Connecting Spartanburg One Trail at a Time

Written by Laura Ringo on November 10th 2017.

My PAL colleague Ned Barrett and I recently met with some of our Greenville counterparts in the bicycle/pedestrian/trails world. One was from the City of Greenville and another from a great advocacy group called Bike Walk Greenville ( They wanted to learn more about the work happening in Spartanburg around trail development.

It is ok if you chuckled a little bit; we did too. We laughed because Greenville has put together one of the best trail systems in the Southeast region that has turned into a major economic, health, and tourism driver. If you haven’t visited The GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail (, I cannot recommend highly enough that you do. It is great! It was built in 2009 as a 22 mile rail-to-trail conversion that is expanding by the minute (think of the MBF Rail Trail x 10!!).

So why would Greenville come learn from us? Fair question. To date most of the GHS Swamp Rabbit has utilized old railroad bed. One of the next expansions will include asking private property owners for easements to build a trail across their property, which is something that Partners for Active Living (PAL) is learning about and can share.

The urban area of our community does not currently have any additional rail lines that have been abandoned that can be converted to trail. Therefore, we are working with private property owners, both commercial and residential, to expand trails. Many in our community have been very generous in allowing a trail. To date, we have talked to 60 property owners.

Thank you to those that have been willing to talk to the PAL team about trails across their property. Many have said yes and we are so appreciative and excited (and hope that they are too!). But not all have felt it right for their property, and we respect their decision. We appreciate all that are willing to consider a more connected Spartanburg.

On December 11, PAL will ask City Council to allocate funding for a section of trail that includes six property owners who said yes. We need your support in encouraging Council to agree. Stay tuned for more information!

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