Buds are on the trees. Sunlight on the skin is now warm enough to remind us to use sunscreen. Spring is upon us! Time for fun outdoors and tours on the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail network. Also time for another Swamp Rabbit Hoppenings. Hope you enjoy. Let’s get started in no particular order:

  • National Park Service in Greenville County – Bet you didn’t know that. Well, the NPS has been to Greenville County and Anderson County numerous times as part of the NPS Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Their recent projects include helping Matt Schnell over in Anderson County with his auspicious Saluda River Trail project and helping the leaders of the Golden Strip communities to build the Swamp Rabbit network to their businesses and neighborhoods. If you have a project that would benefit from the deep talents of the NPS check this out.
  • Green Line to CU-ICAR – progress continues toward the opening of this section of the network by Dec 2022. We are currently soliciting bids to construct the overpasses at Laurens Rd, Haywood Rd, Woodruff Rd and Verdae Rd.
  • Are you a Swamp Rabbit?- One of the joys of this job is meeting people on the trail and hearing their stories, getting energized by the sense of community and being humbled by the creativity that surrounds us. I have already recruited some “trail friends” but know there are more cool stories out there. Think of this project as StoryCorps for the Swamp Rabbit. We’ll grab your story on video and/or audio. Let me know if you are willing to share who you are and what makes you a Swamp Rabbit.
  • Fur grooming commences again: a.k.a. Repaving. During the colder months, we were working on drainage improvements and shoulder repairs. Now that the temps are consistently up we are heading back out with the heavy equipment to pick up where we left off in the fall. We’ll be starting at the Little Creek bridge near mile marker SR 287 of the Green Line (a.k.a. ½ mile north of Sulphur Springs Rd) and heading north towards our final destination of Sunrift in TR (a.k.a. Travelers Rest.  For the first week at least, the trail will be closed from Sulphur Springs to Watkins Bridge Rd. Closures will typically be just Monday – Thursday but check our Facebook page for the latest before you head out or sign up for text alerts…
  • Text “swamprabbit” to 99000:  Fight the auto-correct and make sure “swamprabbit” is all in lowercase. You’ll know you are doing it right when you get a text back asking for more information. Most text messages will come out in the AM right as we are closing the trail for the day. Just an FYI if you sign up after I have sent my morning text closure you won’t get notice that its closed that day, so sign up today.
  • Volunteer to help with the repaving: No, I am not asking you to bring a load of hot asphalt to the trail. If you ever thought it would be fun to be one of those road construction flaggers for a day, here is your chance! We would love some help manning the barricades. We’ll even provide you with a chair so you have permission to sit down on the job. Most work will be Monday through Thursday 8:30 – 3:30 and not in heavy rain. Time to check this one off your bucket list! Just email me if you are interested in taking a shift.
  • Park Hop will be hopping on the Swamp Rabbit this year with Office Jack Rabbit: With a name like Park Hop it’s a natural to be on the Swamp Rabbit. Coming back again this summer this fun family scavenger hunt crisscrosses Greenville and Spartanburg parks. This year the hunt will include finding the characters from the interactive children’s book Mystery on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Taking place between Swamp Rabbit Station and Furman University the story is about Officer Jack Rabbit trying to solve the mystery of the “whoosh”. The story leads you down the trail figuratively and literally because in pages of the book it describes places on the trail where you can go find characters like “Henry ‘Wild’ Hare”. Click here for all the details on Park Hop.
  • Thank you Foothills Rotary Club and Trees Upstate : Last weekend 24 5-gallon trees were planted at the intersection of the Lakeview Link and the Green Line of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Trees Upstate planted 1025 trees in 2020 and is on track to blow-up that number in 2021!!!  Thanks for helping keep the Rabbit shady.
  • David versus Google: I would love some help getting Google to correct our trail names. Not just because it’s the right thing to do but by getting Google to identify the Orange Line on their maps it will become part of Google directions for people trying to get around without a car. Before I describe the process, the Green Line is the oldest section of the network. This is what goes from Cleveland Park in Greenville to TR. The Orange Line is the trail that Google has yet to identify. If you don’t know where the Orange line  is don’t worry about helping with this part. Now onto the process:
    • Type in “Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail” in the search box or just find the Green Line or the Orange Line on Google Maps.
    • Right click on the trail.
    • Left click “Report Data Problem”
    • (for the Green Line) Left click on “Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail” for the Orange Line click on  “Unnamed Road”.
    • Left click on “Road name”.
    • For the Green Line enter “Green Line of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail system”, for the Orange Line its “Orange Line of the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail system”. Thanks for the effort, a BIGGER thanks if you then click the “contribute more” option and pick more places on the trail system to help the cause. My hopes are that with multiple asks, Google will realize this is a legit change in name and not some weird personal crusade that Ty Houck has been on since 2019.
  • Swamp Rabbit Off-Road Cycling Club: March 27-May 8: This program builds lifelong skills, confidence, and smiles about riding your bike in the woods. For kids 8-12. Details here.
  • Show off your support for better biking and walking infrastructure with some new swag from Bike Walk Greenville’s new webstore. A portion of every sale goes directly towards local infrastructure projects and safety initiatives.
  • From Tree to……..? Found this the other week off the Green Line near Little Creek bridge. Let me know if you think you have the chops to carve this into something creative. Or next time one of you pass by those roadside bear carvers see if they are interested.
  • 400 Acre Co-work space – Our friends over at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve have created a new full-time Trails and Maintenance Specialist position. Fresh air is the best healthcare. Interested? Click here.
  • Love Your Summer Job – Get paid to be outdoors – lifeguard, camp counselor, park maintenance, waterpark staff – if you have a big smile come join us for some fun this summer. Click here for info.
  • Bcycle now Electric: Well technically pedal assist. Think of it like how gears help make it easier to bike, you still have to pedal but it’s easier when you want it. Greenville was selected as one of the first cities to be “electrified” Use this link to check them out and remember that Bcycle and their fee structure is meant to encourage short-distance trips. If you have been curious about ebikes Bcycle is a great way to try them out. The “wee-factor” of ebikes is high so make sure you understand the fees before you think about pedaling to the top of Caesar’s Head.
  • New bench at the northern (current) end of the Green Line The entire Swamp Rabbit community appreciates the generous donation of a bench in loving memory of Elena and Ana and Zoya and Lev.
  • Treetop Quest is hiring – I already mentioned jobs about working outdoors. This one is outdoors and up high!!! TreeTop Quest is located at Westside Park, easily accessible from the Green Line of the SRT via Bramlett Rd.  Click here for job information.
  • Awareness not seizures, please: Its smart and in some circumstances the law to have a headlight and taillight on your bike but how about switching them to steady when on the trail?
  • NICA – NICA stands for National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Its goal is to get more kids on bikes. Middle and High School students from across Greenville County come together for camaraderie and competition. Find out more here.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you to all the Swamp Rabbits and Trail Stewards that have shared openly with me. We live in a great corner of the world and we do great things – together.

Sincerely,
Ty

If you’d like to sign up for the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Hoppenings email list, please contact Ty Houck at [email protected].

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The playground at Lakeside Park is closed through May 5 while the parking lot is being repaved.
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