Early Spring walk on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

Colorful tire planters
If you're a regular reader of my outings, then you may know of my interest in abandoned railroads, especially in the old Greenville & Northern Railway ("Swamp Rabbit Railroad") whose old right-of-way is now partially  incorporated into the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Apparently, many folks share my interest in the path of the Greenville & Northern Railway remains one of my most popular posts (it used to be the most popular until the post about the ghost town of Mortimer overtook it in the view count and kept on going).

In the first of three outings this week, I walked part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville to visit a few targets related to the old railway.

On the way I passed by an entrance to the Governors School of the Arts and Humanities and the prominently placed statue of its founder Virginia Uldrick.
Virginia Uldrick statue
Then I passed by Arboretum Falls
Arboreteum Falls - 5
...and a major attraction of the park, Reedy River Falls.
Reedy River Falls - 5
Then past more interesting distractions to this office on Reedy View Drive:
Old Greenville and Northern Railway office - 1
From sometime between 1955-1965 until 1997, this was an office for the Greenville & Northern Railway.
Old Greenville and Northern Railway office - 2
This building replaced a turntable, as seen in this 1920 Sanborn Fire Insurance map overlay from the Greenville GIS website:
The turntable can still be discerned from this 1955 overlay:
The 1965 overlay reveals the turntable has been replaced by the office building:
The office building has remained mostly the same, but the area around it has changed:
The rail is gone, the trestle is gone, and several buildings are gone too.

Across the street from the old Greenville & Northern Railway office is Linky Stone Park, home to the Children's Garden.

The park is designed for children to learn about plants which gardens exploring a particular theme. There's the Five Senses Garden...
Five Senses Garden - Taste
the Alphabet Garden...
the Rainbow Garden...
Circular garden
the Fairy Tale Forest, where this friendly totally legit woman offers tasty temptations...
Gingerbread house - 4
My favorite exhibit though for the one for the 1911 book The Secret Garden, with murals from depicting characters and events from the classic book.
Secret Garden - 7
The public domain book is available for free download from Project Gutenberg, and many other sources I'm sure.

The site is maintained by the City of Greenville and volunteers from the Greenville Master Gardeners Association. Linky Stone Park is named in honor of Allene "Linky" Stone...
Linky Stone Park dedication Linky Stone Park dedication - 2
...for her contributions to the community, including her donation of this property, the original site of Stone Manufacturing, to the city of Greenville that made the creation of this garden possible.

Next, I made my way north up the trail between Westfield St. and Hudson St. where an old wooden trestle is rotting away, a leftover from when railroads were still present on both sides of the Reedy River here.
Greenville and Northern trestle ruins- 3
This snippet from a 1979 USGS quad map shows the trestle here:
The trestle continues along the north bank toward Hudson St.
Trestle ruins - 4
At Hudson Street., I took some photos of the old right of way on the north side of the Reedy River.
North side railroad ROW - 1 North side railroad ROW - 3
Just south of a trestle for Norfolk Southern is a commeration to Franklin D Roosevelt, whose body was brought back from Warm Springs, Georgia, where he died in April 1945, back to Washington D.C. then to Hyde Park, NY for burial. The funeral train stopped briefly at the Greenville Depot to change personnel before resuming its trek.
FDR memorial - 2 FDR memorial
At Hudson Street, the trail switches from the abandoned railroad right of way on the south side of the Reedy River to one on the north side.
Trail takes sharp turn
Which means I switch from watching the north side to the south side.
South side railroad ROW - 1 South side railroad ROW - 2
I spotted a trestle over Long Branch creek where abandoned rail ends and the active rail begins for CSX.
South side railroad ROW - 5
Then I come to my northernmost stop today, an abandoned trestle that once connected the Greenville & Northern Railway with CSX until the 1980s.
Abandoned connector trestle - 3
Unlike the wooden trestle to the south, this one seemed in great shape. I walked up to the trail's intersection with Bramlett Road to get a photo of the CSX offices.
CSX offices - 2
Then I came back to walk across the trestle to see what was on the other side (there must be a joke there somewhere). I found this leftover diamond crossing. I've seem photos of them, but this is the first one I've seen in person.
Abandoned diamond crossing
I walk back into the city, mostly taking photos of the usual locations.
View from bridge Furman Women's College Medusa Roots
My last photo is of drill marks near the old grist mill site.
That's when I noticed my camera's battery was almost drained. I didn't think a spare with me was necessary this trip. Actually it wasn't. I still visited the places I wanted to see, and still took the photos I wanted to take. I just cut it a bit close this time.

I took many more photos this trip than I could show here. All my photos are shared in an album on Flickr.

Next up is my third visit to Dupont State Forest this year.


  1. I always wondered what that old trestle had been! My boys love to stop there to throw stones into the river on our bike rides. This is one of our favorite stretches of the trail, but with city park going in, I have to wonder how much longer those old wooden trestles will be around.


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