This week we got creative and made some bicycle basket flower boxes. Watch the video below to learn how.
The Bike Shed at the Swamp Rabbit Inn officially opened for the season this weekend and we have been busy, between bike rentals, sprucing up the place. There were these rickety, metal baskets on our red cruiser bikes and Wendy removed them and almost threw them away, then had an idea! Watch the video below to see how the bicycle baskets were put to use in a new way.
We love doing (Pinterest worthy) projects at the Swamp Rabbit Inn and repurposing found objects in unusual ways. If you like the video please share it and Pin It!
Subscribe to our newsletter to get our videos delivered weekly to your inbox. Next week watch our upcoming video on a new use for old beer kegs. Hint, hint … it may have something to do with our upcoming Third Anniversary Party and Truck Inn Tuesday on June 13, 2017 from 6 – 9 pm. You’re all invited.
The Bike Shed at the Swamp Rabbit Inn rents bikes to ride the Swamp Rabbit Trail just out our front door. Call 864-517-4617 to rent a bike in downtown Greenville, SC.
Rooster caught at the Swamp Rabbit Inn!
General Pickens was a magnificent specimen of the Faverolle breed and indeed the ruling rooster of the little urban neighborhood bounded by Rhett, Wardlaw and Academy in Greenville’s West End. His roost was five feet off the ground in a large bush that sat directly across from the front steps of 1 Logan Street, The Swamp Rabbit Inn.
General Pickens took great pride in his role of Nature’s Alarm Clock but the rest of us were far less keen. Strutting through the parking lot at dawn to announce the arrival of the day was a dubious honor to all but him. He would have to be relocated.
General Pickens did not want to be caught.
For the longest time he was tolerated and regarded as a joke. Everyone had a go chasing him. The Mail Carrier said she’d seen him in the area for over four years. The popular rumor was that he had been left behind when his original owners moved away. The decision to begin the hunt in earnest and call animal control came in mid July of 2015.
This turned out to be only the second rooster that City of Greenville Animal Control had been tasked with catching. Megan and Joanne brought out a special kennel/trap contraption for the purpose which was placed behind the Bike Shed. They gave Lisa tupperware containers of “chicken scratch” (corn) as bait to lure him in. Then began the wait. General Pickens was a wily customer! A few weeks went by and the rooster was already proving too smart for conventional tactics. Megan and Joanne came out again to affix a camera to the telephone pole to record GP’s activities. Lisa was diligently maintaining a trail of chicken scratch leading into the trap… and The General would eat the trail right up to the door. Infuriating bird!
Research uncovered that General Pickens made a circuit of the area twice daily. He had his wakeup call duties and then made a second stroll between 4 and 5 p.m. He visited the local pastor’s house every day and enjoyed dining on crushed pecans with the mourning doves at various locations.
The watershed moment came when Hildegaard and Henrietta, the laying hens, were moved into their coop behind the Bike Shed. General Pickens, old devil, became a more regular visitor! Joanne and Megan were coming by every Wednesday and Thursday to check if he had been caught. Troy, our resident handyman, had chased after him with a 2×4 at one point, and AJ did the same with a broom but to no avail. Roosters are high steppers when they want to be and GP was FAST! Sling shots and bb guns were fantasized about but never employed. Lucky, however, that they all failed because, it turns out, injuring or killing the rooster would have been illegal.
The triumphant day did finally come at last in late November. Megan just happened to be on hand when General Pickens’ proud comb appeared above a nearby bush. She decided to take an old fashioned approach. She got a net out of her truck and swiftly cornered the salty old cock between the shed and chicken coop and the saga had its end.
Don’t shed tears for General Pickens! He spent barely a day at the animal shelter before he was adopted by a farmer who welcomed him to a more appropriate venue to do what roosters do naturally.
General Pickens, you stud, farewell! Thanks for keeping us on our toes and giving us the runaround.
Considering that our Head of Housekeeping just had a birthday we could say her sign is Capricorn but if you asked our guests at the Swamp Rabbit Inn they would tell you that AJ’s sign is “Welcome”. Warm as hot cider in January and refreshing as a cold lemonade in July, AJ Maronie is just one of those people who has a knack for putting others at ease.
It’s not surprising, considering she is the oldest of four children, two boys and two girls, born to her young parents in Laurens, South Carolina. Her folks divorced early on and her father went to work in Washington DC. When AJ’s mother would go to work in the hosiery factory, AJ would look after her siblings and keep the house in order. She was often called a “mother hen” even as a young girl. She considered herself serious, shy, and an ‘old soul’, preferring to go her own way rather than follow the crowd.
Visiting her father in DC every summer gave AJ an experience of a larger world, and the bustle of the international city fueled her dreams. But it was marriage that would bring her there as an adult.
She met her husband, Mack in a club in Laurens when she was 16. She had seen him only once before. He had just started college and had a car. He had given AJ and her sister a ride home from town one day and though AJ sat behind the driver’s seat, Mack kept adjusting his rear view mirror to gaze at her. He literally spotted her across the crowded room of the club and came over to ask her to dance. She accepted. The fast song ended and when the slow one began she was nervous but gave him a chance, stuck it out, and something just clicked. Ever the gentleman, Mack worked hard to win her heart with love letters, potted flowers (so they would grow, not just wither and die) and even did silly things like push ups on the lawn to impress her! They married a few years after AJ graduated high school and then moved to the big city.
DC indulged AJ’s love of music “ I’m a cuckoo bird without my music!” she says. She also loved the cosmopolitan atmosphere and her job as a dental assistant but the harsher realities of city life began to put a strain on the marriage.
Savannah Georgia and Tybee Island were the antidote. The couple had family there. They joined a new church and settled into what seemed like a more “grownup”, sedate lifestyle. AJ always had a flair for making a house a home and it gave her joy to host dinner parties and tend her garden. She explored the city by bicycle, convertible and on roller skates, swam in the ocean and went on fishing excursions with her family. She discovered her ‘nature girl’ side, hiking, exploring the woods and learning about herbal medicine. At one point she held an unlikely job as a security officer for a gated community in Hilton Head. Part of her job was keeping hoodlums from breaking into the pool at night and indulging in… ‘intimate activities’. “ I was tiny but I was tough!” she recalls. It was a wild experience. We can just imagine!
Life took a serious turn five years ago when her father-in-law passed away and then her little sister became terminally ill. That is what brought AJ and Mack back to South Carolina and Greenville. Anita Michelle was known as Chelle and considered ‘the stylish one’ of the two sisters. Unfortunately, they had grown apart over many years. But in those last years when AJ cared for Chelle the two truly became best friends. This is the time that AJ cherishes most of all.
As you can see our Housekeeping Queen has a long herstory of caring for others, a knack for nurturing and looking after folks. Her marriage to Mack has been going strong for 30 years. AJ is looking forward to building her career here in Greenville. The couple is working toward owning a home again. She has six assorted nieces and nephews to dote on. When asked what her ideal retirement retreat would be the answer was easy: an island somewhere surrounded by flowers, with great music where she and Mack can dance on the beach.
Sounds perfect! We raise our tropical umbrella drinks to you, AJ (on a winter’s evening where the forecast includes snow). Thank you for sharing your island breezy attitude and big warm heart with all who visit the Swamp Rabbit Inn.
Who doesn’t love a fresh start? By all accounts, Greenville had a smashingly successful and eventful 2015, but we’re only beginning to pick up steam! Greenvillians are full of big plans and big dreams for 2016. As we look toward the horizon we see the cityscape growing, changing and glittering. More corner cafés are opening, stylish apartments are being built and more services for urban dwellers are filling in to make our metro hum. Downtown Greenville’s continued attention to arts and culture is adding layers of intrigue and vibrance.
The Swamp Rabbit Trail will expand in several directions in the new year and the features that support it will develop along with it. A new park just to the west of downtown is in the design phase and will center on the Trail and the Reedy River.
Here at the Inn all of the bunnies are reflecting on the past year and Inn-visioning for the future as well.
Innkeeper, Wendy Lynam’s favorite memory of 2015 was the grand finale of Truck Inn Tuesday. Greenville was showing the love with the biggest turnout of the summer that included a spontaneous petition by attendees to keep it going through fall. Community spirit was high and a good time was had by all. Patience! Summer will come again!
Wendy’s favorite Greenville happening was watching the Farmer’s Market grow and combine with other features like outdoor yoga in the parks for an all-around sublime Saturday out and about. Another highlight of 2015 was the Greenville Chamber’s Inter Community Leadership visit to Austin TX.
For 2016 our Innkeeper looks forward most to meeting all the cool people that stay at the inn and properties, quality time with her girls, taking her yoga practice to new levels, unveiling the new organic farm at the Swamp Rabbit Lodge, riding her bike in Greenville’s glorious countryside, turning her “Cycling Greenville SC” guidebook into an app, revealing our cool new designer kits and our amazing new event on April 3rd (stay tuned) and watching the West End grow and swirl around the Inn. Whew!!
AJ Maronie, Housekeeping Queen, loved hosting the chefs that graced our halls and, ahem, ‘rehearsed’, in our kitchen throughout 2015. Attending the Competition Dining Series and becoming friends with Chef Heidi Billotto were highlights. AJ especially enjoyed watching the Swamp Rabbit Properties become a favorite hub for new residents relocating to Greenville. She likes being able to give a warm welcome to folks and assist in easing the transition with long term stays in our diverse range of accommodations. Publicly, Mrs. Maronie is excited by the rumors that a light rail system is being considered here in Greenville to make traveling in and around the urban centers efficient and stress free. Personally, career growth, increased prosperity, a peaceful environment and a little more travel top her wish list.
Lisa Parks, Manager and Retail Wizardess, was amused, flummoxed and aggravated by turns in 2015 with the saga of capturing the wild, urban rooster, General Pickens (blog post to follow), but can now claim Rooster Whisperer status. This city girl turned farmer tended our hay bale garden and hydroponic tower garden to yield amazing amounts of greens, squash, watermelons and tomatoes.
Her pick for significant Inn event: the addition of the beloved Bike Shed to the Swamp Rabbit Properties, expanding retail in the West End and satisfying everyone’s need for bike rentals, Latte Rides, Bunny Rides, bike apparel and bike jewelry.
Top of her wish list? For all, a life less consumed by auto use, which she knows is a strange wish for a Motor City girl!
Not so surprisingly, Artist at Large, and cycling nut, Kathleen King, echoes the desire for a friendlier future for the car-free and car-optional lifestyle. She looks forward to seeing infrastructure blossom with bike lanes in Greenville County, making the roads safer for all. Her favorite aspect of the Inn this past year was seeing the local community embrace it as a convenient central meeting place for monthly gatherings and special events. Ms. King’s personal focus this year is expanding the public art landscape as she launches a non-profit to achieve that goal. In addition, she says she’s only just begun to explore the South and looks forward to that relationship deepening.
As for me, your Bunny Blogger at Large (in my burrow under the pecan tree), Watching Greenville dominate all those national top ten lists was a fun surprise that filled all of us with pride! Watching you bipeds in general is immensely entertaining. I’m a romantic and the wedding parties that have sashayed through the Inn bring a joy to my heart. Y’all are so adorable heading out all gussied up, nervous and thrilled all at once. In my wild dreams you folks keep planting more backyard/sideyard/frontyard… gardens. Carrots are especially hearty and easy to grow! May Greenville continue to manicure the banks of my beloved river and my family’s namesake Swamp Rabbit Trail. The keyword for Greenville in this new year is “Motion”! Tallyho, 2016!
Our shy and unassuming little bike shed has gotten brave and gone global! So spunky! The Biketique has opened its digital doors and now every quirky-cool item we carry is available at your fingertips online! We inn-vite you to shop the Bike Shed for your holiday gifts!
You’ll notice right away that we are clearly focused on two areas: Cycling and Greenville! Everything is simply grouped and easy to find. The Bunny on a Bike earrings and necklaces are here!
We have charm necklaces made from vintage trinkets and bike hardware, and cuff bracelets made from bike-centric brew cans. Vintage brooches adorn our bike bells.
Our T-shirts and jerseys celebrate Greenville and our Swamp Rabbit Trail.
There are also Swamp Rabbit Trail signs, tea towels, and guidebooks – Cycling AND Greenville – Oh my!
It’s all here to help you reach your holiday gifting goals. If only we could ship you a virtual bike rental! Sigh.
For bike rentals, and of course to meet the lovely Lisa, you will have to come for a visit.
Looking for a unique alternative to a hotel for your next business trip to Greenville SC? Stay at the Swamp Rabbit Inn, your home away from home. We have six comfortable rooms all with free WiFi, a desk, comfy bed, Kuerig, free parking, bike rental, community kitchen and gathering room furnished entirely in IKEA. Simon Madjumdar, Food Network judge, recently was a guest of the inn called it the “most comfortable bed he has had in a long time!”
The Swamp Rabbit Inn is conveniently located just two blocks from Main Street in Greenville’s Historic West End and two blocks from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, an 18 miles paved bike/running trail. Continental breakfast is served each morning and the fridge is stocked with healthy breakfast foods for self serve. Live like a local whether visiting Greenville for the first time or a frequent traveller.
The inn is walking distance to many restaurants, bars, Flour Field baseball stadium, The Peace Center, Falls Park and many great shops and galleries. Looking for some exercise? We are just steps away from the Kroc Center a full service gym with day passes and an indoor pool, Kroc Center Tennis Complex, Swamp Rabbit Crossfit with drop in policy, Zanti Power Yoga Studio and The Swamp Rabbit Trail. Bring your bike. We have in room bike stands and wrote the book on “Cycling Greenville”. A free copy will be waiting for you in your room with 20 great rides in the area.
We have great weekday rates for business travelers and offer a small, creative meeting space for team building, collaboration, retreats, lunches and more. Great outdoor spaces with large deck, outdoor bar with TV, grill, corn hole boards, bonfire pit and full service bike shed with mechanic and bike rental.
We would like you to make us your home away from home on your next business trip. Book your room today and tell your friends about us!
We were honored to be asked to comment on this story of expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail. We are so fortunate to live in a community where our public officials truly get it and know a good thing when they see it. Greenville County Council and Greenville City Council our hats go off to you for your support of this bike/recreation trail that has had and will continue to have a huge impact on our community and visitors to our area. Thank you!
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. —Greenville and Greenville County are one step closer to building some bridges.
Greenville City Council voted unanimously to help pay for the construction of the Greenlink Greenway. Not only will it make the trail longer, supporters say it will connect communities like never before.
The city will invest $2.5 million in the expansion. The project will connect Cleveland Park and Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, and it will run parallel to Laurens Road.
As part of the deal, Greenville County will build pedestrian bridges on Laurens Road, Haywood Road and Verdae Boulevard. The bridges would connect to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
“We’re talking about people who need this form of transportation, need this form of recreation, and to have them cross a busy five-lane road or a busy four-lane road like Haywood Road is just not safe and it’s not enjoyable. It doesn’t invite people to get out and be active,” said Ty Houck with Greenville County Parks and Recreation.
Wendy Lynam, owner of the Swamp Rabbit Inn on Logan Street is also excited for the project.
She said extending the trail will bring even more opportunities, not just for businesses but the community as a whole.
“It gives them a new mode of transportation and connecting with the rest of the city in a healthy way on two feet or two wheels,” said Lynam.
Houck said the numbers speak for themselves.
A Swamp Rabbit Trail impact study conducted by Furman and Clemson universities showed more than half a million people used the trail in 2013. The trail also generated $6.5 million in tourism money.
“You’ve seen the business investment, you’ve seen areas in parts of the community that until the trail was there a lot of people didn’t even know that part of the community existed,” said Houck.
The county still needs to secure about $3.5 million in funding before it can break ground on the project.
FOX Carolina News – Greenville City Council Unanimously Approves Expansion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail
Thank you Fox Carolina News for stopping by the inn today and asking us to comment on the upcoming vote from Greenville City Council to extend the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail along Laurens Road to ICAR. Fingers crossed that they approve the funding for the expansion to include pedestrian bridges over Haywood and Verdae. Bridges can be a great way to increase visibility of the trail branding. We’ve seen it done very well on the bridges of the Silver Comet Trail in GA and the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, NC.
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) –
UPDATE: Greenville City Council unanimously approved the new addition to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
WATCH NEWS CLIP HERE
You’ll find bikers, runners and walkers on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville County.
“I think it’s a great way to showcase anything Greenville has to offer,” Wendy Lynam, owner of the Swamp Rabbit Inn said.
She said the trail leads straight to her heart.
“I stood on the front porch, I looked out, I saw the trail- I was like ‘the Swamp Rabbit Inn,'” Lynam said.
She loves it so much, she opened the Swamp Rabbit Inn, which is a bed and breakfast.
“People come here- some to bike, some come here for weddings and rent the whole house,” she said.
There are bars, restaurants and stores along the trail geared toward cyclists and Lynam wrote a guide book for them entitled Cycling Greenville.
“I started putting together rides for them and one thing led to another and it turned into a book,” she said.
And now there are talks to expand the trail near Laurens Road to Cleveland Park and to Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research, also known as ICAR.
“This potential extension is within city limits, but it is on property that the county owns,” Lynam said.
Bob Mihalic is the Governmental Affairs Coordinator with Greenville County.
“Since the day it was built in 2009, it has grown three times since then,” Mihalic said.
Greenville City Council members will vote on a resolution Monday to potentially provide more than $2 million for the extension.
“Where Greenville County owns the rail lines- we’re always looking for ways to turn those rails into something productive for the community,” he said.
The resolution asks for pedestrian bridges over Laurens and Haywood Roads as well as Verdae Boulevard. It also asks to use existing bridge on Woodruff Road for the trail.
A study shows more than half a million people used the trail last year and tourists brought more than $6 million to the Greenville County community.
Copyright 2015 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Read more: http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/27831280/greenville-city-council-to-vote-on-funding-for-swamp-rabbit-trail-extension#ixzz3OfcuVrnz
We were thrilled to receive a 2014 GGAR Revitalization Award for the Swamp Rabbit Inn in downtown Greenville, SC. We took an old house that was being used for commercial office space in Greenville’s historic West End and converted it into a six bedroom European style, bike-friendly bed and breakfast. Opening in June of 2014 we have had an awesome stream of guests from all over the world!
You see our before and after pictures by clicking on the links below. Book you stay with us today!
Swamp Rabbit Inn Before Photos:
Swamp Rabbit Inn After Photos: