You can burn a lot of calories riding a bike, but the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail offers lots of yummy refueling spots.
The 17.5-mile upcountry bike trail runs between Greenville and Travelers Rest, and it offers a pleasant ride where you're separated from traffic. It's also designed for runners, with a rubberized surface on part of the trail.
When I rode the trail recently, I was happy to find that in addition to being through beautiful countryside, it's also pretty flat.
Those places are all excellent, and I've written about them before, so I went in search of places farther out of downtown and enjoyed three great spots.
Our first stop was at Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery, just a short ride out of downtown. I had a farm fresh egg sandwich for good nourishment for the ride, and my husband had a roast beef hoagie with havarti cheese. As delicious and filling as our sandwiches were, we were passing up lots of tempting homemade scones and muffins.
We also could have shopped there for local foods to prepare our own meal. The Swamp Rabbit buys produce and other products from local farms, and there were boxes and baskets of tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, zucchini and lots of other fresh produce.
When you're on the trail, you can't miss this place. The words "Café & Grocery" are in huge letters on the brick building.
After a bit more pedaling, I arrived in Travelers Rest, ready for lunch. With so many new restaurants now open on Main Street, it's hard to pick just one. Conveniently located along the trail, Topsoil Kitchen & Market is a great option for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. This foodie favorite is known for its fresh-from-the-field veggies and homemade bread. Menu items feature seasonal produce sourced from Topsoil's own local farm along with several others in the area.
After a healthy and delicious meal, we decided to head across Main Street and down the block for dessert at one more restaurant on the trail.
At Upcountry Provisions Bakery and Bistro, we ordered chocolate zucchini bread. This was no dry veggie bread; it was topped with a gooey, scrumptious chocolate frosting and the bread itself was rich and moist. And although the chef assured us there was a lot of zucchini and other healthful foods in the bread, it tasted completely sinful - more like a cake than a bread. And it was huge enough to serve about four.
I'd love to have lunch here sometime because the sandwich menu looks great. One listed on the menu board the day we visited was the Swamp Rabbit wrap, which features greens, hummus and veggies with vinaigrette dressing in lavash bread. Yum.
The next time you're in Greenville or Travelers Rest, grab a bike or your running shoes and spend some time on the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. And don't forget to stop to eat along the way.