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Planning a visit to Greenville, South Carolina? Make sure to check out the Swamp Rabbit Trail! Perfect for bikers, hikers, and walkers, the Swamp Rabbit Trail offers a shady way to enjoy the great outdoors.
I’ve always loved Greenville, SC. In the downtown area, it always looks like there’s a street festival going on but no, that’s just Greenville. People are out. People are walking around. People are enjoying the fresh (hot) southern air while taking in views of the river and waterfall right in the heart of the city.
Eager to enjoy this unique spot, my sister, best friend, and I decided to spend our 4th of July weekend here. And on that weekend, we learned that one of the best things to do in Greenville is to explore the Swamp Rabbit Trail from the sculpted seat of a bicycle.
Biking The Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC
I’ll be honest, it had been a long time since I’d ridden a bike. How hard could it be, really? I rode bikes all the time as a kid. It was a beautiful day. Of course, everything would be fine.
Undeterred, our trio packed water bottles, slathered on the sunscreen, and ventured out to pick up our bike rentals.
Now, I assumed that this bike place would be located right on a bike trail. I figured that my amateur self could teeter and tottle around a bit before hitting the trails. But this was not the case.
The bike rental place was located several blocks from the place we would actually be riding our bikes, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but as you’ll remember, it had been ages since I’d ridden a bike.
As I smiled, nodded, and signed my life away on a safety waiver, I wondered how on earth I was going to survive on the open road.
But no one else appeared nervous. Better act cool.
My friend was the best at navigating the very, very light… almost nonexistent traffic. She confidently pedaled out into the road and waited for the light to turn green, like a poised and glamorous triathlete.
My sister and I were more awkward, inching forward at speeds so slow the bikes could hardly stand upright.
While my friend took the lead, speeding down the quiet street toward the trailhead, my sister and I drudged onward like sloths, clipping each other’s wheels and screaming all the way.
On the trail, my sister and I regained our composure. Like three gazelles, we rode nimbly down the shaded path, stopping to read interesting signs and take pictures.
The wind whipped through my hair and woodland creatures scurried through the underbrush and the tree canopies.
We ended up riding seven miles before taking a break at what we think was the edge of the Furman University campus. We spent some time lounging by a duck pond trying to blend in with the college kids, but that didn’t last long.
My sister has a distinct distaste for birds.
The tough thing about a seven-mile bike ride isn’t the seven miles you travel – it’s the seven miles you must travel back. I was starting to feel muscles I didn’t even know I had and the dappled sunlight suddenly wasn’t so charming as I felt my shoulders burning.
As our water supply began to run low and our sweatiness began to run high, we stumbled upon something amazing!
It was the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, situated perfectly off the trail for easy bike access, complete with popsicles, water bottles, and air conditioning! If I had a basket on my bike, I would have filled it with produce and sweet baked goods. Next time, little bakery, next time.
Refueled and refreshed, we finished the rest of our bike journey with the zeal of Tour de France hopefuls.
Even though our calves and quads were burning, we loved getting out in the fresh air to explore a different view of Greenville, South Carolina – a view from the handlebars. If you’re planning to visit Greenville, the Swamp Rabbit Trail can’t be missed!
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Well, that was exciting. I can relate to feeling awkward at first – then feeling like you were meant to be on a bike. You were brave to start in a city – scary. but you will be a pro next time – see you in August! on the trails??
This inspires me to hop on a bike and take a ride!
This is so much fun reading of your adventures! As I’ve told you before your words spring to life, and it is easy to feel as if I’m right along with you. Thanks! Greenville rocks!