If you love two-wheel adventures, scenic views, coffee breaks, and high-quality brews, get ready to paddle through paradise as we explore the Swamp Rabbit Trail (SRT) in Greenville, SC.
Nestled in the heart of Palmetto State, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 28-mile multi-use greenway that winds its way through the charming town of Greenville, SC. With numerous bike rental locations and guided tours available, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is the perfect way to discover the beauty of Greenville.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share an overview of the entire Swamp Rabbit Trail, from Falls Park on the Reedy, its starting point, to the Travelers Rest in Greenville County, SC, and the best things to do and enjoy along the trail.
While you’re in beautiful Upstate SC, be sure you don’t miss out on the Best Wineries in Greenville.
- About Greenville
- A Brief History of Swamp Rabbit Trail
- Overview of the Swamp Rabbit Trail
- Expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail: Green Line Extension
- Swamp Rabbit Trail Events in Greenville
- Swamp Rabbit Trail Etiquette
- How Long Does it Take to Bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail?
- Best Things to See, EAt, and Do along the Swamp Rabbit Trail
- Where to Park
- Public Transportation
- Swamp Rabbit Bike Rentals
- The Bottom Line
Downtown Greenville is a cool place!
Staying true to its roots as a textile center, Greenville has a rich history that makes it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country.
With a population of more than 100,000 people, Greenville offers many activities, including arts and music, nature, and sports and fitness. Greenville is filled with cultural and recreational opportunities, and there are plenty of natural spaces too.
A Brief History of Swamp Rabbit Trail
“Why ‘Swamp Rabbit’?” The trail was named after the Greenville and Northern Railway, which was known as the “Swamp Rabbit” due to its winding routes through swampy terrain.
This railway previously linked Greenville to the nearby city of Travelers Rest and beyond afield. As the railway fell into disrepair, the idea of transforming it into a multi-use greenway developed.
The transformation of Swamp Rabbit Trail began in the early 2000s and was officially opened in 2009. Since then, it has become a popular recreational asset for both locals and tourists, attracting thousands of visits each year.
Overview of the Swamp Rabbit Trail
This 28-mile trail network extends from downtown Greenville to Travelers Rest, with additional segments near Simpsonville, Fountain Inn, and Lake Conestee Nature Park.
The Loop Trail in Laurens County is a recent extension completed in 2023. It serves as the official beginning point of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail. Along the trail, you can enjoy views of the Reedy River, lush forests, and sights of local wildlife. Get the official interactive map here.
One of the best things about the Swamp Rabbit Trail is its accessibility. The trail is mostly flat and paved, making it perfect for riders of all ages and skills and great for families.
Expanding the Swamp Rabbit Trail: Green Line Extension
The Green Line Extension, which parallels Laurens Road and passes through Holland Park, is another important extension of the existing Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC, that was completed in June 2023. This extension allows bikers, walkers, and runners to travel safely and conveniently from Greenville Zoo to Verdae Boulevard.
The project involves the construction of new trail segments and infrastructural improvements to connect these areas. The extension project is a joint effort between the city and county, making it easier for people to enjoy outdoor activities, commute, and explore the city on this trail.
Swamp Rabbit Trail Events in Greenville
The Swamp Rabbit Trail and Greenville area host various events and activities throughout the year. Here are some of the famous upcoming events,
The Swamp Rabbit Trail and its surrounding areas host various running events such as 5K races, half marathons, and full marathons. These races attract participants from all across the world.
This race starts from Travelers Rest, SC, along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail and ends in downtown Greenville, SC. It covers 13.1 picturesque net downhill miles.
Participants in the 5K event will go 3.1 net downhill miles beginning at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and ending in downtown Greenville, SC, along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Note: Pets are not allowed for this event.
Location: NOMA Square 220 North Main Street, Greenville, SC
Event Timing: 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Wind down your workweek with a stroll though downtown for Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays. Get ready to groove to the best in live musical entertainment.
Pro Tip: NOMA Square chairs tend to fill up quickly, so bring your own comfortable tailgating chair if you’re not planning on arriving early.
Swamp Rabbit Trail Etiquette
Following some basic trail etiquette is crucial to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone on the trail:
- Stay to the right side of the path. When passing, show some Southern hospitality by saying “on your left” or using your bell.
- Remember, this is a greenway, not a racetrack. Maintain speeds of less than 20 mph, especially while passing others.
- Dogs are welcome, but they must be leashed, and owners must clean up after them.
- Respecting nature and the environment by not littering and staying on designated paths is also essential.
How Long Does it Take to Bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail?
As a bike trail, the time it takes to travel the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC, depends on several factors, including your pedaling pace, the starting point, your fitness level, and how many pauses or detours you take along the way.
Here are some ballpark figures:
Full Trail (End to End): If you biked the full 22-mile length of the Swamp Rabbit Trail from Greenville to Travelers Rest without many stops, you could finish in about 2 – 3 hours at a moderate pace.
Sections: If you only plan to bike a specific section of the trail, the time will obviously be reduced. For example, biking from downtown Greenville to Furman University, which is roughly 8 miles one way, might take about 45 minutes, depending on your speed.
Leisurely Ride: If you want to take a leisurely ride, stop at points of interest along the way, and enjoy the landscape or a meal along the way, it can take much longer. You can actually make a full day out of exploring the ins and outs of the trial, while stopping along the way for refreshments and to see some of the attractions.
Best Things to See, EAt, and Do along the Swamp Rabbit Trail
A bike ride along the Swamp Rabbit Trail promises a memorable journey. As you pedal your way through the 22-mile route, you’ll encounter numerous points of interest.
Here are some of the best things to see and do (and eat and drink!) along the trail.
Starting Point: Falls Park on the Reedy
Location: 601 S Main St, Greenville, SC
Begin your adventure in Falls Park on the Reedy in the center of downtown Greenville. This historic park is not only the starting point of the Swamp Rabbit Trail but also a destination in itself. Take some time to explore the park’s lush greenery, the majestic Liberty Bridge that spans the Reedy River, the Art Crossing Galleries, and the captivating Reedy Falls.
Before you hit the trail, make sure to fuel yourself! There are a number of great places to eat near the park, including Old Europe Desserts, Mellow Mushroom Pizza, and many more. It’s a great way to kick off your journey.
Location: 150 Cleveland Park Dr, Greenville, SC
Located near the trail’s southern end, only 1.6 miles (8 minutes) away from Falls Park, Greenville Zoo is an exciting family-friendly attraction in downtown Greenville. From majestic giraffes to ferocious leopards and lions, there’s a fascinating species waiting to pique your interest. It is a great place to visit if you’re biking with children.
I’ve been here a few times and always love seeing the Red Pandas. And as of August 2023 you can now see baby Red Pandas born at the zoo as part of a conservation program.
Conestee Nature Reserve
Location: 480 Conestee Rd Greenville, SC 29605
As you peddle along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, take some time to explore Conestee Nature Reserve, formerly known as Lake Conestee Nature Park. This 400-acre park in Conestee, South Carolina, has a network of 12 miles of beautiful hiking trails along the scenic banks of the Reedy River.
Notably, it is home to South Carolina’s largest urban wetlands and offers a unique opportunity to watch alligators in their natural habitat. The park, which is only 6 miles from downtown Greenville, invites visitors from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or enjoy a picnic, the park provides the perfect setting.
Location: 320 South Hudson Street, Greenville, SC 29601
The SRT runs alongside the river within Unity Park, providing a smooth link for walkers and bikers. This newly opened park has a variety of attractions for people of all ages, making it a must-see stop on your trail journey.
The park features four modern playgrounds, a 4,100-square-foot splash pad, expansive green spaces, and an inviting 10,000-square-foot center.
This urban paradise also has basketball courts, a historic baseball field, and three pedestrian bridges that cross the Reedy River. Unity Park is accessible through SRT from any downtown Greenville parking garage.
Location: 147 Wellborn St, Greenville, SC 29601
The Commons, located directly along the Swamp Rabbit Trail and less than a 20 minute ride from Unity Park, welcomes you to take a well-deserved break, refuel with delightful food and beverages, and soak in the pleasant atmosphere. Don’t miss out on the morning delights at Methodical Coffee and The Bake Room.
Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor dining, The Commons provides ample options, including picnic tables and open lawn spaces for a leisurely dinner.
Southernside Brewing Company
Location: 25 Delano Dr, Unit D, Greenville, SC 29601
Southernside Brewing Co., located along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville’s Southernside Neighborhood, is a favorite stop for bikers, trail walkers, and runners. The brewery offers a diverse menu with Southern flare, 10+ house-brewed beers, a large indoor and outdoor gathering space, live music, and a family-friendly ambiance.
Location: 1320 Hampton Ave Ext, Greenville, SC
Hampton Station is a vibrant and dynamic multi-use development located only 2 miles from downtown Greenville and directly on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Here, you’ll discover a slew of local businesses, including an ax-throwing venue, a taco eatery, a brewery, a meadery, and a coffee shop.
Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery
Location: 205 Cedar Lane Rd, Greenville, SC
After about a 20-minute ride along the SRT trail, you’ll reach Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. Located only 2 miles from downtown Greenville, it is the perfect place for a quick meal or to stock up on trail necessities such as snacks and beverages. This grocery store supports local farms and hosts a cafe with an extensive food menu, which includes salads, sandwiches, and soups.
Location: 3300 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville, SC 29613
Once you reach a spot with a softball field, stationary train, parked cars, fountains, and benches, you’ll be at Furman University. It is the oldest private university in South Carolina and has a beautiful campus full of magnificent buildings.
Whether you choose to ride past it or take a short detour to explore the grounds, this historical gem is only 6 miles from downtown Greenville. When I’ve biked the Swamp Rabbit, I always loved stopping at Furman to walk around Swan Lake, right in the middle of campus. It’s around the halfway point, so it’s a great place to stop!
As you ride towards downtown Travelers Rest, only 15 minutes from Furman University, you’ll come across a few bridges, some highways to cross, and a few shady nature trails.
Travelers Rest, SC, is a quaint town with a vibrant Main Street. You’ll find a wide variety of options here, including shops, eateries, and inviting cafes.
The Swamp Rabbit Brewery is a favorite place for beer lovers to raise a glass in celebration. Another delicious option is to stop in for a good up of Joe and some crepes at Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse.
Where to Park
There is parking available at several parks along the route, including Falls Park (601 S. Main St.) and Cleveland Park (150 Cleveland Park Dr.) in Greenville, and Trailblazer Park (235 Wilhelm Winter St.) and Gateway Park (115 Henderson Dr.) in Travelers Rest.
There are also designated parking areas within Lake Conestee Nature Park to access the southern section of the trail.
If you’re coming outside of downtown Greenville, consider taking the Greenville Transit Authority (GREENlink) or a rideshare service to the reach trailhead.
Visit the Greenville Transit Authority website to plan your trip.
Swamp Rabbit Bike Rentals
There are a few places to rent a bike along the trail. Here are some of the best.
1 Logan Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Text to 864-345-7990, and they will promptly reply
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ideally located along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, Swamp Rabbit Inn provides a unique and modern bed and breakfast experience in Greenville, SC, and Travelers Rest, SC. Its original downtown Greenville location has six bedrooms and a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.
Meanwhile, its second facility in Travelers Rest, near Furman University, offers a unique experience. Enjoy home comforts while immersing yourself in local culture and easy access to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
The Greenville location has bike rentals available for both guests and the public.
50 South Richardson St, Greenville, SC29601
Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm
Reedy Rides is a family-owned and operated bicycle rental business in the picturesque town of Greenville, SC. They offer bike rentals seven days a week to riders of all ages and skill levels.
Their rental shop is conveniently located at 12 West McBee Street in downtown Greenville. Whether you’re looking for a half-day, weekend, full-day, or customized rental package tailored to your needs and requirements, their rental rates are competitive.
1 Center Street, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Phone: (864) 834-3019
Fax: (864) 834-2679
Operating Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunrift Adventures, started in 1980 by Upstate South Carolina outdoorsmen Jim Kelly and Bo Terry, is a reliable outfitter. Bo Terry and his hardworking team still own and operate this renowned outdoor store.
Sunrift Adventures, located in historic downtown Travelers Rest, offers gear and expertise for cyclists, paddlers, hikers, backpackers, climbers, and tourists.
Whether or not you rent a bike from here, don’t miss out on the store. This has always been my favorite stop once I get to the end of the Swamp Rabbit. It’s filled with outdoor gear, books on local and exotic adventures, souvenirs, and more. For me it’s hard to believe how much good stuff they manage to pack into a small store.
The Bottom Line
From the Swamp Rabbit’s starting point in downtown Greenville, where you can explore the city’s heart, to its many detours along the way, like Furman University and the restaurants in Travelers Rest, this trail is a regular part of life for many locals and a big attraction for tourists to the area.
Along the journey, you’ll come across hidden gems like the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, Hampton Station, and Unity Park, each with its distinct charm and delights.
You can also enjoy a variety of activities along the trail, including a scenic view at Wofford College, a picturesque old-growth forest, a boat launch, and an abundance of shops and restaurants. With so many reasons to explore Greenville, the Swamp Rabbit Trail is the perfect way to experience the upstate.