The Coves of East Jocassee

Lake Jocassee Kayaking-3

The day was supposed to be hot. I thought the perfect antidote would be a cool mountain lake. So, Thursday morning I headed out early for what I thought would be a quick morning paddle on Lake Jocassee. As usual, I got caught up in the thrill of wanting to see what was just around the next bend, and wound up spending most of the day there. It met all my requirements for a cool lake, and then some. Continue reading “The Coves of East Jocassee”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Part 2, From Salley to Wagener

Salley Cargo Depot

I had been on an excursion to track down the Swamp Rabbit Railroad – not the well-known one in Greenville County, but a lesser-known railroad that ran from Blackville in Barnwell County to the ghost town of Sievern in Lexington County. I was following a map developed by Mitch Bailey of Lexington, with data points form the map loaded into my GPS. So far I’d traced the railroad from Blackville to Springfield, but I still had a ways to go. Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Part 2, From Salley to Wagener”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit (No, Not That One)

Springfield Caboose

When folks in this area hear the phrase “Swamp Rabbit Railroad”, they probably think of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which has garnered so many accolades. Use of the name has been growing as the moniker “Swamp Rabbit” has been taken by many new businesses, usually those located along the trail on the old railway. The trail has gotten so popular that even the local pro hockey team changed their name from Road Warriors to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

As most Greenvillians know, the trail was named for the former Greenville and Northern Railroad, nicknamed the Swamp Rabbit because its route took it through the wetlands of the upper Reedy River. However, the lowly sylvilagus aquaticus lent its name to not one, but two railroads in South Carolina. The former Blackville, Alston, and Newberry line was also known as the Swamp Rabbit, and ran through the wetlands of the North Edisto River from Blackville in Barnwell County to the ghost town of Seivern in Lexington County. The first Sunday in May I set out to see what I could find of this other Swamp Rabbit Railroad. Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit (No, Not That One)”

Paddling the May River with Lowcountry Unfiltered

May River Paddling with Lowcountry Unfiltered-98

It’s another Lowcountry Unfiltered Second Saturday, which means paddling with my friends. Last month we traveled up to the Fall Line to paddle Turkey and Stevens Creeks. This month we would be hanging close to home, at least for the majority of our paddlers. We would be paddling the May River, launching from Bluffton. It wasn’t close to home for me, though. I made the four-hour drive down yesterday in time to do some pre-LCU paddling with Tim Brown on the New River. Today’s exploration with the larger group would be quite different. Continue reading “Paddling the May River with Lowcountry Unfiltered”

Hidden Mill Cemeteries of Greenville

Woodside Mill Cemetery Lomo

So far I’d found two old textile mill village cemeteries somewhat by accident. These reminded me of an article in the Greenville News by Judy Bainbridge from 2009. The article was entitled “Woodside, other mill villages need care.” Bainbridge had listed several mill village cemeteries in town, and at the time I’d thought about trying to find them. Then I kind of forgot about it. That is, until my recent discoveries. Now I was ready to seek out these other forgotten cemeteries. Continue reading “Hidden Mill Cemeteries of Greenville”

A River with an Identity Crisis: Paddling Turkey and Stevens Creeks

Turkey and Stevens Creeks-60

Another Second Saturday and time for a Lowcountry Unfiltered adventure. This was actually a cross-over event, with as many participants from the Church of the Double-Bladed Paddle group on Facebook as LCU participants. Granted, two of us were in both groups, but still. The venue was one for the books – Turkey Creek and Stevens Creek in McCormick County turned out to be a waterway with an identity crisis. It didn’t know if it wanted to be Upcountry or Lowcountry. Continue reading “A River with an Identity Crisis: Paddling Turkey and Stevens Creeks”

The Tobacco Trail through Clarendon County

Motel Featherbed

I had come to a roadblock on the Tobacco Trail, quite literally. The Highway 301 bridge across Lake Marion still exists, and still connects across the lake. However, in 1987 it was closed to automotive traffic, and now serves as a fishing bridge. If I were going to cross from Orangeburg into Clarendon County, I was going to have to do some backtracking. Continue reading “The Tobacco Trail through Clarendon County”

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