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Posts Tagged ‘Columbia SC’

Take Your Family River Tubing in Columbia, SC

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Are you wondering where to go river tubing? Columbia, SC brings that famously hot (and humid!) South Carolina summer that’s perfect for a refreshing float down a river. Sounds great, but now you may be wondering, where are the places to go tubing near me? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some river tubing spots in Columbia, SC!

Where to go river tubing: Columbia, SC

River Tubing is a Fun and Relaxing Way to Beat the Heat!

We do our best to stay relaxed and cooled off this time of year, which is no easy feat.  One great way to beat the heat this summer is by taking a dip in one of the many rivers running through Columbia. And what better way to experience the river than floating down it in a tube?

River tubing has been a popular pastime in our city for a long time and for good reason! It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Canoe and kayak rentals

Best Way to Go River Tubing: Columbia, SC

Columbia has several options for river-tubing. Whether you’re an experienced tuber, or looking for your first adventure, here are a couple of the best ways to go river tubing in Columbia, SC:

Tubing at Saluda Shoals Park

Saluda Shoals Park offers one of the best options for a beginner! This is my family’s favorite spot for a quick river outing. It’s such a convenient location with parking right near the launch ramp.

You enter Saluda Shoals at the main entrance and follow the signs for the boat ramp/river. When you arrive, there’s a small shack in the parking lot where you can rent tubes and pay for a shuttle service from the staff. The tube rental is $15 and it includes shuttle service. The shuttle service will follow you to the exit of the river in your car, and then shuttle you back to the launch ramp. That way when you exit the river your car is ready and waiting for you!

There’s usually a decent amount of people enjoying the river on a nice day so if you’re unsure of where to go just follow the crowd! It can take about 1 – 1.5 hours to float from the entrance to the exit, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some adorable river otters on the way!

Saluda Shoals River

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Saluda Shoals with more information about all the fun things this Columbia park offers.

Tubing at Palmetto Outdoors

If you’re looking for a more adventurous tubing experience, Palmetto Outdoors might be the choice for you!

Palmetto Outdoors offers a really great river tubing trip for different size groups, down the Lower Saluda River. They have an online scheduling service as well as a cash-only walk-up reservation! They make it super simple and fun to make a day of being on the river.

The 3-hour-long excursion ranges from the Riverbanks Zoo to the Gervais Street Bridge. This portion of the Saluda does contain class II rapids so children under 10 are not permitted.

Shuttle times are offered 7 days a week during their open season at the top of every hour from 10 am – 3 pm on Saturdays and 12 pm – 3 pm all other days. They meet you at the West Columbia Riverwalk with equipment ready to go.

The standard tube rental is $20 per person and this includes the shuttle service. There are several rental options so check out their website for more details!

Grab and Go Tube Rentals

Have another place you want to float on a tube? Palmetto Outdoors offers a grab-and-go option for $15. There’s no shuttle with this option, but you can take the tube wherever you’d like as long as you have it back by 7 pm.

Lake Murray is a popular spot to bring the tubes.

Canoe and Kayak

Palmetto Outfitters also offers kayak and guided tours! Paddle Congaree National Park with them or try a guided kayak trip to see Spider Lilies.

Plan Your Next River Tubing Adventure

River tubing is such a fun and unique way to discover the beauty of Columbia’s waterways. With multiple options for renting tubes and exploring the rivers, you’re sure to find an experience that works for you and your family!

Tubing near Greenville, SC

If not, check out these tubing options in the Upstate and WNC area. These will make a totally awesome summer day trip.

No matter which option you choose, you can’t go wrong with spending some time outdoors getting some Vitamin D, and floating your worries away in a refreshingly cool river.

Do’s and Don’ts for River Tubing

  • Do wear a life jacket. Most places include life jacket rentals but ask just in case. Don’t skip a life jacket, even if you’re a good swimmer.
  • Do bring sunscreen and a hat.
  • Do bring water shoes, bottled water, and snacks. Don’t bring things can’t lose, like jewelry, car keys, and cell phones.
  • Do take along a long stick to use to maneuver the tube.
  • Don’t bring alcohol – most places don’t allow it anyways.
  • If a waiver is required, do download and sign it in advance. This will save you time!
  • Do read all the rules and regulations of whatever place you choose. They are all different.
  • Do bring a towel and change of clothes that you can use after your trip.

Where to splash and swim: Columbia, SC

Looking for more places to beat the heat? Here’s our giant list of places to splash and swim in Columbia, SC.

25+ Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free (or Cheap): Columbia, SC

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Are you on the hunt for restaurants where kids eat free in Columbia, SC? Look no further! Whether you’re looking for freebies, general deals, or sweet discounts, we’ve got a comprehensive list of restaurants to cover it all. 

Kids Eat Free in Columbia, SC

We know taking your family out to eat can get quite pricey, not to mention chaotic. So, we made this easy and called each of the listed restaurants below to get their promotions confirmed. However, please keep in mind that these promotions can change rapidly so it’s always a good idea to triple-check before you go. 


Free Movies for Summer, Plus Super Cheap Options in Columbia, SC

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Are you wondering where you can find free movies for summer in Columbia, SC? Regal Movies, the Town of Blythewood, the Icehouse Amphitheater, and The Big Mo are hosting summer movie events that your whole family will love! Below we’ve got the details on where you can see movies for free or super budget-friendly this summer. 

Let’s Go to the Summer Movies: Columbia, SC  

It’s no secret that taking your family to the movies can be quite expensive – the tickets, popcorn, drinks, and candy all add up QUICK! Maybe you’ve even got a toddler or two that you’re just not sure are ready to make it through a whole movie in a crowded, evening theater, but taking them during the day or even to an outdoor venue might seem a little more manageable!

This summer we found great options to not only make going to the movies cheap but also fun and memorable for your whole tribe. Try these summer movies for kids and families this year and don’t break the bank to do it!

free movies for summer, Columbia, SC

25+ Summer Activities in Columbia, SC

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School break is here and you need some super fun summer activities in Columbia? We have some great ideas! From where to swim, to the perfect splash pad, amazing summer day trips, and even the best indoor places to play, summer is full of fun in Columbia, SC! Use our list as a springboard to all the amazing adventures you will have this summer!

Summer Guide to Columbia,, SC

Top Summer in Columbia Quick Links:
Summer Camp Guide to Columbia
VBS in Columbia, SC
Places to Cool Off, Swim, and Splash
Free Things in Columbia

Looking for more? See our HUGE guide of Things to Do in Columbia with kids’ activities, family adventures, and more for every season.


30+ Places For Your Family to Cool Off, Splash Around, and Swim Near Columbia, SC

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Looking for a place to splash, swim, or cool off in Columbia, SC? Beat the heat this summer in “famously hot” Columbia, SC with some swimming at a Columbia, SC splash pad, public pool, or swimming hole! With temperatures quickly approaching the mid-90’s and only getting hotter, it’s almost impossible to not be around water for much longer.

Whether you’re looking for splash pads, public pools, lake and river access, or water parks we’ve got it all! Below you will find an extensive list of outdoor places in and around Columbia to cool off with your family this summer, and the good news is, the majority of them are FREE!  

Where to splash and swim: Columbia, SC

Water safety is so important! Please always be cautious and aware of your children while in and around water. Some of the places listed may not have on-duty lifeguards. Swim at your own risk and be sure to always check for dangers, wear lifejackets when appropriate, and stay alert.    


Time for Brunch? Columbia, SC’s Premier Brunch Destinations

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Are you looking for a great brunch spot in Columbia, SC? Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Columbia has a variety of options to satisfy your brunch cravings. From classic breakfast fare to unique twists on traditional dishes, this guide is organized by location, making it easy for you to find the perfect brunch spot in your area.

Explore the brunch offerings in Downtown Columbia, Five Points, and West Columbia, and discover new favorites along the way.

Enjoy a delicious brunch in Columbia, SC

Brunch in Downtown Columbia & The Vista

Market on Main

A sophisticated brunch destination featuring truffle frites, alongside an array of salads, gourmet burgers, and breakfast-style sandwiches

Market on Main
1320 Main Street #150
Columbia, SC, 29201

My family loves going to Market on Main for brunch! It’s so fun to sit outside and listen to music while we dine. Some of my favorite dishes are their Truffle Frites, Griddled Banana Bread, Brunch Bowl, and the Wagyu Burger! And I never leave without having one of their famous Bloody Mary’s! 

Kelly J.

The Toasty Hot Spot

A family-owned brunch spot offering a variety of sandwiches and breakfast-style items.

The Toasty Hot Spot
1305 Lady Street
Columbia, SC, 29201


A delightful brunch restaurant, offering a diverse menu including granola and yogurt bowls, tartines, bowls, and sandwiches.

709 Gervais Street 
Columbia, SC, 29201

Crepes & Croissants

A French-style brunch restaurant with a selection of sweet and savory crepes, along with croissant sandwiches, pastries, and coffee.

Crepes & Croissants
1465 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Motor Supply Company Bistro

Motor Supply Company Bistro offers a sustainable farm-to-table dining experience with house-butchered meats, locally sourced produce, and South Carolina seafood. Reservations are recommended.

Motor Supply Company Bistro
920 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Sandwich Depot

Sandwich Depot lives up to their name, serving a variety of sandwiches with their breakfast and lunch, which are served all-day

Sandwich Depot
1211 Taylor Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Spotted Salamander Cafe and Catering

This restaurant offers Southern dishes featuring a rotating menu of seasonal and unique produce and meats, along with daily freshly baked treats.

Spotted Salamander Cafe and Catering
1531 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201


This Italian-style deli would fit right in up in NYC. They offer signature sandwiches and a special brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. It includes all the traditional brunch favorites like pancakes and French Toast, plus eggs and dishes with a unique flare like the Monte Cristo French Toast Sandwich.

342 Pickens Street
Columbia, SC 29205

 I like Di Prato’s because of all the classic southern staples they have on the menu. My favorite thing to order is the pimento cheese!

Patrick S.

Brunch in Five Points & Shandon

The Gourmet Shop

A classic Columbia brunch spot with outdoor seating and a variety of sandwiches, bakery items, lunch, and breakfast options.

The Gourmet Shop
724 Saluda Avenue
Columbia, SC 29205

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli

A charming spot with a wide variety of breakfast and lunch menu items, including an assortment of unique cinnamon roll flavors.

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
2617 Devine Street
Columbia, SC, 29223

Rosewood Market

A food market with a deli featuring a diverse menu featuring daily specials, and a variety of brunch items, catering to all appetites and dietary preferences, 

Rosewood Market Deli
2803 Rosewood Drive
Columbia, SC 29205


A dog-friendly restaurant in Five Points offering fresh and local food made from scratch.

2013 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29205

Henry’s Restaurant

Henry’s Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with brunch options. They also have a location in West Columbia!

Henry’s Restaurant
2865 Devine Street
Columbia, SC 29205

Brunch in Irmo & West Columbia

Cafe Strudel

A popular spot for brunch with a creative menu featuring dishes like shrimp & grits and crab cakes.

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Cafe Strudel.

Cafe Strudel
300 State Street
West Columbia, SC 29169

I love going to Cafe Strudel for brunch! I almost always order the “Hangover Hashbrowns.” And you can’t beat the self-service coffee bar or freshly squeezed orange juice! Along with the delicious menu, I also love the location. After brunch my family and I like to head over to the WeCo Riverwalk or to some of the antique shops and boutiques just around the corner.

Kayla S.
Brunch at Cafe Strudel

The Hideout in WeCo

A local café offering counter service, indoor, and outdoor seating serving cafe-style breakfast and lunch options

The Hideout in WeCo
118 State Street
West Columbia, SC 29169

The Bistreaux by Fleur de Licious

A Cajun & Creole-style restaurant offering classic, New Orleans-style breakfast and lunch options, with special events throughout the year.

Fleur de Licious
2700 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29210

Chayz Lounge

An upscale “Jazz Bistro” with classic brunch selections, salads, and signature menu options.

Chayz Lounge
607 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169

Denny’s Classic Diner

Family friendly diner open 24 hours with good service, great food, and retro vibe!

Denny’s Classic Diner
342 Harbison Blvd
Columbia, SC 29212

When it comes to satisfying your brunch cravings in Columbia, you’ll have an abundance of choices to indulge in. But don’t just take our word for it! Check out each restaurant’s website for menus and hours, and then embark on your own culinary exploration.

Tell us! Have you tried any of these fantastic brunch spots? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

Columbia, SC Restaurants: where to eat out

The best restaurants in Columbia are right here.

The Premier Guide to Restaurants in Columbia, SC

2024 Vacation Bible Schools: Free VBS Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for 2024 VBS programs near Columbia, SC for your children? VBS programs bring together summer fun, crafts, games, and friends often without any cost. If you’re looking for VBS programs in the Columbia area, wondering “Where is a free VBS near me?” you’ve come to the right place. We’ve pulled together the important details for VBS programs happening this year. We’ll keep updating this list as we get closer to summer, so bookmark and check back frequently.

Add your VBS! If you are a coordinator for a VBS program and would like your program listed, please email Maria@Kiddingaroundgreenville.com.

VBS Columbia, SC, the answer to "Where is a free VBS near me?"

We’ll be updating this list throughout the VBS season. Check back soon for more options!


Ideas for Everyone! Things to Do Outside: Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for things to do outside in Columbia, SC? The weather is finally gorgeous, and you’re looking for spectacular things to do to enjoy this beautiful day. That sunshine and breezy fresh air is calling your name. Good news! You’re here on the Kidding Around Outdoor Guide to Columbia. And, what does that get you? Lots and lots of family-friendly ideas about how to enjoy a perfect day outside, plus all the information you need to know to make it happen.

So, what are you waiting for? Snatch up one of these ideas for things to do outside! Columbia, SC adventure waiting.

Things to Do Outside: Columbia, SC

Outdoor Things to Do in Columbia for Everyone

We have real ideas for families, by the way. You’ll find outdoor fun here for families with little kids, older kids, teens, couples, and ideas that fit every budget. Totally free ways to enjoy outdoor things to do in Columbia, SC? We have them.

This outdoor list is for everyone in Columbia, SC.

Parks and Playgrounds

Go for an hour or go a whole afternoon. Pack a picnic with some favorite snacks to really maximize the fun. Just don’t forget a hat and some suncreen!

The playground at Carraway Park in West Columbia
Carraway Park

Carraway Park: Great for kids of all ages in West Columbia, SC

Leo's Landing Playground in Columbia, SC at Saluda Shoals
Leo’s Landing

Leo’s Landing: Very large, inclusive playground at Saluda Shoals in Irmo, SC. ($5 per vehicle, or $55 per year)

Playground at Elmwood Roy Lynch Park in Columbia, SC
Elmwood Roy Lynch Park

Elmwood Roy Lynch Park: Splash pad, zipline, and playgrounds

Hiking in Columbia

You’ve got sneakers, water bottle, and maybe some bug spray. You’ve filled up a backpack with trail mix and favorite snacks. You’re ready for some hiking in Columbia, SC. All you need now is the perfect trail, and that’s where we come in.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Discover Sesquicentennial State Park! This is one of South Carolina State Parks’ most unique parks. We love that this park has a splash pad for summer fun! Don’t forget you can purchase an annual membership to the state park system that will grant you entrance to all 47 South Carolina State Parks for a year.

Kayak rentals at Sesquicentennial State Park
  • Summertime splash pad
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Dog park
  • Playground

Sesquicentennial State Park
9564 Two Notch Road, Columbia SC 29223

Congaree National Park

Kayak, Canoe, and hike at Congaree National Park in Hopkins, SC. Take advantage of ranger-led programs like the Owl Prowl, explore an old-growth forest, and see native wildlife. It’s a unique national park you don’t want to miss!

Three Rivers Greenway trails in Columbia, SC

Three Rivers Greenway Trail: Paved trails to enjoy along the river. Free!

Harbison State Forest has a variety of trails, including an ADA-compliant trail!

Harbison State Forest, Columbia, SC

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve has the midlands’ only naturally occurring waterfall!

Sports Teams in Columbia

Root for the home team at these Columbia, SC sports teams.

Root for the home team!

Columbia’s local sports teams

Riverbanks Zoo

There’s so much to see at Riverbanks Zoo. You can spend the day checking out the bears, giraffes, penguins, sea lions, and more.

But River Banks Zoo is also home to an arboretum and Waterfall Junction, which is a splash pad area and a playground. It’s a full day of fun in one spot.

Giraffe at Riverbanks Zoo
Waterfall Junction

Riverbanks Zoo
500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia

Eudora Farms

At Eudora Farms Wildlife Safari Drive-Thru you’ll be able to drive through fields of animals like llamas, camels, cattle, goats, antelope, ostriches, emu, and more. Food for the animals is available for purchase, which you can offer them as you drive along.

Zebra at Eudora Farms
Cows at Eudora Farm

Eudora Farms
219 Salem Lane, Salley SC

Petting Zoos Near Columbia

Farms in Columbia, SC to visit

Ride a pony or get lost in a maze; there’s fun to be found at these farms near Columbia, SC.

Enjoy the water- splash pads and more!

Where to splash and swim: Columbia, SC

Where can you enjoy the water in Columbia?

Here are 30+ places where you can swim and splash!

Fishing in Columbia, SC: fishing spots that are great for kids

9+ Great places to take the kids fishing in Columbia, SC

Bonus: Did you know you can borrow a pole and tackle for free?

Lakes in Columbia, SC

Lake Murray

Lake Murray Lexington ,SC

Lake Murray Public Park

Enjoy the beach area and swim with the kids at Lake Murray Park in Lexington, SC.

Paddleboard on Lake Murray: California Republic SUP

Rent Paddleboards on Lake Murray!

California Republic SUP offers very affordable paddleboard rentals on Lake Murray.

Dreher Island State Park sits on several islands in Lake Murray. From there you can access hiking and camping as well as all that Lake Murray has to offer.

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Camping

Lake Monticello

Managed by SC DNR, Lake Monticello is available for fishing, boating, and swimming.

Love hanging out at the lake? Check out more Lakes in the Carolinas.


Looking for more things to do?

Things to do Columbia, SC

Fun Days Start Here!

See all the fun, amazing things to do in Columbia, SC

7+ Family-Friendly Summer Festivals in Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for summer festivals near Columbia, SC? Now, the weather has warmed, school is almost over, and already it’s festival season! If you’re planning to get out in Columbia and build memories and experiences this summer, festivals can be a great way to dip your toes in something new. Columbia has festivals year-round, but here are some family-friendly festivals coming up to take in this famously hot season.

First off, get ready to kick things off with some Southern eats!

Summer festivals in Columbia SC

ThunderFest ’24

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Head to Irmo and check out this local music festival at Midland’s Technical College’s Harbison Theater. There will be artists, dancers, musicians, food trucks, art, and more. More information at the ThunderFest website.

Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College St, Irmo, SC
12 pm – 5 pm

Rosewood Crawfish Festival

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Of course, in typical Rosewood neighborhood fashion, this event promises to be full of live music and local artisans. It’s family-friendly, with things for kids including rides, face painting, and crawdad races. Also, kids 12 and under get in free! This event also includes a 5k that begins at 9:30 am and includes free festival admission. This is the Rosewood Crawfish Festival website.

State Fair Grounds at 1200 Rosewood Drive Columbia, SC 29201.
11 am – 7 pm
Tickets are $12 presale and $15 day of

Pickin’ and Piggin’ at the Park (SCBA)

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Or, if you’re feeling a little more down to earth, enjoy more than 20 BBQ cooks best at this cook-off in the park. Beer will also be available for purchase. The event is all-you-can-eat at Columbia’s most accessible park with music by Randy Lucas Trio. See the Pickin’ and Piggin’ website for more.

Saluda Shoal’s Park, 5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212 United States
11 am – 1:30 pm
Adults (13+) $15
Children (12 and Under) $5

Main Street Caribbean Festival

June 6th – June 9th , 2024

Next up, another family-friendly, cultural festival. What’s more, it’s free! So, trek right down to Main Street between Richmond and Laurel Streets to experience this big Caribbean Block Party. Find out more about the Main Street Caribbean Festival, part of South Carolina Carnival.

1800 Block Main Street Columbia, SC 29201
Thursday, June 6th from 7 pm – 12 am
Friday, June 7th from 11 am – 3 pm
Saturday, June 8th from 12 pm – 8 pm
Sunday, June 9th from 11 am – 3 pm

Juneteenth Festival

June 15th, 2024

It’s time to celebrate freedom, black heritage, and more at this family-friendly event. It offers many activities including food, games, live music, artistic performances, and local vendors. For more, see the Juneteenth Festival website.

421 Bush River Road, Columbia SC 29210
Ticket Price TBA

Columbia’s 9th Annual Shrimp and Grits Festival

June 22, 2024

According to the Shrimp and Grits Festival official website, there will be unlimited Shrimp & Grits, live music, and prizes! Restaurants around the Midlands will be offering their version of Shrimp & Grits and it’s your turn to find out who has the best! Also, there will be a winner in the “People’s Choice” division, and “tickets include unlimited shrimp and grits samples from participating restaurants and live music.”

Seawell’s Catering, 1125 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29201
6 pm- 9 pm
Children $25
Adults $45

Looking for 4th of July Festivals and Events? We have a whole article about that!

Celebrate the 4th of July in Columbia, SC!

Southeast Crab Festival

July 13, 2024

Obviously, this festival will include crabs, but that’s not all. It actually has all-you-can-eat blue crabs! There will also be fish and chips as well as drinks for sale. You can bring in your own toppings, but please no coolers. This event boasts being both a long-standing state tradition of outdoor seafood cooking and a family-friendly event. Tickets will be limited to reduce crowds. Get tickets online at the Southeast Crab Feast website and collect them at Will Call with ID.

Tickets starting at $17.50

Still Hungry for More?

Free fun for kids at the Sumter Iris Festival

Bonus: Sumter Iris Festival

May 23rd through the 26th, 2024

Iris Festival in Sumter, SC at Swan Lake

Don’t forget the Sumter County Iris Festival is about an hour’s drive on Memorial Day Weekend. It offers lots of FREE fun for the family, so this is one you don’t want to miss!

And, Soda City Comic Con is in August.

There are also car shows, 5ks, and more in Columbia this summer. The Kidding Around Columbia Event Page is where you can find more events.

Let us know about your favorite festivals and summer activities below!

Everyone Can Enjoy the Outdoors: Harbison State Forest in Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for a fun and exciting outdoor adventure for the whole family? Look no further than Harbison State Forest! With over 2,177 acres of forest, trails, and waterways, Harbison State Forest is the perfect destination for a family outing. Harbison State Forest even has an ADA-compliant trail so everyone can enjoy the outdoors together!

Harbison State Forest, Columbia, SC

Hiking Trails at Harbison State Forest

Harbison State Forest offers a variety of trails suitable for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, Harbison has something for everyone. The forest boasts over 20-miles of hiking and biking trails, which wind through the woods, past lakes and streams, and over challenging terrain.

These trails are dog friendly so bring your furry family members along for the walk!

My family really enjoys the Spider Woman II Loop for a quick hike, view of the Broad River, and a picnic! It passes by the Broad River with restrooms and picnic areas at the parking entrance.

If you’re bringing little ones, the Discovery trail is kid friendly and doesn’t permit mountain bikers which makes it a little safer for letting your kids roam freely. All other trails are shared between walkers and bikes.

ADA Trail at Harbison State Forest

Harbison Forest now has an ADA-accessible trail and shelter! The 1.1 Eagle ADA Pathway trail is accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Its wide and flat, and made of hard-packed gravel. The shelter has ramp access and on-site accessible parking.

See more about this new addition to Harbison Forest, from the Friends of Harbison State Forest in the video below.

More to do at Harbison State Forest

In addition to hiking and biking, Harbison State Forest also offers a range of other outdoor activities. You can bring your own canoe or kayak and paddle down the Broad River, go fishing in one of the two lakes, or have a picnic at one of the many areas scattered throughout the forest.

There is even GEOcaching set up throughout the forest! Visit the Harbison State Forest website to see where you can obtain the coordinates.

Wildlife to see

This forest is also home to a variety of wildlife. During our adventures we’ve caught site of some squirrels, lizards, and hawks, but if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, or even the occasional coyote or bobcat. This also is a popular spot for birdwatching, with over 160 species of birds recorded in the area.

Visiting the forest

Rest assured your family will be safe and comfortable during your visit. The forest is staffed by rangers during all open hours! There are also restroom facilities, drinking fountains, and shelters located throughout the forest.

Visiting Harbison State Forest is a great way to connect with nature and spend quality time with your family. With so many activities to choose from, you can create memories that will last a lifetime. So why wait?

Here’s a Harbison State Forest Map to help!

Parking permits for the forest are only $5 per day or $25 for a year pass. Parking is located at the main entrance off of Broad River Road, and it fills up fast on the weekends so try and get there early! Plan your trip to Harbison State Forest today and experience all the beauty and excitement that South Carolina has to offer!

5600 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29212
Main Gate hours are 9 am to 4:30 pm
Monday through Friday the road to the interior portions of the park is closed, due to staffing shortages. The park can be accessed via trails from the main parking lot or the Environmental Education Center.

Family Hiking Trails in Columbia, SC

If you’re looking for even more great hiking ideas, check out our guide for Hikes in Columbia.

Things to Do Outside: Columbia, SC

Spend more time outside!

The Outdoor Guide to Columbia, SC