In January, Georgetown County Parks and Recreation announced a new program to help get people outdoors, moving and exploring. They call it the GOAT program, an acronym for Georgetown Outdoor Adventure Trails.
The program encourages residents to “join the herd” and walk, bike or run a group of 10 trails — with more trails to be added in the future. Eventually, the addition of river trails to the program will also add paddling to the mix.
“The idea is to promote the natural beauty of our area and get more people out on the trails we’ve developed throughout the county,” said T.L. Staub, who manages and maintains the department’s trails.
The program incorporates trails and routes in a variety of environments to make the program more broadly appealing. In Rocky Point Community Forest, off Choppee Highway, herd members can choose from four wooded trails and two additional routes ranging from 1.3 to 4.5 miles.
“We have approximately 16 miles of trails already developed just at Rocky Point with 7.7 more miles of trails and routes to be developed here in the next couple of months,” Staub said. “Again, these trails are mostly grass and woods. You'll see a lot of wildlife, real pretty areas along Choppee Creek and the river.”
Five trails are located within 8 Oaks Park on Highway 521 between Georgetown and Andrews. There’s a 1-mile grass loop within the park, along with several more rustic trails. The 10th trail runs along the edge of Stables Park on Petigru Drive.
For those looking for something more urban, there are routes in the Georgetown Historic District, along the MarshWalk, down roadways and along the beachfront. Residents can sign up to be part of the herd online at gtcparks.org, and receive information about the program, including when new trails are added and when special outdoor activities and events are scheduled.
Herd members will also get an as yet undetermined prize if they complete designated routes that are part of the program. Membership in the herd is free and open to all. Staub said people are encouraged to form groups to participate in the program and give their group a name. There are no rules about how big or small the group can be, but he asks participants to please keep the group names clean and family friendly.
“It’s just something to make it a little more fun,” Staub said.
Participants are also encouraged to log their hikes using a mapping app, such as Strava or AllTrails. Look for more information about the GOAT program coming soon along with details on new trails and opportunities for group paddling excursions, hikes and more.
View maps and location information for current GOAT trails by clicking here.