New Rad Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina, provides singletrack alternative to paved greenway path

The Upstate Greenways and Trails Alliance has built a new singletrack trail along a popular greenway path to help "people of all ages to experience mountain biking for the first time."

The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a popular paved greenway path that follows the Reedy River and portions of an old railroad corridor while connecting city parks in Greenville, SC. The Upstate Greenways and Trails Alliance (UGATA) just opened a brand-new singletrack trail that parallels the paved greenway, dubbed the “Rad Rabbit Trail.”

The Rad Rabbit Trail allows riders to easily hop off the greenway path and enjoy flowy corners and dirt rollers on a more adventurous singletrack experience. The trail was designed to be wide enough that adaptive mountain bikes can use it, too.

“It’s built to be a fun way for people of all ages to experience mountain biking for the first time, as well as for seasoned mountain bikers to test their skills on a centrally located trail,” said Matthew Hudson-Flege, executive director of UGATA. Over 700 people ride past this point on the bike path every day, which means this new trail could be the perfect introduction to mountain biking for thousands of cyclists.

Rad Rabbit is about 800 feet long end to end, but it splits into two different lines part way through, so the total linear distance is about 1,000 feet. While that might not sound like much, this is just the first parallel singletrack trail that UGATA has built, and they plan to add more in the future. “We have not done a landowner analysis yet, but if we are able to find some friendly landowners, we would like to have 6-12 more of these projects along the Greenway,” said Sam Davis, Project Manager for UGATA.

Photo courtesy Sam Davis, UGATA

Even though this is the first mountain bike trail that UGATA has built, they were able to construct Rad Rabbit with their in-house AmeriCorps crew by following the guidelines outlined in Lee McCormack’s Welcome to Pump Track Nation v2.

The crew completed the trail in just three and a half weeks, and “this project was cheap,” according to Davis. The total cost for Rad Rabbit was about $16,300, which includes $3,000 for materials and $13,300 in labor.

“As this was our first mountain biking trail, we learned a lot as we were doing it,” said Davis. “I think we could shave a week off construction if we did it again, bringing the cost down to ~$12,500.”

Social singletrack trails often naturally form along greenway paths in cities. Greenville’s choosing to lean into this trend by constructing purpose-built mountain bike trails is ingenious. We can already envision the fantastic urban mountain bike ride that could result from the construction of these parallel trails.