Slobot About Town XL:

Slobot rides the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail!

Slobot emerged from his subterrestrial burrow to find that he had discovered the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail!

Slobot hopped on his bicycle and immediately began to explore the 1.91 mile trail.

The Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail is part of a larger project known as the Hub-City Connector. The nascent Hub-City Connector will eventually stretch 12 miles across Spartanburg, from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind to the University of South Carolina Upstate. The Connector, itself, is part of an even larger project known as the Palmetto Trail. Launched in 1997, the Palmetto Trail will ultimately run more than 425 miles across South Carolina, traversing the counties of Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Laurens, Newberry, Fairfield, Richland, Sumter, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Berkeley, and Charleston.

All sorts of nifty places lie along the trail, places like the Spartanburg Lumber & Millwork Company.

As Slobot cycled he began to notice an incipient odor, an odor of coffee. As the smell grew in strength Slobot realized that the trail runs directly behind the Little River Roasting Company!

Also along the trail is a cop car and dump truck graveyard!

The trail, however, is not just for walking and riding. It is also a great place to sit and watch nature. Squirrels, rabbits and cardinals all frolic in the trail's greenery.

The trail is also a great place to witness the industry that was once fostered along the railway. These brick cradles, for instance, once held large storage tanks.

The cradles have been long since been reduced to ruins...

but oil is still to be found, and pumped, at the site.

Other evidence of the railway lingers, evidence such as this railway switch.

These railway reminders, however, are quickly being reclaimed by nature. Plants simply erupt from the tracks, tracks that once belonged to the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

The tracks, however, long predate Norfolk Southern. Indeed, it was way back in 1849 that the railway was first proposed. A decade later the railway, then known as the Spartanburg - Union Railroad, would open.

For a hundred years the railroad flourished. The advent of interstate trucking, however, would devastate the railroad industry and so the tracks were left to languish. After years of disuse, Norfolk Southern donated this section of rail to the Palmetto Conservation Foundation.

Today one can ride the former railway from the junction of Henry and Union Streets, past The Change mural, and all the way to Country Club Road.

Slobot, however, was not satisfied with the mere 1.91 mile bike ride afforded by the trail and so he continued to explore. Slobot soon found himself standing atop this trestle that crosses Pine Street.

From the trestle Slobot could see a veritable verdant oasis.

Slobot then took the trail to Duncan Park, which itself is an excellent place to cycle.

The lake at Duncan Park was originally constructed as a project of the Works Progress Administration. During World War II the lake was used to train soldiers from Camp Croft in the finer points of amphibious assault.

After riding the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail and circling Duncan Park Slobot found himself parched. Slobot wanted water and he got a face full of it!

Slobot encourages you to ride and or walk the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail!

Slobot would like to thank the Mary Black Foundation, the Palmetto Conservation Foundation and YOU!