Recently my wife and I joined our daughter, her husband, and our youngest granddaughter on a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in South Carolina. According to the literature this trail is a multi-use (biking and hiking) trail that connects Greenville South Carolina to Traveler’s Rest South Carolina and is about 22 miles long. There are also several expansions being planned.
We did a 7 plus mile ride out and back for about 14.5 miles total from Traveler’s Rest south towards Greenville, turning around at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. It was a sunny Saturday morning in the 80’s. It is a paved trail that gets a lot of use from bikers and hikers of all abilities.
This day the heat and humidity were not oppressive and the part of the trail that we rode on is mostly shaded. It was a good morning to ride. Since it was a Saturday, the trail was being used heavily by both bikers and hikers. Nearly all users were abiding by the courtesy rules of a trail such as this and other than occasional slow downs for users going both directions, we were able to ride at our own pace. My 18 month old granddaughter rode in a bike children’s tow trailer and had a great time as well. There are several road crossings and we found traffic to be very cautious and courteous to trail users. Unfortunately we did pass a White Bike Memorial for a young lady who did lose her life this year at a crossing. This crossing was well marked and there was a pedestrian traffic signal. I felt safe at all crossings and feel that this is a very safe trail.
For the most part the trail is off the beaten path, but in Traveler’s Rest there were some vendor tents set up along the trail for a celebration and the walking traffic here did significantly slow us down. The trail does go through some other small towns, and I have seen but not ridden on it in Greenville. and I believe these slow downs to be the exception and not the rule.
Part of the trail that we rode on went through Furman University, and this area is worth going off the trail and exploring their walking and biking trail as well. It is a beautiful area and a good place to stop and give a granddaughter a little break from her ride :). There is a public restroom here as well.
Overall this was a very fun ride. There is very little elevation change, but it still requires you to pedal the majority of the way in both directions. I found that traveling north is a little more strenuous, but not enough to worry about. My old bones could still travel most of this in the higher gear of my bike.
One trail that my wife and I found on our way to South Carolina is the New River Trail State Park. Looks like a long rail trail along the New River in Virginia. That trail is definitely on our bucket list! We will do it someday soon I hope!
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