More on the water
Columbia is one of the few large cities where you can play in top-notch whitewater and get out of the river a block away from top-notch restaurants. (Hint: All cities have the restaurants; few have the rapids.)
Looking for a challenge?
Mountain bikers in the Midlands flock to the state forests and state parks.
For a list of mountain biking trails in the area (and statewide) go to www.sctrails.net/Trails/alltrails/mountainbike/MTN%20BIKE.html
Speaking of trails...
Hiking trails abound in the Columbia area, offering everything from a stroll along the rivers downtown to a jaunt through one of the last old-growth bottomland forests in the country.
Here are hiking suggestions for the area:
For an easy, picturesque hike, try the Three Rivers Greenway, which is a collective name for all of the paved trails along the downtown sections of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers. The best sections include Riverfront Park in Columbia and the Cayce and West Columbia Riverwalks.
The top nature trail network in the area is at Congaree National Park in southern Richland County. The 2.5-mile boardwalk trail gives a good taste of the park’s huge trees and amazing biodiversity. To get into the edge of the old-growth forest, try one of the longer dirt paths — the 11.1-mile King Snake Trail or the 10.4-mile River Trail.