WYFF News Channel 4 - Greenville City Council Votes to Extend GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail to ICAR

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 City Council Votes to extend GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail

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.


Swamp Rabbit Trail

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.

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Read more: http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/27831280/greenville-city-council-to-vote-on-funding-for-swamp-rabbit-trail-extension#ixzz3OfcuVrnz