Spartanburg’s PAL expanding trails to create future 55-mile network

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 10:34 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An upstate organization is working to connect Spartanburg—one trail at a time.

“Once we hit COVID-19, the trails were a place where people felt safe, and they could be distanced but they could be outside and enjoy nature. And that use has just continued,” said Laura Ringo, the Executive Director of PAL or Play Advocate, Live Well.

The nonprofit aims to improve health and wellness in Spartanburg, and that means getting people outdoors.

“There are a lot of communities that have never had trail access, that will have a trail coming right up and into and through their neighborhood,” said Ringo.

PAL is expanding, upgrading and creating all new trails. The goal is to establish a 55-mile-long trail system. It’s called “The Dan” or the Daniel Morgan Trail System. Similar to Greenville’s Swamp Rabbit Trail, but “The Dan” will bring together several smaller trails.

“We’re working with property owners one by one and expanding trails in Spartanburg,” she said.

Recently, PAL opened the Hub City Hopper and Beaumont Mill Village Trails. They’re currently working to double the length of the 1 mile River Birch Trail which will flow under East Main Street along Lawsons Creek. “The Dan ‘’ will be more centralized to the city, while the Saluda Grade Rail Trail will be outside city limits.

“We’re looking at a 31-mile trail segment that will start in the northern part of the county and then go up to Inman, Campobello, Landrum and then on up into North Carolina,” said Ringo.

Eventually, the plan is to bring “The Dan” and Saluda Rail Trail together.

PAL will be hosting a community clean up event for the River Birch Trail on Saturday, June 3rd. To sign up to volunteer and learn more about PAL’s trail expansion, click here.