From the Director: Don Walker

An Update on the Swamp Rabbit Trail and Laurens County


It’s been quite a while since you’ve seen an update but LCTA has been very busy.  This update covers two topics: the need for volunteers to help with the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail in Clinton and an update on progress on the Swamp Rabbit between Laurens and Clinton.

Swamp Rabbit in Clinton

Recently I met with Clinton’s Mayor Bob McLean, City Manager Bill Ed Cannon, and Harry Agnew.  McLean and Cannon shared their interest in the trail, affirmed that the city is on board, and requested LCTA’s assistance in working on the plan.  Since LCTA is fully loaded with working on the trail connecting Clinton to Laurens, we agreed that, with guidance from LCTA, a team of volunteers can get the job done.

The team will start by verifying the preliminary plan that’s already developed and then work out the details with property owners.  Trail easements will also need to be established with those property owners.  To do that, volunteers will need to be familiar with properties in Clinton and the people of Clinton, and be creative in working with people to identify alternatives when needed.  A firm belief that the Swamp Rabbit will be good for Clinton and a desire to help make it happen are also essential.

So here’s your chance to really get involved and help Clinton.  If you’re interested, or just curious, please call me or send an email so we can discuss it.  Clinton needs you, so please help!


Swamp Rabbit between Laurens and Clinton

As mentioned above, LCTA has been nearly completely focused on the sections of the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail that will connect Laurens to Clinton.  The long term plan is to start there and then head in both directions: eastward through Clinton and on to the Palmetto Trail in Sumter Forest; and westward through Laurens and on through Gray Court to Fountain Inn.  Obviously all of that will take many years to complete and we decided to start in the middle, connecting the two major cities.

It’s been a challenging process with a lot of steps.  We defined a preferred route and then worked with attorneys to identify the owners of the properties along that route and to decide on the details of the easements needed through those properties.  Discussions with those property owners revealed several results:

  • Many are very supportive because they recognize the value of having the Swamp Rabbit Trail on their property.

  • Some are supportive but for various reasons want the trail in a different place from what we planned.  Then it might not connect with adjoining properties so new plans, and new discussions, need to happen.

  • In some cases we had not fully appreciated the problems with terrain (hills, wet areas) so plan changes were needed.

  • Others are undecided and need more time to think about it.

  • We even have one property owner that has moved, left no forwarding address, and cannot be found!

So this process is taking a lot longer than we had expected.  Various situations require new plans but in the end it all needs to connect.  So it’s become an iterative process that’s complex and time consuming but, like the dog that won’t let go of the bone, we’re hanging in there and making progress!

That’s it for now.  Thanks for your interest and please contact me with any questions, ideas, or whatever!

From the Director: Don Walker

The Swamp Rabbit Trail and Laurens County


The GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville County has provided significant health and economic benefits to Greenville County’s citizens and visitors.  That’s why extending it through Laurens County is our top priority.  Our initial plan is for the 6-mile section between Laurens and Clinton, alternating between natural beauty portions through fields and forests, and portions closer to businesses for economic development purposes.

Currently (April 2018) we’re getting ready to approach land owners to discuss their interest in the trail and the possibility of a trail easement on their property.  We’re optimistic that property owners will be attracted to the benefits to them and to the community.  The experience in Greenville and Spartanburg counties has shown that people living on trails are very happy to have such easy access and that properties on trails are in higher demand to buyers.  We expect that discussions with property owners will take us into the summer and then engineering and construction can begin with a 2-mile stretch around and near the Laurens County Memorial Hospital.

After four years of planning we’re finally getting close to a real trail, so this is an exciting time for all of us at LCTA and hopefully for our friends and neighbors too.  Thanks for your support and your patience and watch this space for information and updates.