Cambridge Gateway Trail
Cambridge Gateway Trail
Officially Opens, March 29
Rails to Trails was a project launched in Greenwood County after a network of railroad tracks were relocated. The first trail, the two-mile Heritage Trail, was completed in 1998. It runs from the Palmetto Bank on South Main through parts of the medical community ending at Florida Avenue.
Since that time, the Greater Greenwood Parks and Trails Foundation and the Greenwood County Parks Commission labored and lobbied for more trails. One has since been constructed in Ninety Six and three more in Greenwood.
But one railroad bed, highly visible to the public, seemed to elude the efforts of the trail visionaries. There were questions of funding and right of way. Part of the one-mile stretch was in the city; part was in the county.
Untiring in their efforts to see the one-mile trail developed on West Cambridge Avenue from West Cambridge Park to the 72 By-pass, Drs. John Eichelberger and Roger Stevenson of the Parks and Trails Foundation saw their dream come true when Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams cut the ribbon March 29, 2014, officially opening the Cambridge Gateway Trail.
Signs at either end of the trail read, “Project of Greenwood County Parks Commission, Assistance from Recreational Trails Programs in Cooperation with South Carolina State Trails Program, Federal Highway Administration, Greenwood Rotary Club and Emerald City Rotary Club.” Eichelberger said, “This trail is the result of the cooperation of many, many people and groups. It is a great example of how good things can happen for Greenwood if many pull together.”
He expressed appreciation to Dwight Funderburk of Greenway for construction of the trail and to Davis and Floyd for the trail plans.
The eight-foot-wide trail is made of packed stone dust over a crush-run-run base. Designed for use by pedestrians and bicycles, the trail meanders past oak trees and through a bower of crape myrtles. Joggers utilizing the sidewalks adjacent to Emerald High School and the Greenwood YMCA can use the Cambridge Gateway Trail to link to the 1.4-mile-long West Cambridge Trail and then to the Capsugel Walking/Jogging Track at Lander University’s Sports Complex.
Eichelberger noted the efforts of David Dees who for the past several years has voluntarily mowed the grass at the West Cambridge railroad bed. “He’s a one-man beautification machine,” said Eichelberger.
Klaus Neubner, who served as maintenance chairman for the Gateway Trail project, said that it is the ordinary citizen who wants parks and trails and provides hands-on labor to see those parks and trails become reality in Greenwood County. He praised the spirit of cooperation that exists between the people and the elected officials who support the parks and trails efforts.