In Charleston, South Carolina a shared bike-pedestrian path runs over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
This 2.7 mile long path is known as Wonders Way. The path is named after cyclist Garrett Wonders who died in a vehicle-on-bike collision while training for the Olympic Trials in 2004. The pathway and bridge connect the town of Mount Pleasant to the City of Charleston over the Cooper River.
I started on the Mt. Pleasant side. The bridge path can be pretty easily accessed from the Mount Pleasant visitor through the Memorial Waterfront Park. It’s a short, gradual walk up to footpath access.
When I walked across Wonders Way it was a blustery fall day. The height of the bridge combined with the sometimes slim width of the path made it a difficult trek and a kind-of core workout to keep my balance!
The bridge runs right over Drum Island and offers unparalleled views of Charleston, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (complete with battleships), the Cooper River, and the Atlantic Ocean. It also broadens out at a couple nice viewing points where there are benches to take in the panoramic vistas.
The bridge drops off on E. Bay Street in Charleston. This was described to me by a local as the old factory district, a part of the city where, for example, a former cigar factory was refurbished into a hip market.
If that’s not your scene, keep walking for a more historic take on the city. You can follow E. Bay Street into the French Quarter and beyond that, down to the very tip of the peninsula where the road turns into Battery.
Regardless of your tourist taste, be sure to add Wonders Way to your Charleston itinerary. It’s a short enough walk and one that on a clear day (or sunset!) won’t disappoint.