Lyman Rail Trail, a Spring, and Other Things

Lyman Rail Trail - 1
A few days ago the Lyman Rail Trail in Lyman, SC opened for public use, joining the growing number of rail trails in the area and the trend started by the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Lyman Rail Trail follows an abandoned spur to the old Lyman Mill between Lawrence Street and SC 292 (Spartanburg Highway). A future extension (phase 2) is being planned to extend the trail by Little Street and toward Groce Road.

I parked near the recycling center in the parking lot of the old Lyman Mill, then through Lyman Park, then across the street to the trailhead.

The newness of the trail is plain to see.
Lyman Rail Trail - 1 (crop) Lyman Rail Trail - 2
After a only few minutes and a few street crossings I made it to the trail's end.
Lyman Rail Trail - 6
The trail then connects to a sidewalk along Lawrence Street. What lies just beyond is what interested me. The rail was removed a few years ago, but I took some photos of the rail during my last visit in 2012:
Old railroad right-of-way - 7 Old railroad right-of-way - 8
On the other side of the the street, the rail is still there.
Abandoned Lyman Mill rail - 3 Abandoned Lyman Mill spur - 4
A railroad crossing sign also remains on Lawrence Street even though the rail has been paved over:
Abandoned Lyman Mill spur - 2
I reversed course, and in a few minutes I was back at the recycling center. Along the edge of the mill's old parking lot is the abandoned spur's right of way where the trail is likely to be extended next:
Abandoned Lyman Mill spur - 6 Abandoned Lyman Mill spur - 5
I knew walking the trail wouldn't take long (it's only about 0.4 miles long right now) so I planned a few more stops around town to make the trip worth my time.

The Piedmont and Northern Railway's Lyman Depot once was located between Piedmont Street and the mainline railroad.
Lyman Depot location (P&N)
In 1981, the depot was moved to Union Street in Spartanburg and become a gift shop. As of 2017, the building hosts a M&M Tax Service:
Lyman Depot - 2
The depot can be seen in its original location in this aerial photo in the Facebook group Days At Pacific Mills A Lyman Groupshared by Alton Free. The depot is located in the bottom right corner near three railroad cars:
Southern Railway also had a train depot in Lyman. This depot was at the end of Station Street at the railroad grade on top of a mound:
Lyman Depot location (Southern Railway)
I don't know what happened to this depot, but I speculate it was demolished.

Alton Free shared a different aerial photo to the same Facebook group showing the Southern Railway depot. From this view, the Southern Railway depot is at the bottom of the screen on top of the hill:
The corner of Station Street and Lawrence Street features an after school kids center. This was once the company store:
Kidz Klub After School
Then I walked over the the spring near the intersection of Lawrence Street and Spartanburg Highway. Once used by the residents for various functions, including drinking water and baptisms, the spring fell into disuse and became overgrown.
Lyman Spring - 2
Volunteers in 1971 cleaned up the spring...
Lyman Spring - 3
and in 1983 the owners of Lyman Mill deeded the property to the town for $1.
Lyman Spring - 1
While the spring remains in good condition, I can't recommend drinking the water.
Lyman Spring - 7
I had one more stop to fill some more time, River Place Park by the Middle Tyger Library.
River Place Park - 5
A sidewalk diverts pedestrians into the park away from Groce Road, over a bridge, then back to Groce Road, avoiding a concrete bridge pedestrians once had to risk crossing.
River Place Park - 7
I walked over the bridge, then back over and down the river bank so I could take a photo of the river:
Middle Tyger River - 3
I decided I had filled enough time. It was a pleasure visiting a mill town for a change that didn't resemble a District 12-like dystopia from the Hunger Games movie.

This is a map of the locations I visited in Lyman today:
Next time I come back, one item on the list has to be visit some mill stones mill stones embedded in a stone wall along Upward Street
Unfortunately, I had to stop uploading my photos to Google Photos because the API my Lightroom plugin used to send my photos to Google Photos was discontinued without a replacement (thanks Google!), and using the Google Drive plugin consumes space.

This still leaves Flickr, and I've shared my photos to an album, or you can click through them below:
Lyman Rail Trail, a Spring, and Other Things - April 2017


  1. Interesting to see the collection of park facilities. I hope the spring continues to be preserved in the future.

    1. They have some interesting plans for the park too, but that was beyond the scope of my post.


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