GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail receives Great Places honor

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The Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail has been popular with people of the Upstate. Now, it’s the “People’s Choice” in the American Planning Association’s 2017 Great Places in America.

The SRT received more than 51,600 votes – a record for the contest – to beat the City of Rochester Public Market; downtown Golden, Colo.; the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa; and Douglas Avenue in Wichita, Kansas.

The APA said the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail network “puts Main Street on a county-scale” and said the trail sees more visitors annually than the entire population of the county.

“The trail originated in and was the catalyst for the revitalization of the town of Travelers Rest. Thanks to the trail’s popularity, once-vacant old textile industry buildings all along the trail are renovated, repurposed, and brought back to life with new businesses and services with pleasing monikers like ‘The Swamp Rabbit Trail Café and Grocery’ and ‘Hampton Station,’” the trail’s Great Places in America profile said.

The trail is 19.9 miles and generates $6.7 million in tourism economic impact annually since 2009. Future expansion visions include “flying” the trail through the second story of a mixed-use building and “invisible” bridges over roadways, the profile said.

The only other Upstate location to make the Great Places in America list, which began in 2007, is Uptown Greenwood, 82 acres of commercial, residential, and public space centered around a stretch of Main.

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