As Greenville’s Swamp Rabbit Trail nears completion, a few sections in Greenville, South Carolina are already marked and open to the public. One of the portions is a preexisting trail that is well known to locals, connecting Cleveland Park to the downtown Falls Park. Here is a detailed trail description of this popular and well traversed portion of Swamp Rabbit Trail.
You’ll begin your trek after parking at the main parking area of Cleveland Park. Keep you ears pricked for hooting monkeys and other animals within the adjacent Greenville Zoo. Pick up Swamp Rabbit Trail at the Greenville County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, tastefully designed with black and white stone and an accompanying granite memorial to those lost in World War II and other wars. You will then proceed down the paved path that you will follow for the rest of your walk. Notice the replica toy train off to the right, made by the Koplan company and providing a fun little spot for imaginative young ones.
After crossing the concrete bridge over the Reedy River, the trail quickly takes you into a lush, wooded area where a series of flowers both wild and cultivated bloom from the early spring straight through the summer. To your left, magnificent live oaks loom over the lush undergrowth, while the Reedy River meanders past lilies , trees of paradise and other flora to your right. After opening out to a grassy park lawn, you will soon be crossing the Reedy River again on a busy street bridge.
You are now on on the Brad Wyche section of the Reedy River and the most populated portion of the trail so far. If the weather is nice, you will come across no shortage of bikers and joggers working up a sweat, as well as the more lackadaisical of us out for a leisurely stroll. Take a moment to check out the Memorial F-86 Sabre Jet, honoring Major Rudolf Anderson Jr, the only man of any nationality to loose his life during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Anderson was hit by a Soviet missile while flying over Cuba. Swamp Rabbit Trail continues along a pleasant change of terrain where you will make your way along the river nestled by green hills on either side of the trail. In the spring, some of these hills are awash in blooming violets that are soon overgrown by creeping kudzu.
When you come to the third and final bridge crossing the Reedy River, you will find yourself at the most scenic part of the walk save for Falls Park itself. Here the river babbles across the local bedrock into a deep pool that tempts ducks, dragonflies and dogs alike to get their feet wet. When you’re ready to move on, you will arrive at Falls Park after one more jaunt around a couple of bends of Swamp Rabbit Trail.
For further information on Cleveland Park and Falls Park themselves, please consult my articles on those Greenville gem stones located here on Associated Content.