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Rails to Trails


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Spartanburg has a few of these going on I believe. The one I am most familiar with is the old CSX line (i think) that parallels S Pine/Union St. The rails have been removed, and it actually looked like a trail for a while, but last time I looked it was overgrown.

Spartanburg has a large section of the Palmetto Trail that it is working to complete. Several sections are already done.

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Yea - there's the Hub City Connector and the USC Upstate Passage that I know of. I want to drive over one weekend and check these both out.

The Palmetto Conservation Foundation backed these projects as well.

The North Greenville Trail looks great, now! The rails are still there (for now), but the weeds and overgrowth are mostly gone, thanks to volunteer efforts and some people with power tools (and a heavy duty limb shredder). There's a trail marker and a bench now adjacent to the trail along HWY-276 (across the highway from Sunrift) in T.R. The trail is clear pretty much all the way to Furman from T.R. now.

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I received this email about two follow-up work days on the TR-Greenville trail. I plan to make it Sat. It really is rewarding to take part in.

Some of you joined us on June 4th for the first-ever "Volunteer Work Day" to clear vegetation from the Greenville & Northern Rail Road from Travelers Rest to Furman. Others are on this list because you at some point shared your desire to help in that effort.

We have been informed that we will have two inmate crews from the Greenville Law Enforcement Center THIS WEEKEND -- Saturday, June 18 and again on Sunday 19th from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm each day.

While we had planned to wait some time for the next formal work day, with these crews and the expected great weather, this may be our best chance to clear all or a significant portion of the remaining line between Furman and downtown Greenville. (A distance of less than 4 miles).

If you are available to join us on either or both days, would you please let me know by returned email so that we can estimate anticipated turn-out.

Our goal is to clear trees, shrubs and vines from the rail bed to arrest continued degradation of the line and to allow others in the community -- whether promoting use of the corridor for rail, tram or trail -- to be able to get a look at the wonderful asset owned by all of the citizens of Greenville County. While a number of legal, safety and policy decisions remain before a determination will be made about future use of the line (perhaps as an interim trail), it is vitally important that we clear the line to protect the investment.

We hope you can and will join us on either Saturday and/or Sunday.

On Saturday we will meet on Duncan Chapel Road where the rail line exits the Furman Campus and heads south toward Greenville. There is significant parking near the line on the Furman side of Duncan Chapel. We will begin work at 9:00 am. If you can only stay for a few hours, please come anyway. We will end the formal work at 3:00 pm.

Bring your own water, insect repellant, gloves, tools (brush saws, hatchets, loppers, or weedeaters with metal heads or wire -- we will not be using chain saws for safety). Given the insects and briars we recommend long pants and long-sleeve shirts.

I hope to see you this weekend as we "go all the way to Greenville!"


Carlton N. Owen

The Environmental Edge, LLC


620 Pettigru Street

Greenville, SC 29601


864.235.0806 fax

[email protected]

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Rails to Trails gathering steam

Great news on the trails connecting Greenville Tech to downtown and TR to Downtown.  Once this is completed, it could be a very attractive amentiy to the entire county.  Greenville should extend this trail from TR to the state line and pick up the trail from Lake Conestee and go all the way to the Laurens County line via the Reedy River.


Hey. That sounds like a good idea. To hike or bike and having to see a car. That's unless you want to. ^_^

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The Journal has an article about the trail. $750,000 in state money has just been received. The city is buying a 1.3 mile stretch through West Gville. Eventually the trail will reach 16 miles from TR to Lake Conestee. A longer range goal is to go all the way to Lake Greenwood in Grenwood County. It may have to bypass the Gville Country Club, but that has yet to be decided.

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I wish more effort went into saving rail lines prior to abandonement than goes into converting old railbeds to trails after the track has been pulled up. The Greenville & Northern is a line that probably could have survived as an operating shortline railroad with a little assistance. Railroads make highways safer by pulling 18 wheelers off of them and it makes economic sense by allowing companies to build, adding to the tax base and hiring people.

Forgive me for saying this, but a trail doesn't do as much for the economic situation of the area as an operating railrod does.

Joe H.

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I agree that a trail probably does do less for an economy... but in a case like Greenville's- is it really possible to use a railroad? With as many industries as we have, I don't think it's possible to connect each industry (or even several or some) up to tracks. With an industrial driven economy such as the Upstate's, it's too late to go back and take the 18-wheelers off the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It doesn't help when there are more than sulpher springs rd.

This post helps me. I just listed a property at the intersection of Sulpher Springs and the Rail rd. tracts and was wondering if those tracts were part of rails to trails. No I don't have to go calling anyone to find out.

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Just a reminder about this.  I plan to be there.  This is a great opportunity to make Greenville an even better place to live.


Thanks for the reminder. I'm still in Florida playing dodge-ball with Dennis. I'll miss this round, but will look for future e-mails from Carlton.

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Any updates from the cleanup today?


Had a little better turnout than the one on the Sat. before Father's Day. Started at Sulphur Springs and worked North toward Watkins Bridge. I had to leave at 11:30, so I don't know if they made it through to where the work stopped going South FROM Watkins Bridge.

There will probably be another cleanup in 2-3 weeks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just got this from Carlton Owens:

Looks like there is a next to last meeting this Saturday at 8:00 PM.

It is 1101 Blue Ridge Drive.

Jay Hubert

Thanks to great work by many folks, we believe that we can complete the first pass at clearing the old Greenville & Northern Rail Road on the way to interim trail use with just two additional Saturday mornings. Such progress is in no small part due to the great start on June 4 and the continuing work of a smaller group of dedicated volunteers who have worked Wednesday and Saturday mornings every since.

The first section of focus for this weekend will be completing the link between Sulfur Springs and Blue Ridge Drive. With the exception of the tall, rank vegetation on the Sulfur Springs end, the remainder of that section is comprised of fairly open vegetation -- scattered saplings and a dense mat of panic grass. We are to have our contingent of hard workers from the Greenville County Detention Center helping again (we couldn't have done this without them!!) from 8-12 Saturday. (Meet in the CAPSCO parking lot at 1101 Blue Ridge Dr.).

I think we should not only be able to finish that stretch but to pick up on the 300' start going south of Blue Ridge as well.

The following Saturday, August 6, we're making a push with Hands on Greenville and another group to complete the job. The more we can get done this week, the more likely we can end this hot work on the 6th.

Hope to see you -- and your hand tools -- this Saturday at 8:00 am! Remember long pants & long sleeves are recommended as is lots of water and a bit of bug spray.

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No firm details yet, but I think there is a last assault on the trail this weekend with Hands On Greenville Helping. There are two spots to meet. The Capsco parking lot on Blue Ridge - we got about half way through Old Bleachery Road last week. The other place to meet is under Academy Bridge - that would be at Linky Stone Park.

I think I am going to Linky Stone Park. I will post details as I have them.


Jay Hubert

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OK Y'all it's official.

Looks like it is at 8:00 AM on Saturday August 6th below Academy Street - That is Linky Stone Park. We really need lopers (branch cutters) and sling blades. We went down most of the way between Blue Ridge and Cedar Lane last weekend. This last effort should connect us to Furman and Travelers Rest.



To get there you just turn from Main Street down by the Peace Center. Linky Stone is up on your Left.

See ya there!!!

Jay Hubert

This project is not managed by us. Although we are partnered with the agency offering this project, we are not running the project.

Rails to Trails

Agency: Upstate Forever

Description: Rails to Tralls is a project that spans from Travlers Rest into downtown Greenville, and involves cleaning the old Greenville and Northern railroads. The trail begins north of Travelers Rest and ends at the Academy Bridge. Volunteers have worked for months now and have cleared all the way to Blue Ridge Road. They are now making a huge push to finish up over the next two Saturdays, July 30 and August 6.

Volunteers are working to clear brush and overgrowth from the tracks.

Volunteers will need to sign in at the site, as well as bring their own hand tools, i.e. loppers, brush saws, gas powered weed eaters. It is best to be dressed in long pants and sleeves, with good walking shoes. Use insect repellant and bring lots of water.

Impact Area: Environment: Cleanups, Environment: Cleanups

Interests: The interests recommended for this project are:

Community Enrichment, Environment/Conservation

Skills: The skills helpful for participation in this project are:


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Rails to Trails Needs Public Support to Survive

The Rails to Trails project for Northern Greenville County is in need of your help.

Upstate communities and organizations were brought together this past summer, as this thread chronicles, to clear the stretch of the old Swamp Rabbit railway from Travelers Rest to down below Furman University., in hopes of paving the way for a future permanent trail for hikers, walkers, and bikers.

Keeping these trails dedicated to this purpose will require the voice, pen, and support of all trail supporters and enthusiasts.

Why? Because there are now two separate bids to purchase this right-of-way by corporations (Western Carolina Railroad Service and Athens Line, LLC) propsing to reactivate the rail line for commercial and industrial rail use.

The fate of these trails and their use will ultimately be decided by the Federal Surface Transportatio Board in Washington, DC.

Please, if you support the effort to convert this rail line (and rail lines such as this), write a letter of support, specifically identifying your support for the North Greenville County, South Carolina Rails to Trails project.

Address the letter to:

Mr. Vernon A. Williams

Secretary, Surface Transportation Board

1925 K Street, NW

Suite 700

Washington, DC 20423-0001

Thank you in advance for your time, effort, and support.

-the Rested Traveler

Edited by RestedTraveler
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  • 4 months later...

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