Swamp Rabbit Trail

Ever since I bought a used bike and my wife restored her old one, she’s been bugging me to get out and ride the new Swamp Rabbit Trail extension in Traveler’s Rest, SC. The Swamp Rabbit Trail is named for the defunct railroad line that used to pass through the area until 1993. Eventually, it will connect to the larger Rails to Trails network that spans the East Coast. I’ve been reluctant to ride the trail because it’s still a work in progress. All of the rails and ties have been removed, but the path isn’t completely paved. Our bikes are old and without shocks, and I like my teeth the way they are. Still, we headed out to Travelers Rest and started riding toward Greenville. We didn’t know how much of the trail was finished, but we’d heard that portion was in good condition.

Swamp Rabbit Trail 004

This benchmark is full of information.

Here’s a closer look at the map: (Print a PDF version)

Swamp Rabbit Trail 006

We only rode to Furman University and back. It was really crowded. We were out there the day before the USA Road Cycling Championship, and so was everyone else who likes to ride. It’s kind of like the week of The Masters, when everyone develops spring fever and you can’t get a spot at the driving range. I managed to get this picture when we reached an uncrowded spot:

Swamp Rabbit Trail 002

It was fun and we’ll definitely do it again. Next time we’ll get lots of pictures of the scenery. Once they have the Trail Tram up and running, I think we’ll ride it out to the end of the trail and ride our bikes back home.

UPDATE: The trail is finally connected from Greenville to Traveler’s Rest. Here are some pictures.

Swamp Rabbit Trail
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7 thoughts on “Swamp Rabbit Trail

  • September 19, 2009 at 11:13 am
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    Thanks for post this writeup and pictures. I live a little south of Greenville, so getting to this part of the trail is a bit of a drive. However, I’d be really interested in running it if there is a 4 or 5 mile stretch that’s complete enough to run on. Do you have any idea how far you went from TR down to Furman? Heck, even three miles would be nice. I know that the trail does end in a gnarly looking brier patch at the Greenville city limits. I definitely don’t want to run through THAT! Ha!

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  • September 21, 2009 at 8:52 am
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    I think it was about three miles to Furman, but I don’t have a cycle computer. We just parked in a gravel lot across the street from the hospital (about a mile past Sunrift Adverntures) and got on the trail.

    I wouldn’t venture past that brier patch on the downtown trail either. At some point, the Fountain Inn section of the trail will connect with downtown. Hopefully, the completion of the Kroc Center in that area will gentrify the neighborhood and make it a little less less “get me out of here before dark.” Right now it’s kind of like this.

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  • September 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm
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    Thanks for the reply. Just today I saw an article in the latest issue of Go Magazine that talked about the trail:

    http://www.gomagsc.com/september-2009-swamp.php

    They say the paved part on the north end of the trail runs for about 5 miles. Either way, that’s enough for a good run. The article also states that the county is waiting on a wetlands permit before completing work on the part just northwest of the city of Greenville. Previously I’d heard the delay was related to the construction of some special bridges, but this is probably more creditable.

    Either way it’s a great trail, though it sure seems narrow to be part of the route for major road races.

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  • October 4, 2011 at 11:01 am
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    Hi Chad…just ran across this looking for historic info on the old railroad line. I’m still trying to get Jim to ride the trail with me….we’re sort of ‘new’ to biking, having not done it in many years. Where do you start in Greenville if you want to ride to TR?

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    • October 4, 2011 at 11:07 am
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      The easiest section to ride is by the children’s park beneath the bridge on Academy (along the Reedy on River Street). You can park there and do a three mile stretch that’s completely flat. It takes you past the new Kroc Center.

      Another good place to start is by the softball field at Furman where the big, green rail car is. There’s plenty of parking and a water fountain. From there, you can ride to downtown Greenville and back.

      Since it’s a rails to trails project, it’s really flat and easy to ride. The wife and I recently went from Cleveland Park to Traveler’s Rest and back, a total of 23 miles, without hurting too bad.

      Reply
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