Thanksgiving: A day when eating too much is required, tolerating the relatives’ political views is exhausting and the football games are often boring.
By the time the leftovers are stashed away and half the family is sprawled napping on the furniture, you may need to sneak away.
Take a walk.
While much of the world is closed for business on Thanksgiving Day, local parks offer a respite from food and family chaos.
Here are some local spots where you can burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories (and make room for pie):
Congaree National Park: The Visitor’s Center will be closed but the trails will be available for those who would like to walk “near” the river and through the woods. Congaree National Park has more than 20,000 acres of wilderness to explore with nine trails ranging from .3-11.7 miles. Trail maps are available outside the Visitor’s Center. 100 National Park Road, Hopkins. www.nps.gov/cong/
Harbison State Forest: This is another “near” the river and through the woods place. Harbison Forest has 18 miles of trails designed for walking, jogging, hiking and bicycling that range from moderately easy to difficult. 5600 Broad River Road. www.state.sc.us/forest/refharb.htm#locat
Riverfront Park: The park, which separates the Historic Columbia Canal and the Congaree River, is approximately 167 acres with a 2 ½ mile walking trail between the canal and river. 312 Laurel St. www.columbiasc.net/parks-recreation/facilities/regional-parks
Finlay Park: The downtown Columbia park has 18-acres to stroll around. A block to the south, Memorial Park is another option, offering four acres bordered by Hampton, Gadsden, Washington and Wayne Streets. This park was created to serve as a memorial to those who served their country. 930 Laurel St. (Finlay) and 700 Hampton St. (Memorial). www.columbiasc.net/parks-recreation/facilities/regional-parks
Sesquicentennial Park: This Northeast Richland park offers 1,400 acres with four walking trails ranging from .5-6.1 miles. 9564 Two Notch Road. www.southcarolinaparks.com/sesqui/