Exploring Upstate’s Gem: The Swamp Rabbit Trail

Exploring Upstate’s Gem: The Swamp Rabbit Trail

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of the Upstate region lies a hidden gem that has captivated the hearts of locals and visitors alike since its inception in 2009—the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Stretching over 28 miles, this trail offers a unique outdoor experience for all who venture along its path. From its humble beginnings as a bumpy railway, the Swamp Rabbit Trail has become one of the Upstate’s greatest attractions. Let’s take a closer look at the Swamp Rabbit Trail!

  1. The Origins of the Swamp Rabbit Trail

The story of the Swamp Rabbit Trail traces back to the early 20th century when a railway known as the Carolina, Knoxville, and Western Railway was established. As the train chugged along the wetlands of the Reedy River, passengers couldn't help but notice the bumpy ride and the marshy surroundings, leading them to affectionately dub it the "Swamp Rabbit."

  1. Rails to Trails: A Vision Takes Root

In 1998, Upstate Forever, a nonprofit organization, launched a visionary campaign called "Rails to Trails" with the aim of repurposing disused railways into vibrant recreational trails. Recognizing the untapped potential of the Swamp Rabbit railway, the campaign garnered widespread support and enthusiasm from the community, paving the way for a transformative journey ahead.

  1. The Birth of a Trail

In 2007, the dream of transforming the Swamp Rabbit railway into a multi-use trail took a significant leap forward when it officially received its name—The Swamp Rabbit Trail. Spearheaded by its sponsor, Greenville Health System (now Prisma Health), the trail embarked on a new chapter, symbolizing a commitment to promoting health, wellness, and connectivity within the community.

  1. A Magnet for Visitors: The Trail's Popularity Soars

Since its inauguration, the Swamp Rabbit Trail has emerged as a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers from near and far. With over 500,000 people flocking to its scenic pathways annually, the trail has carved a special place in the hearts of those who love the outdoors and the Upstate of South Carolina. Whether it's cycling, jogging, or leisurely strolling, the trail offers something for everyone, beckoning travelers to explore its tranquil beauty and rich heritage.

  1. Economic Impact: The Trail's Ripple Effect

Beyond its recreational appeal, the Swamp Rabbit Trail plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth and vitality in the Upstate region. With over $7 million in tourism-based revenue generated annually, the trail serves as a catalyst for local businesses, restaurants, and accommodations along its route. From quaint cafes serving up freshly brewed coffee to boutique shops showcasing local artisans' wares, the Swamp Rabit Trail enhances the region's appeal as a premier destination for visitors and residents alike.


In the heart of the Upstate, amidst rolling hills and verdant valleys, lies a testament to the enduring spirit of innovation and stewardship—the Swamp Rabbit Trail. From its origins as a bumpy railway to its transformation into a thriving recreational oasis, the trail stands as a beacon of community pride and environmental stewardship. As we look to the future, let us continue to cherish and preserve this beloved treasure, ensuring that generations to come can experience the wonder and beauty of the Swamp Rabbit Trail for years to come. So, lace up your hiking boots, dust off your bicycle, and embark on an adventure along the trail—you never know what wonders await around the next bend.

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