The people of Pickens, S.C., could see what was happening in
the city of Greenville, just 20 miles to the east. And they saw that it was
There, the development of the Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail (below, right), along
a disused railroad line, was at the heart of the city's effort to revitalize
its main street and downtown commercial district, and provide free and accessible
outdoor recreation options to residents in an effort to combat a rising obesity
I read on GreenvilleOnline this morning that, eager to replicate Greenville's success, city leaders in Pickens have
allotted money and awarded contracts for several projects that will improve local
bike/ped infrastructure and create recreation outlets and tourism attractions.
One of these projects is the second and third phases of the Appalachian
Lumber Greenway Trail, a paved, multi-use trail along the old Appalachian
Lumber Company's rail corridor.
The city is also investing in the construction of an
off-road bike park - a skateboard park for bicycles - which would include 3,500-foot
loop on a timber frame with jumps, obstacles and challenges for off-road cyclists.
Similar parks across America have been shown to not only increase local
interest in biking but also draw experienced bikers from hundreds of miles
"We really want to make Pickens a destination for tourists
to come instead of just a drive-through on their way to the lakes and the
mountains," says city administrator Katherine Brackett.
"We want to take advantage of the traffic that's in our
town, and we want to have somewhere for them to go that creates a long enough
experience that they'll want to stop and go through our downtown and come back
here, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores."
Congratulations, Pickens. You're on to a good thing.
Photo courtesy TrailLink.com
The Duke Ellington Building
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