Guignard Clay Quarry Loop Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near West Columbia, South Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
Loop trail through the wetlands in the Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve.
A little hidden gem, this is a nice trail if you're looking for a bit of an afternoon wetland getaway. Keep in mind, though, that much of it is impassable after a heavy rain.
It was hard to find road access to the trail, but the trail itself was gorgeous. My dog and I had a great time, as we came across no other people, but several squirrels, deer, and possibly an alligator. The trail does get muddy and narrow at some points, and the trail markers are not always prominent. We had to do some occasional searching to get back on the path. Overall it was a nice little hike, perfect for a beginner or novice hiker looking for somewhere quiet to explore. It will probably become a regular spot for my dog and I.
My favorite hike in the Columbia area. The Congaree Heritage Preserve land "is full of history in the,from Native Americans, to Civil War Battles, to being the place where the clay was dug ( at least owned and dug by the same company created them) , that created many of the bricks in the area, including those on the USC Horse Shoe. The terrain is gorgeous, but could be tough for some. Lovely "beach" area alongside the creek about halfway.
I may try it again when it is cooler but today the bugs were excessive.
seemed like a neat place if I could have slowed down to enjoy the environment.
My 4 star rating is due to proximity to town, unusual landscape and overall trail condition. A very nice relatively short day hike. I was here with the family in mid April 2016. Most of the flood damage from 2015 seems to have repaired. Some areas had heavy exposed roots that could result in unstable footing for some. The were no bug or snakes...yay! Regrettably we did not see any alligators .
Watch where you walk and be prepared for having to be creative to avoid mud and puddles. Some parts can be challenging. The trail was well marked.
If you have been to the Congaree National Forest and enjoyed it, you will definitely enjoy this. I rated it a 5 because these sweet single track trails are only a hop and a skip away from the madness of downtown Columbia. The entire area are flood plains, and the ecosystem is vast. For runners out there, prepare for a technical run due to the abundance of roots along the trail. Also, don't forget the bug spray!
Great easy trail! If it has been raining in the area you will definitely need boots. Bug spray is a must! We will need to return in dryer weather because part of the loop was washed out.
This was a decent hike. I wish I had read more about the history of the area before setting out. I would recommend this page another reviewer found... http://bartoliniville.us/scrr/in/brick/gbw/index.html .
I did not see any alligators but there were parts of the trail where I expected they may be lurking. I did startle a deer in the area around the power lines.
Much of the trail is somewhat overgrown, but you can still find your way thanks to good trail markers. I had to crawl under a couple of blowdowns. Be careful if there has been a lot of rain as parts of the trail will be wet.
Lastly, take your bug spray!
This trail is in the Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve. Lots of cool history and in the summer you will find alligators here. This is about as far inland as they go.
Try this one at night in the spring/early summer. The firefly display is unbelievable. You have to see it to believe it.
It was a very interesting hike for us and my four sons really enjoyed it. We even saw two alligators at two different spots sunning themselves! But with all the recent rain, the trail was extremely muddy and in many places, the trail was a creek itself. The trail markers were very helpful to keep us on track when we had to go around large areas of water that made the trail impassable. We also found raccoon and deer tracks in many places which was fun for my kids.
I love this trail. Easy to hike unless it has been raining a lot. Can be quite swampy. But very secluded and usually not crowded.
We had an enjoyable walk on this trail. It is nice that places like this exist so close to downtown Columbia. We saw a heron, a large turtle, some ducks, and many blackbirds. A group that we met saw a "large" black snake. The trail was mostly dry, but there were a few wet spots.