Expand your exploration: The extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail

Expand your exploration: The extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail

Photo by Samantha Meyeres.

Samantha Meyeres, Staff Writer

For college students looking to clear their minds from difficult classes or just to enjoy a bit of fresh air, the Swamp Rabbit Trail has long been a favorite for walking, running and biking.

Recently, it has undergone expansions and improvements all in the name of making the experience of the Swamp Rabbit Trail an enjoyable one for all who choose to use it for transportation and pleasure.

The City of Greenville and Travelers Rest have been working for a while on improving and adding to the trail to better the experience for anyone who uses it. In June of 2023, they ribbon cut on a project that added four miles to the south end of the trail and two pedestrian bridges.

The master plan for the expansion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail also included a series of switchbacks that navigated about 50 feet of terrain change and provided a connection from Cleveland Park to the Laurens Road pedestrian bridge. This specific expansion of the trail was titled the “Paperclip” project, due to the shape of the added trail.

The City of Greenville’s senior mobility coordinator Calin Owens said that although this project took around two to three years of planning and one year of construction, it has been in the works for about a decade.

According to the postandcourier, Travelers Rest received a $1.1 million donation from the Upstate Greenway and Trails Alliance to complete the newest extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

The new extension stretches further into Greenville and gives those who use the trail access to all of the shops and businesses in Holland Park as well as access to Legacy Park, a beautiful, outdoor space to enjoy for people of all ages.

The new extension of the trail also offers access to more cafes and restaurants such as Greenvilles’ favorites Cohesive Coffee and White Duck Taco.

Mary Kathryn Harris works at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in Greenville and loves to spend time on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. She said that she bikes to work every day, except for when it rains, and loves how her time riding on the trail gives her the ability to slow down and appreciate the world around her.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a popular means of transportation for many people. Harris shared that many of her customers at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery are people that have biked and walked there using the trail.

“We have just as much bike traffic and bike parking as we do cars,” she said.

Harris shared memories of the fun times her family has had on the trail. Biking and walking to restaurants and events on the Swamp Rabbit Trail has been an influential part of her family’s life. She said there is even the practical aspect that they are saving money on gas because they walk most places.

Because it is still new, the extension of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is less busy right now. Harris said she thinks it will become a popular place to be once more people know about it and sees the trail as a potential draw for visitors, further boosting the community’s growth.

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