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Swamp Rabbit Rated Among Top US Urban Bike Paths
They teach you in elementary school about the varying ways that humans settle together – urban, suburban, rural — and the Swamp Rabbit Trail takes cyclists on a journey through each.
Well, the longtime, acclaimed travel publication Fodor's Travel Guide has taken its own field trip — and it has keyed in on the Swamp Rabbit's urban stretch through downtown Greenville as the first on its list of Top 10 "America's Best Urban Bike Paths."
Downtown Greenville joins a collection of some of America's largest and well-known cities on the list — Philadelphia, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Honolulu.
The list is an ode to May as "National Bike Month."
The explanation is succinct — and Greenville is mentioned first.
"Tracing the tree-lined banks of the Reedy River," the publication says, the trail "runs right through downtown. Stop at +Falls Park on the Reedy for a photo op in front of its rushing waterfall and manicured gardens, or cut up to Soby's on Main Street for chef Shaun Garcia's contemporary take on Southern specialties."
The publication points cyclists to the emerging Sans Souci area where "on weekends, locals pedal west to Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery. Follow their lead to fresh, gourmet coffee and cheesy Turkish pogacha puff pastries."
The guide's "inside tip" points cyclists to downtown's Reedy Rides, which offers $30 full-day bike rentals, "just one block north from the start of the trail."
The "start" of the trail is an elusive concept.
At the northernmost point, the trail begins in a rural area just north of downtown Travelers Rest, which before the northern extension was the genesis of the trail.
The trail travels down through Furman University, through the west side's old mill villages and after winding through downtown, meets a sudden, 1.5-mile interruption at Greenville Tech before the trail picks up again to end in Lake Conestee Natural Park.
The guide describes the particular urban experience of trails.
"While cycling can be a great way to commune with nature, cities all across the United States — from Sacramento to Indianapolis and down to St. Petersburg —are developing more cyclist-friendly environments with designated bike paths. Luckily for travelers, these urban trails double as roadmaps to the very best of art, dining and adventure in each destination, no matter what time of year."
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