One era ends, another begins

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

The Doodle Trail is actually going to become a reality, and I’m thrilled. Also, I am grateful to the mayors, city administrators and city councils of Pickens and Easley for making this happen.

It can be difficult and sometimes almost impossible for a group of people to agree on a project of this scope. Especially if there is a vocal and hostile minority actively spreading rumors and cultivating a crop of fear and distrust.

I think repurposing a spent railway for the good of the entire community is an ingenious way to turn something useless back into a vital part of the future.

It’s an exciting step forward.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail connecting Greenville to Travelers Rest has proven to be a success. People travel to the area just so they can ride the trail. Just last week my young neighbors and I traveled to River Place Park with our bikes and pedaled alongside the Reedy River on one of the few days free of rainfall. It was an interesting and novel trip, taking us along a part of the city I’d never seen, at least from the vantage point of the trail.

It’s nice to see how user-friendly and popular this trail is. We went on Wednesday, and even though it was the middle of a weekday, there were plenty of bikers enjoying the trail. There are places to stop and eat, rent bikes or rest along the trail. Everything is clearly marked and it was an easy ride.

We saw people of all ages pedaling along. There were grandparents accompanying children, couples, groups and single riders. Everyone observed trail etiquette, and it was nice to be able to ride along without fear of dog attack.

Another aspect of riding the trail which was pleasant was how cars yielded to bikes at street crossings. Also, it was reassuring to see park personnel and city policemen present.

Many of us remember when downtown Greenville was dying. There were vacant buildings, and streets were empty of foot traffic. What a difference a couple of decades can make when city leaders are visionaries with the ability to drum up support for what many thought was a doomed project.

Well, it’s clear that the naysayers were wrong.

Having the Doodle Trail in Pickens County’s backyard will bring a new kind of commerce. People will come to ride the trail and will patronize restaurants and shops in both towns. The trail will be beautified and be inviting to the public. I expect public safety will be emphasized along the trail and the Doodle Trail will be a popular destination for families from out of town.

Once here they will find an excellent museum, historic sites, beautiful landscapes and other attractions for those who love the outdoors.

So, congratulations Pickens County. You’ve picked a winner.