Runners, walkers, cyclists and skaters now travel on the path once traversed by locomotives and train cars. The popular GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail has become one of the area's hottest outdoor amenities.
I recently rode a section of the 22-mile asphalt pathway from across North Greenville Hospital in Travelers Rest to just north of Greenville Technical College's main campus. No matter your skill level, there are plenty of options available to customize the ride to your liking.
Wherever you choose to start and stop, you'll find benches and gazebos along the way, as well as some terrific trailside restaurants to rest and refuel. Among my favorites is Topsoil Kitchen & Market and Leopard Forest Café in Travelers Rest.
Convenient parking for the trail is available on U.S. 25. Mile markers posted every half-mile make it easy to keep track of how far you've ridden.
After about a mile up the trail from the U.S. 25 parking lot, you'll come to downtown Travelers Rest and its beautifully renovated streetscape featuring a gazebo, park swings and benches. Look for the "Swamp Rabbit" poking up from some bushes near a rock column.
Before long, you'll reach Furman University. Two access points allow you to connect to a path that runs alongside Furman Lake and the main part of the campus.
If you're walking or riding with young children, you'll want to stop at the rest area along the trail with the charcoal-gray painted train car. The main section of the car is closed off, but children are welcome to climb aboard and look out the end of the train.
As you make your way south into Greenville, you'll come to Falls Park with its meticulously manicured gardens, famed Liberty Bridge and Reedy River Falls. Don't miss the opportunity to stop here and enjoy the view.
From Falls Park it's a short ride to Cleveland Park, a recreational wonderland featuring tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, four playgrounds, a dog park, fitness trail and zoo.
You can end your ride here or continue another mile along the Hincapie Path, a multi-use greenway that follows the Reedy River, offering long views of the watershed. The 13-foot wide trail includes eight feet of asphalt and five feet of a rubberized surface for runners and walkers.