A Pickens County Milestone

Kerry Gilstrap/Courier

Officials including Easley mayor Larry Bagwell and Pickens mayor David Owens cut the ribbon on the Doodle Trail on Saturday in Easley. The ribbon was made up of a blue ribbon and a green ribbon joined together, symbolizing the partnership between the two cities.

Officials cut ribbon on Doodle Trail

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

PARTYEASLEY — In the early 1900s, the Pickens Doodle connected the towns of Pickens and Easley, allowing workers to travel to several places that provided employment in the rural environment of the textile industry.

Saturday, hundreds of Pickens County residents gathered at the beginning of the path the historic railroad car once traveled to kick off a new era for the former railroad.

Officials from both Pickens and Easley gathered along with dozens of local residents and visitors to cut the ribbon on the Doodle Trail, a paved path connecting the two cities that officials hope will help develop tourism and leisure activities in the county.

“The city of Easley and the city of Pickens decided … that we had heard that the old railroad Doodle Line was for sale,” Easley mayor Larry Bagwell. “So each of us spent $250,000 to buy this piece of property. We are so glad today that we are fixing to share it with all of you.”

Rev. John Adams, pastor of Easley First Baptist Church, opened the ceremony with a prayer.

“Wow, how you have unveiled your power today,” Adams said. “We thank you for cities that can work together, to connect our people together, so we can be healthier and have more communication and bring other people into this wonderful area we call home.”

Adams asked the Lord to put a hedge of protection on the trail, “that it will always be a place of safety.”

Pickens mayor David Owens then addressed the crowd.

“Isn’t it a great day to be in Easley and Pickens,” Owens began. “It’s Memorial Day weekend. So I just want to say thanks to all those who died serving our county. Thank you to the men and women who are serving today and our veterans who served in the past. That’s why we are able to come out today and get together like this, is because of our freedom.”

Owens introduced Pickens City Council members who were present, as well as city administrator Bruce Evilsizor, and said thanks to former administrator Katherine Hendricks for her contribution to the project.

Owens noted that the cities purchased the property just two years ago, and now the trail is open.

“Two years is not that bad, is it?” Owens said.

Owens noted that in the beginning the cities needed a contractor to design and construct the trail. Two companies worked together to design the trail, Alta Planning and Design, represented by Blake Sanders, and King Asphalt. Both were recognized at the ribbon-cutting.

Mike Crenshaw of King Asphalt presented Bagwell and Owens pieces of steel from the actual railroad.

Laurie Field accepted a check for $500 for designing the logo for the Doodle Trail.

“We had 80 entrants to choose from,” Bagwell said.

Bagwell then introduced members of Easley City Council and mentioned former city administrator Fox Simons for the work he did to see the project come to life.

Bagwell said he looks for the trail to contribute to the lifestyle of people living in Pickens County.

“What a tremendous place this will be,” Bagwell said. “A generation ago, people in Easley and Pickens could not even meet safely on the football field. Now they will be enjoying life together on the Doodle Trail.”