Riding the Doodle Trail

Last Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day, and at 3 o’clock I joined friends in Pickens to ride the Doodle Trail. It was pretty 6-25 Page 4A.inddexciting, because the trail had just opened on Saturday and who knew what lay ahead? There were a lot of other folks with the same idea, and as we rode along on our bikes we came across hikers and other bikers, joggers and strollers enjoying the day.

We even passed two wounded warriors in motorized wheelchairs with American flags, one a double amputee, who took advantage of a safe route on a perfect afternoon to enjoy the great outdoors.

One thing that struck me is how attractive and well-designed the trail is. There are wooden bridges over streams, shady trees along the trail side and some really pretty countryside to travel through.

There were grandparents riding with their grandchildren and families with small children riding with a tagalong stroller hitched to their bikes.

People we encountered were friendly, sometimes stopping to chat and exchange information about what lay ahead.

Those who began the journey in Easley would tell those who came from Pickens how easy the ride was waiting for them.

That’s one thing I really enjoyed. There were some hills, but the way the trail is graded there are none so high they can’t easily be passed over. The elevation is so gradual you’re hardly aware of an incline. Nowhere along the way did I have to get off and push the bike up a steep hill. As one friend commented, “How can it be downhill both ways?”

Of course it can’t, but it does give that impression.

When I ride out in the Rice’s Creek community, there are several places that require a dismount because there’s no other way for me to get over the hill. After all, we do live in the Foothills, and there are challenges. The best I can say about getting to the top of a steep hill is that coasting down the other side makes it almost worth the effort.

I’ve ridden the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which is longer and does have some beautiful stretches. But there are features of the Doodle Trail I prefer. The location is much better for me, as there’s only 15 minutes between the time I leave home and the time I’m riding.

I’d never be afraid to ride alone on the Doodle. It feels very safe. No pit bulls chase me coming and going. I don’t have to worry about being run over by a vehicle coming up behind me or being kidnapped. There are a scattering of homes along some stretches of the trail, but none of them looked to house serial killers.

People were sitting in their porch rockers watching the bikers go by, and any wave was returned. We passed by a few goats who live along the trail. They all seemed completely disinterested in us, but it was fun for us to see them.

Parking at both ends of the trail offers easy access, and it was just a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.

It’s amazing to see how cooperation between two towns in the county created such a wonderful asset for the people who live here and others who will come from other places to ride. I look forward to going again.