The Rail Yard on MBF Rail Trail

Partners for Active Living has supported the implementation and improvement of the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail since it opened in 2006. When we surveyed trail users, we heard that the stretch of trail between Forest Avenue and Country Club Road was a bit uncomfortable because of the thick vegetation. In order to improve this section, PAL facilitated a lease agreement of seven acres of undeveloped land owned by Duke Energy. The City of Spartanburg currently holds the lease that allows the space to become community recreational space. A project that started as simply clearing out vegetation has turned into the creation of a $1.2M park that PAL has developed with the City of Spartanburg. Over 90% of the funds raised have been private.

Want to learn more? Check out the City of Spartanburg podcast about The Rail Yard!

Mary Black Foundation provided a grant to PAL to hire Design Works LC. One of their principles, Christophe Drumain, developed a beautiful conceptual design that has led to the following implementation.

Trolley Plaza is provided by the Group of 100

The fitness equipment is made possible thanks to the generous support of Milliken & Co.; and the yoga and stretch pad from Altrusa and White Oak Management

The Balmer Foundation Watershed Amphitheater was designed by horticulturist Stewart Winslow. The Tree Tunnel is thanks to the Barnet Foundation.


Picnic shelter, tables, and Free Little Library provided by Junior League of Spartanburg and Wade's Restaurants.

The NFL Play 60 obstacle course and 40 yard dash was funded by JM Smith Foundation, Women Giving for Spartanburg, and Spartanburg County State Delegation


The Green is for casual games and lounging thanks to generous support from Foundation for the Carolinas Longleaf Fund


The Bike Park is the next feature scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019 with a grand opening in March 2020. 


Pictured: overhead view of the pump track