Love biking, fresh air, cute towns, good brews, and coffee breaks? Then you’ll love getting outside and discovering the highlights of the renowned Swamp Rabbit Trail.
This near 22-mile urban multi-use trail stretches all the way from Greenville to the small and charming town of Travelers Rest in South Carolina. If you’re visiting Greenville for the weekend, you can’t miss out on this fun and scenic joyride!
At first sight, you may not even notice the Swamp Rabbit Trail (officially named the ‘Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail’, but who has the time to say all that?), when you visit. That’s because the SRT blends into the city, notably in Falls Park on the Reedy.
Whether you want to go for a short bike ride or spend the afternoon leisurely biking the entire Swamp Rabbit Trail, this guide will clue you in on all the best things to see and do along the way.
Ultimate Guide: Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina
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Where Does the Swamp Rabbit Trail Start and End?
You may be wondering, where exactly does the Swamp Rabbit Trail start in Greenville SC? Currently, the trail actually starts slightly southeast of downtown, where Cleveland St meets Hwy 291. Since plans are in the works for it to continue connecting greater Greenville, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the trail officially starts. There are, in fact, several entry points. You can view the official map here.
However, if you have plans to bring your own bicycles, a good starting point is Cleveland Park, which is also located right next to the Greenville Zoo. There is ample free parking here and it’s a fun section of the trail that takes you through a forested green space and across little bridges.
Note — If you need to rent bicycles for the day, you’ll likely start your bike ride closer to downtown nearby Falls Park on the Reedy since this is where all the bike rental shops are located.
For most of the way, the Swamp Rabbit Trail meanders alongside the Reedy River, crossing all the way through the lower portion of downtown and beyond to the adjacent town of Travelers Rest about 11 miles away (22 round-trip).
How long does it take to bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail?
Biking the Swamp Rabbit Trail, starting from Cleveland Park and ending in downtown Travelers Rest, is 11.4 miles one-way, which will take around 1 hour. With breaks, count on 1.5-2 hours.
Round-trip, including breaks, plan for 3-4 hours. Give yourself enough time to stop at the cafés, breweries, and other sights to see. We left around 1 PM and got back around 5 PM, including time for photos and a nice sour beer at The Commons Taproom.
Swamp Rabbit Bike Rentals — Where to Rent a Bike in Greenville
From what we’ve heard, seen and read, the best bicycle rental shop in Greenville is Reedy Rides. They are located right downtown, on 12 W McBee Ave, and offer quality rentals. The prices are as follows:
- $25 per bike, half-day (4 hours)
- $40 per bike, full day
- e-bikes cost $55/bike for a half-day or $75 for a full day
If you have a car/truck and bring your own bikes, that’s great! That’s what we ended up doing and it took a lot of time pressure off our plates.
Where to stay in Greenville:
For easy access to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, you should consider staying at hotels in Greenville that are close to downtown or Falls Park on the Reedy, if that’s where you plan to start your journey. The top three choices are:
- Swamp Rabbit Inn (⭐️ 8.7/10)
- Hampton Inn & Suites Riverside (⭐️ 9.1/10)
- Mint House Downtown Greenville (⭐️ 9.4/10)
Falls Park on the Reedy River
Recommended bike gear:
Most rental bikes will be outfitted for the trail, but just in case you are going on your own you should plan to have:
- Helmets (for kids, especially)
- Bike lock
- Storage bag or backpack
- Phone holder/clip
- Reusable water bottles + holder
- Kids/Pet trailers
Pack a picnic or snack, and don’t forget to take plenty of water! You may consider bringing your own mini portable bike pump (we did, just in case). Otherwise, there are several places where there are locked bike tools available in case you need to make small adjustments.
Swamp Rabbit Trail Map & Mile Markers
Trail map at Swamp Rabbit Station
Here is a handy map showcasing the best sections of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Click here to open a new tab for viewing the mile markers. In any case, here are some indicative distances between each highlight and section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
- From the Falls Park on the Reedy to…
- The Commons — 1.4 miles (10 mins)
- Swamp Rabbit Café — 2.8 miles (15-20 mins)
- Art mural / Swamp Rabbit Station — 4.6 miles (25-30 mins)
- Swan Lake at Furman campus — 7 miles (40 mins)
- Trailblazer Park — 9.3 miles (50 mins)
- Downtown Travelers Rest — 9.9 miles (55 mins)
Highlights of Biking the Entire 22 Miles of the Swamp Rabbit Trail
Biking the Swamp Rabbit Trail makes for a pleasant and smooth ride. While you’ll undoubtedly see people running, walking, skating, or rollerblading, bicycling is the best mode of transport if you wish to complete the entire 22-mile trip in one day. It’s an easy, flat ride most of the way.
It will take about 1 hour biking non-stop from Greenville to Travelers Rest. With breaks, expect 1h30m – 2 hours.
That said, here are some of the highlights you’ll see when traveling the length of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Note that many people aim to reach the Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery before turning around because it’s a popular rest stop with food, drinks, and a market that’s about 2.8 miles away from Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville.
Cleveland Park / Greenville Zoo
Cleveland Park is a beautiful, spacious area and Greenville’s largest park.
It has over 120 acres of trails, including the Fernwood Natural Trail, and recreational activities and amenities such as tennis courts, picnic/grill areas, playgrounds, and more. Not to mention, the Greenville Zoo is located right near here, as well as decorated Airplane Jet Memorial in honor of fallen local hero Major Rudolph Anderson Jr.
As you near Falls Park on the Reedy, you’ll also pass by Cancer Survivor’s Park which houses an amphitheater and a scenic walkway over the river.
Downtown / Falls Park on the Reedy
The Swamp Rabbit Trail continues and cuts through the historic heart of Greenville — Falls Park on the Reedy. Stop here for a quick photograph of the beautiful waterfalls!
As you cross through Falls Park, take caution of pedestrians. Keep to the right of the paved trail, and pass on the left.
Once you pass across town, following the river all the way through the park, you’ll continue following the river (on your right side) out of town. Make a left under the large bridge with the colored pillars, and keep going!
From this point on, the trail becomes more rural with long stretches of nature and shade in between.
Soon after exiting downtown, and after crossing a few highways (be careful!), you’ll come across The Commons. This small developed area features a food hall and a community gathering place.
There are two breweries (Pangaea and The Community Tap), Methodical Coffee, Automatic Taco shop, Golden Brown & Delicious bakery, a clothing store, and a community open space where students and digital nomads can work on their laptops.
Swamp Rabbit Café & Market
After about 15-20 minutes on the trail, you’ll come across the bustling Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery. Here, friends and families with children come to grab a snack, meal, drink, or frozen treat before getting back on the trail.
There is a takeaway coffee shop, a grocery store selling organic and local foods, and a playground for kids. On weekends, a local craft market sets up shop outside. Ample bicycle parking is available.
Many travelers stop here before moving on to Travelers Rest, while others turn back around to Greenville.
Art Mural / Swamp Rabbit Station
If you keep going past the café and grocery for another two miles, you’ll find a sweet little rest stop with an old caboose and a beautifully painted mural with the inspiring quote, “We rise by lifting others up.”
Not only is this a cute spot to take a breather, but there’s also a water fountain for filling up your water bottles and even a bike repair tool kit in case you need to make adjustments to your bicycle.
Take plenty of water before continuing on, as there is a big stretch of rural fields and nature trails between this station and the next one as you arrive at the Furman University campus.
Furman University Campus
If you’ve come upon another parked train car, fountain, benches, and a softball field, then you’re arriving at the Furman University campus. Continue ahead and you’ll soon pass by Swan Lake, which you can take a detour around by bicycle before rejoining the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Between Furman and downtown Travelers Rest lie just a couple more bridges, road crossings, and long sections of shady nature trails. The bike trail stays flat pretty much the entire way.
Downtown Traveler’s Rest
Once in Travelers Rest, you’ll find myriad cafes, shops, and restaurants!
The Swamp Rabbit Brewery is a popular choice for beer-lovers wanting to celebrate over a pint, while families and non-drinkers celebrate over coffee and ice cream at Tandem Cafe.
On your way into town, you’ll also pass by the Whistle Point Cafe, Topsoil Kitchen, and a couple of other cute places where you can rest and relax and grab a bite to eat!
Can you bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail in one afternoon?
Yes, absolutely! We started biking around 1 PM on a Sunday afternoon, had a picnic lunch along the way and toured downtown Travelers Rest a little, then stopped at The Commons Tap for a brew to celebrate on our way back, and finally crossed the “finish line” at Cleveland Park in Greenville around 5 PM.
Is the Swamp Rabbit Trail hilly?
No, the trail is mostly flat all the way! There are just a couple of small and gradual inclines, but nothing a cruiser bike or a child couldn’t overcome!
Is hiking and cycling the Swamp Rabbit Trail safe?
Yes, we felt safe biking all the way on the Swamp Rabbit Trail! There are tons of families with small children, bikers with pet strollers, college students going for a run, rollerbladers, skaters, etc. So, yes — it’s family-friendly and pretty safe. That said, I would avoid going alone after dark, just because there will be fewer people around and the trail gets fairly rural in parts.
They say the Swamp Rabbit Trail is one of the best urban biking trails in the entire United States! It’s only going to keep expanding in the future to connect more communities, too. Biking in Greenville is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine while moving your body and discovering the area!
Lastly, if you have any questions about hiking or cycling the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville SC, feel free to reach out or drop a comment below sharing your experience.👇
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