‘Just the beginning’

Doodle Trail grand opening

planned Saturday morning

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — The long-awaited grand opening ceremony for the Doodle Trail will be held this weekend.

The celebration, set for 10 a.m. Saturday at 514 Fleetwood Drive in Easley, will include words from both Pickens mayor David Owens and Easley mayor Larry Bagwell, as well as the unveiling of the logo for the trail, a ribbon cutting and giveaways.

The 7.5-mile trail runs from Easley to Pickens along the path of the former Pickens Doodle Railroad.

“We are very excited about the opening of the Doodle Trail,” Owens said. “This project represents a great partnership between Pickens and Easley, and we are looking forward to the positive impact this trail will have on our communities.”

Owens said he plans to run the trail on its opening day.

The cities are excited to showcase the winning logo design for the Doodle Trail, which will be used online, in print, on merchandise and in applicable wayfinding signage.

“(It will be) an exciting day for the cities of Easley and Pickens,” Bagwell said. “This project has gone smoothly, thanks to many.

“Remember, this is just the beginning, not the ending.”

Easley officials have scheduled a meeting for nearby residents for next Tuesday night at the Dream Center Easley, so that people will know what to expect.

“Everybody needs to be on the same page on this,” Bagwell said. “It’s hard enough to coordinate something within your own city. Having two cities just makes it tougher. Having two cities and another entity in charge makes it near impossible.

“But if we work together this thing can be good for all of us.”

Security along the trail will come from various sources. The Easley police department will provide security for the part of the trail that goes through Easley, and Pickens will provide for the part that goes through Pickens. The remainder of the trail will be the responsibility of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

“Of course we want people to feel safe on the trail,” Bagwell said.

Owens looks for the trail to continue to change to adjust to people’s wants and needs.

“We may have it open for a month and find people want more,” Owens said.

“We are willing to change to meet everyone’s criteria.”

“This is something that can connect Pickens County’s past with its future,” Bagwell said. “Future generations are counting on us to do it right.”

Officials gave a special thanks to Blake Sanders with Alta Planning and Mike Crenshaw with King Asphalt for their partnership in the Doodle Trail project.

The Doodle Line carries a rich history of industry and economy important to both the City of Pickens and the City of Easley. The Doodle Trail presents an opportunity to carry on the memory of the historic railroad and preserve the vital connection that was forged between Easley and Pickens more than 120 years ago.

For more information, contact Owens at (864) 878-6421 or Bagwell at (864) 855-7900.