Myrtle Beach State Park Run

Jul 6, 2011 by

Myrtle Beach State Park Run

Myrtle Beach State Park Pier

One of my goals in starting this blog was to highlight various state parks, forests and other destinations in South Carolina as places to go run.  My first attempt at such a highlight is Myrtle Beach State Park.

Back in June, my family and I headed to Myrtle Beach for our summer vacation, as I highlighted in a previous post, Vacation Running.  While there, I planned to visit Myrtle Beach State Park to check out the trails for a run.  This summer, one of my main goals is to hit the shade more.  These trails gave me a chance to do just that.

I checked out the official park website to get an idea of what to expect.  The park is located  at the south end of Myrtle Beach, close to the airport. I saw the park had 2 trails,  the Yaupon Trail and the Sculptured Oak Trail, totaling about 1 mile. OK, not much length, but they sounded interesting.   The site provides this descriptions:  “The “Sculptured Oak Nature Trail” provides a rare opportunity to see one of the last stands of maritime forest on the northern coast of South Carolina”. So off I went.

Myrtle Beach State Park Entrance

Park Entrance

The admission to the park is listed on the site, but I was by myself, so it cost $5 to get in.  I drove right in and found a parking space near the pier entrance.  Neither the beach nor the facilities were crowded.  There were several shelters and picnic tables for use.  A few families appeared to be having parties at shelters.  I checked out the pier and the beach before I headed back up to the trail entrance.  Heading down the trail was like stepping into another world.

Trail Beginning

The run was not difficult at all.
Of course, it was pretty much flat, and the main obstacles were a few roots.  I was wearing my New Balance Minimus Trail shoes, but any shoe would do for this trail.  This would probably be a good trail for a beginner barefoot runner to try as well.



Myrtle Beach State Park Pond

Entrance to Sculptured Oak Trail


The paths were a little less than a mile total, so I went down to the pond first, but the lack rain had left it pretty much dried up.  I then went back down the main trail and hung a right down the Yaupon trail until it came out in the parking lot near the beach.



A little ways back up to the left was the entrance to the Scultpured Oak trail. I took it back to the trail beginning. Overall, on the paths, I covered a bit less than 2 miles.  I then decided to go for 3 total and ran on the road through the campground section of the park.

Plank Bridge on Trail

At the end of 3 miles, the temperatures were getting pretty warm, and I was about out of water in my handheld bottle, so I called it a day and headed back to the condo. Overall, I enjoyed the trip.  $5 well spent.  If you are visiting the Myrtle Beach area, take the family for a visit to the park.  There were additional  activities and a playground in the park to occupy them for a bit while you run.  Better yet, take them with you on the trail. POFIFOTO!

Beautiful Live Oak



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Vacation Running

Jun 28, 2011 by

I suppose many people go on vacation to relax and do a lot of nothing besides eating, sitting by the pool and building sand castles on the beach. I like to do those things, too, but I look at vacation as a chance to do either more or different running. A few weeks ago, our family traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC. I had in the back of my mind to do a couple of runs different from the usual street runs at home. First, I wanted to run on the beach. No brainer there, many people give this a shot while at the beach. Second, I wanted to check out the trails at Myrtle Beach State Park to provide a destinations write-up for this blog. I did both, and I’ll post about the state park soon. For now, I want to mention a couple of tips for vacation running.


Tip #1: Plan ahead
For me, vacation running takes a little bit of forethought, because I have become pretty peculiar about my running comfort. Unlike home, where your closet is easily accessible, you need to make sure you have the right gear for the vacation run. This means thinking ahead about the number of days you plan to run and on what type of surfaces you’ll encounter. For this trip, that meant packing 3 pairs of shoes that I wanted to try on various surfaces – Saucony Kinvaras for the road, New Balance Minimus Trails for a beach test and a trail run, and Vibram Five Fingers KSO’s for a test on the beach. This also means two different types of sock for me. My favorite Injinis (Toe socks) don’t do well with my Kinvaras (toe box too narrow), so I use Wright Sock SLT’s for the Kinvaras. The Injinis work great with the NB Minimus Trails, though. Then I just made sure I had enough shorts, shirts and hats. Oh yeah – can’t forget my GPS watch, heart rate monitor, iPod, headphones..and I think that was about it. To reduce my luggage footprint, I crammed all that into a smaller bag, instead of my normal run gear bag.

Sunrise at Myrtle Beach

Tip #2: Communicate your plans to the family
This is probably a good thing to do whether on vacation or not, especially when it comes to longer runs that take much more time. I decided I wanted one of my runs to be at sunrise to take some pictures (see above) and beat the heat. This meant getting out of bed about 5:30am. I told my wife of the plan the day before, and while she grumbled something about crazy under her breath, she at least expected the possibility of sleep interruption that morning. The weather didn’t fully cooperate for my pictures. There were thunderstorms in the area and it was fairly cloudy. However, I decided against a second try for the sunrise pictures. The rain held off and I completed 5 miles on the beach in my New Balance Minimus Trails.

Tip #3: If getting up early, have everything laid out and be quiet
As I mentioned before, I planned to get out of our condo before sunrise. So, the best place for me to have my gear was in the bathroom, so I could turn on a light to get ready without disturbing my wife. Unfortunately, the alarm had already bothered her, but at least I didn’t hit snooze! If you are taking a water bottle with you, have it already in the fridge and ready to go. One final piece to this tip, which no longer applies to me. If you have kids that are at risk of waking as you leave due the size of your vacation housing or proximity to your room or whatever, and these kids won’t go back to sleep if you wake them, then do not consider an early run 🙂 ! If you wake the kids and leave the room and your wife has to get her day started on the wrong foot like this, then you have just made a bad move. I’m not saying I have any personal experience with this. I’m just giving you the heads up.

Tip #4: If possible, scope out routes before hand
Final tip. Since you are on vacation, obviously you are in less familiar surroundings than home. It is a good idea to check out any possible routes before hand. In the car is probably preferable to Google maps or Map This way you get a feel for possible problems along the way, like possible dogs, dead ends, suspect areas, etc.

That’s it for now. I hope you get to go on a vacation this year, and I hope you get out to explore by run or walk.


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