Doodle Trail opening planned

Meeting set for May 26

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter


EASLEY — With the trail scheduled to open later this month, residents wondering about progress on the Doodle Trail project are also invited to attend a public meeting at 6 p.m. May 26 at the Dream Center in Easley.

Easley city councilman Chris Mann announced the meeting during Monday night’s meeting of Easley City Council.

“We’ve got people from Easley and people from Pickens working on this, and quite honestly I don’t know if any of them know totally what’s going on,” Mann said. “This will be a chance for everyone to get together and make sure this project is all that we dream it can be.”

Although the trail will not be completely finished, it is scheduled to open to the public for the first time on Memorial Day weekend, officials have said.

After the meeting, mayor Larry Bagwell spoke briefly about the project.

“You know, we’ve been involved in lots of projects over the years, but honestly I don’t remember any that has the potential to make so many people happy,” Bagwell said. “At the same time, if we don’t do this right, everybody is going to notice. So we want to take our time and be sure we get this right.”

The project has the potential to do many things.

“I’ve heard some people say it could help rehabilitate poor neighborhoods in both cities,” Bagwell said. “Others are looking at this as a big recreational area between two cities. But if we do not do our job correctly, it could turn out to be next to nothing. We cannot let that happen.”

Security along the trail is another concern, Bagwell said.

“We want people to feel safe when they’re on the trail,” Bagwell said. “But we don’t want to make it a police state. That’s something Pickens and Easley need to work together on and start now as we are making plans for the trail.

“This is not one of those things where you open it up and then worry about making it safe. It needs to be as safe as possible from day one.”

Bagwell, who coached football at Easley High and was once the star quarterback for the Green Wave, smiles when he thinks about the potential of the project.

“You know, for many years Easley and Pickens couldn’t play each other in football — there was just too much potential for violence,” he said. “But now, they play every year, and the two cities are helping each other out in creating this trail to benefit both towns. That’s progress.

“And if we work together, everyone in Pickens County will be the beneficiaries.”