A ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail is the perfect way to experience Greenville, South Carolina and a great way to see some of the sights, meet locals, and of course – grab a bite to eat! You can begin your journey at a place called Reedy Rides in downtown Greenville and find a wide variety of bikes available for rent. They were so friendly and got me set up with the perfect electric bike and helmet for the adventure.
If you’re starting the trail downtown you will definitely want to check out Falls Park with its towering pedestrian bridge that overlooks beautiful waterfalls down below. The park has plenty of green space and benches as well as local restaurants. During my ride, I heard local musicians playing in the park and noticed locals dining outside. It’s a really cool centerpiece of the city that you’ll want to spend more time exploring.
During your ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail – you can stop to visit the local Greenville Zoo, the campus of Furman University, or Unity Park. Unity Park is an impressive 62-acre park full of green space, with splash pads and a huge playground for kids. Closer to the trail is a bustling food hall known as The Commons. You can find a handful of options for food and drink, including Automatic Taco which I really enjoyed for a quick lunch along the way.
Keep wheeling on down the trail and you’ll find the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery – a popular spot that’s hopping all day long with riders taking a detour to find fresh local produce, baked goods, and snacks. It’s also a place where you can pull off the trail and just relax if you need a spot to rest.
Beyond Greenville, the trail extends to neighboring communities like Fountain Inn and Travelers Rest. Riders can bike to locally owned breweries, shops, and restaurants – or just enjoy the peaceful views along the way while getting in some exercise.
It’s worth noting that you can obviously begin the trail from multiple starting points – including the aforementioned Travelers Rest, a quickly growing community just north of Greenville. In total, the trail currently runs over 22 miles along an old railroad line from the 19th century. It’s one of the most popular attractions in Greenville and one of the best biking trails in the south. Tourists can also use roller blades or simply use the trail for a walk or run. The Greenville Parks & Recreation Department has laid out a map, a full list of stops along the way, and some important trail etiquette to keep in mind.
The Swamp Rabbit Trail received it’s name from an abandoned roadbed of the Greenville and Northern Railway in the mid 2000s. According to the local PBS station in Greenville, passengers of the former railroad noted how the train hopped on the tracks like a swamp rabbit, which is native to this region. It was called the Swamp Rabbit Railroad and the name carried over to the present-day biking trail.