1st Phase of Brushy Creek Greenway

By:Lillia Callum-Penso, The Greenville News

Brushy Creek Greenway (Photo: Paul Brown , Contributor )

Brushy Creek Greenway (Photo: Paul Brown , Contributor )

Work on the 1-mile stretch between J.B. “Red” Owens Recreation Complex and Pearson Road began in early spring and will resume once the city secures the necessary permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Fox Simons, city administrator.

For now, folks can get a small taste of what life would be like when the 3.5-mile greenway is completed.

The Greenway project grew from Easley’s broader bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

The city conducted a feasibility study in 2010, funded by Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study that laid out a plan of action, one that called for a series of bike paths and walking trail that would make the city more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Out of the broader plan was gleaned a few projects that should be tackled immediately, one of which was the Greenway.

“The whole purpose of the master plan and the initiative to become bicycle and pedestrian friendly is to make Easley a better place for folks to live and to work,” Simons said. “And also to make it more attractive, and beneficial for our community.”

He said a 2012 feasibility study just on the Greenway plan showed that the city needed more bike lanes, paths and trails, and that people would use them

The conclusion was based on population density in the area and the lack of recreational facilities. The study, adopted by City Council on April 11, 2011, estimated the Greenway would attract between 137,000 and 206,000 trail usage trips a year.

Add in the Doodle Rail Trail, a proposed 8.5-mile rails-to-trails pedestrian and bike path between Easley and Pickens, and you’ve got a “phenomenal asset to Pickens County,” said Blake Sanders, a senior designer and landscape architect with Alta Planning and Design, and the lead consultant on the Brushy Creek Feasibility Study.


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City of Easley & Pickens Doodle Rail Trail Feasibility Study

(Note: This is a very large 92 MB PDF file, expect potential long download time)

Project Context
The Pickens Doodle line is located in upstate South Carolina, west of Greenville, in Pickens County. The abandoned rail line extends 8.5 miles from the City of Pickens southeast to the City of Easley. In 2013, the Pickens Railway Company sold the line to the City of Pickens and the City of Easley. The sale also included a 1.9 acre parcel owned by the railroad company which was used as a railroad station and office. The proposed project involves converting the existing rail line into a continuous pedestrian and bicycle trail that links the two cities, with right-of-way improvements and facilities proposed along the trail.

The Doodle Passenger Train taken in the 1950s

The Doodle Passenger Train taken in the 1950′s

This study provides a comprehensive overview of the necessary steps to transform the Doodle line into a shared-use trail suitable for public use. It outlines recommendations for improvements and associated costs, provides pertinent permitting and other development requirements, and prioritizes trail segments into manageable segments for construction. In addition, the study will provide standards for shared use trail construction for future use in construction documents.


Historic image of Pickens railroad station

Historic image of Pickens railroad station

The Doodle Line carries a rich history of industry and economy important to both the City of Pickens and the City of Easley. In 1890, the State of South Carolina issued a charter for the construction of a railroad between Easley and Oolenoy Gap, by way of Pickens. After 8 years of construction, the 8.5-mile portion of the railway between Easley and Pickens became operational in 1898. The line was originally used for both passenger and freight rail service between the two cities and beyond, but passenger service was discontinued in 1928 with the building of new roads and the rise of the automobile.

DoodleLine-03From 1898 to 2013, the Pickens Doodle line hauled a variety of commodities to and from Pickens and Easley, including food products, textiles, and automobile parts. One of the more notable owners in its history was The Singer Company, which owned the line as the Poinsett Lumber and Manufacturing Company from 1939 to 1963 and used it to transport manufactured sewing machine cabinets and Craftsman power tools.

DoodleLine-02Local residents nicknamed the railroad the “Pickens Doodle” line, because the freight engine could not be turned around and had to run backwards from Easley to Pickens, looking like a doodlebug. To this day the early nickname has stuck.

The Pickens Doodle Rail Trail presents an opportunity to carry on the memory of this historic railroad and preserve the vital connection that was forged between Easley and Pickens over 120 years ago.

(Note: This is a very large 92 MB PDF file, expect potential long download time)

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Doodle Rail Trail Master Plan Unveiling

Doodle Line Master Plan

You are Cordially Invited.
Please join the City of Easley and the City of Pickens as the long awaited Master Plan is presented for the Doodle Trail

  • Alta Planning will present the master plan including phasing, renderings, and budgets.
  • See trail-head renderings for both the City of Easley and City of Pickens
  • Learn more about next steps…

Thursday, May 1, 2014 6:00 P.M.
Easley Tri County Tech Campus, 1774 Powdersville Road, Easley, SC 29642
FOR MORE INFORMATION: fsimons@cityofeasley.

Download Flyer>>> 2014 Doodle Trail Final Presentation

The Pickens Railway, often referred to as the Doodle Railway, began operating at full throttle in the 1890s. It carried timber and kaolin; running trains backward between stops inspired the nickname from the doodlebug.

The proposed “rails-to-trails” project, from Easley to Pickens would create a linear park that connects the two cities. The railroad that locals call the “Doodle Line” cuts an 8.5-mile path through mill villages, over creeks, across hayfields, up and down rolling hills and through forest land between Easley and Pickens, where its operator, the Pickens Railway Co., is headquartered.

The Doodle Line starts in downtown Easley and heads west along Main Street before turning north and then west to roughly parallel S.C. 8, where it passes through modest neighborhoods and industrial areas. The railway takes another sharp turn north just past Rice Road and continues along the road through increasingly rural countryside. When Rice hits Welborn Road, the generally westbound railroad again takes a sharp turn northward and crosses over Wolf Creek before banking west toward the city of Pickens along S.C. 183.

It is along Welborn Road that the trail offers a view of farms, hay fields and — in the distance — Glassy Mountain.

After passing an abandoned, largely dismantled mill off Railroad Street in Pickens, the line ends in downtown Pickens at the rail yard near Hampton Avenue and Railroad Street.

The railway would provide hiking, biking and recreation opportunities for tourists and residents alike.

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PELCOR Meeting Notes – October 7, 2011

Pickens Easley Liberty Corridor (PELCOR) Meeting Minutes

Pickens- David Owens, Mayor of Pickens, John Darrohn, Ride Garden/Darrohn Engineering and Matt McClain of Ride Garden presented updated information about Town Creek Park. The master plan for the park was recently completed and adopted by Pickens City Council. The park is between 90 – 100 acres total. It consists of numerous features split into 5 phases. The estimated project construction cost in the plan totals to $2MM. The group was given a birdseye view of many features such as:

A Planned multi-use Greenway on the Old Appalachian Lumber Railroad Company route through the property that is about 1 mile long and 10-12 ft wide
The largest pump coaster track in the US (approx. 3700′ long)

Proposed Ride Gardens include:

  • A balance beam garden to develop balance skills at various heights and difficulties
  • A rock garden to ride through (possible recycled sidewalk use for armoring)
  • A bio-swale that manages storm water and is a ride component as well
  • A bamboo room – An elevated riding and walking trail that also provides additional bio remediation
  • A boardwalk in the wetlands
  • An 18 hole disc golf
  • New visitors center with bicycle rentals (rehabilitation of the historic Reece Mill site into local cultural monument)
  • Addition of 200 spaces for parking
  • Up to 3 bridges over Town Creek including recovered trestles from the Old Appalachian Pass

David Owens reported that the financing is under development. The city plans to use a Hospitality Bond of $1.7MM to pay off the old debt on the Recreation Center and use the remainder to begin the first 2 stages of Town Creek Park, and to begin funding the City’s Main Street program. The proposal should be ready to go before Pickens City Council by January 2012. David hopes that construction of phases 1 & 2 in Town Creek Park can begin in  March of 2012.

Easley – Dave Watson and Matt McClain reviewed the discussions and groundwork that has begun with the City of Easley for a possible riding facility at Kings Park. The park site is 14 acres and very sloping, which will lead it to supporting a whole different set of ride features for Easley.

Kings Park was referred to in the meeting as the forgotten park. But is has a super terrain for bicycling according to Matt of Ride Garden. The estimate for completing a master plan for the park is $6,000. In addition, the first phase to mark in the route would be an additional $4,000. Dave Watson will begin to research further the funding possibilities and his goal is to obtain $10,000 to get things started.

Liberty - Michael Sheriff reported that he has opened a dialogue with Liberty City Council about the PELCOR. He said that it is not a priority for them right now and that the City has identified a more pressing issue -The downtown redevelopment. He felt that Liberty would be in a better position to work on this late 2012 or 2013. In the meantime, the team took a look at some of the possible properties that may suit such a development. Some would require purchase by the city.

There is also a possibility of 54 acres near Commerce Park that may suit, at 123 and 178. The park could be located on an entire block of about 25 acres of this property. Michael was enthusiastic about the prospects and said he sees the Liberty City Council as harmonious and on board for the future.

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee Meeting December 15, 2011

Members Present:  Councilman Mann, Councilman Watson, Councilman Garrison, City Administrator Fox Simons.  Others Present: Raymond Sanders, Don Youngblood, Jeff Brush with the Easley Patch and Jason Evans, with the Easley Progress.

Councilman Mann called the meeting to order at 8:19 a.m.

The current projects are: SC 135 and Couch Lane

  • SC 135: Have had discussions with SCDOT, had a couple of issues with Upstate Cardiology concerning landscaping island in front of their office, those have been resolved. We will be advertising for bids in January. The bids will be open on January 27, 2012.  Then have something on the agenda for the February Council meeting.
  • Couch Lane:  Met with Clint Link on Monday, the right of way has been staked.  Working on getting permission from land owners to get access their properties, coordinating with the utilities.  Construction plans should be done by next week and they can be submitted SCDOT for approval.  After the approval construction can be bid out in mid February with construction beginning in April and should take 4-6 months.

No new news on the Brushy Creek Greenway.  This is an ongoing 10-15 year project.

Things seem to be going well with the churches parking in the bike lanes.  Brian requested follow up on markings for the lanes with public works and SCDOT.

Christine sent email with some information concerning a contest to win $10,000 for a community project. It can be used for Brushy Creek Greenway or Kings Park.  The winners will be announced in April.  The winning employee would blog on the progress of the project.

The city donated 68+ bikes within the community to needy children during Christmas.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Councilman Watson announced the Spring Fling for March 24th, coordinating with the YMCA for a run/bike event.

Councilman Garrison commented on the good job the recreation dept. is doing on keeping Old Market Square clean since they took it over.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:36 a.m.

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City of Easley “Brushy Creek Greenway” Public Presentation

City of Easley “Brushy Creek Greenway Feasibility Study Adopted by City Council April 11, 2011

On Monday, November 15, 2010, at 6:00 pm, a public meeting was held to discuss the planned Brushy Creek Greenway. The meeting was held at the Larry D. Bagwell Gymnasium located at 201 People’s Drive in Easley, SC.

This meeting was an opportunity for the public to receive a briefing on the proposed Greenway and to provide their comments and suggestions. During the meeting community members sat together in teams and studied the proposed route for the Brushy Creek Greenway. Alta Planning collected comments and feedback from each group as they presented their ideas.

Keep checking back for the latest information.

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Public Meeting Scheduled: Proposed Brushy Creek Greenway

The City of Easley, as recommended in its recently adopted Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, is studying the feasibility of building a greenway along Brushy Creek. A greenway is a paved path used by pedestrians and bicyclists for transportation and recreation, and for enjoying nature. The GHS Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail in Greenville is an example of a greenway.

The Brushy Creek Greenway could run between downtown Easley and the future Easley High School, or possibly to the County line. The purpose of the feasibility study is to identify opportunities and constraints, to lay out an ideal route, and to determine the cost to build the greenway. The City of Easley, with consultants from Alta Planning + Design and Seamon
Whiteside + Associates, will host a public meeting on Monday, November 15, at 6:00 PM, to discuss the Brushy Creek Greenway Feasibility Study and to hear input from local residents.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and offer feedback. The public meeting will be held at the Larry Bagwell Gymnasium at 201 Peoples Drive, Easley, SC 29642, adjacent to the baseball fields.

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East End Elementary celebrates International Walk to School Day

Story and Photos courtesy of the Easley Progress

by Candice Harper, The Easley Progress

EASLEY – Students, teachers, parents and community members gathered at East End Elementary School Wednesday to celebrate International Walk to School Day put on by Safe Kids Upstate.

The group, including Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell, City Administrator Fox Simon and several Easley councilmen, walked from East End Elementary to Easley First Baptist Church where an assembly was held for the students on how to be safe while walking or biking. They were escorted by an Easley fire truck and policemen and were met at the church by the Easley High School Marching Band.

Several East End Elementary Safety Patrol members gave important safety tips to their classmates on walking and biking.

“We must all remember that while walking and biking are very healthy, it is important for us to stay safe while participating in these activities,” said Cortni Nations of the Pickens and Oconee County Expansion of Safe Kids Upstate.

Nations spoke with the students about the advantages of walking and biking in the community – it promotes healthy living, improves air quality and creates safer routes for walking and biking.

Christine deVlaming, of the Bike Easley initiative also walked her bicycle with the group.

For more information on Safe Kids Upstate, please visit www.safekidsupstate.org.

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Easley Greenway Feasibility Study Begins

Easley, SC September 14, 2010

The City of Easley’s Bicycle Committee met on Friday, September 10th, with Alta Planning to begin the process of a feasibility study for the development of the Brushy Creek Greenway. The Greenway is a top priority under the City’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan and would extend approximately 3 miles (5K) from downtown Easley through the Red Owens Recreation Complex and on to the newly planned Easley High School.

L – R Maya Agarwal, Designer, Alta Planning; Fox Simons, City Administrator; John Cock, Regional Manager, Alta Planning; and Phil Kearns, Bicycle Committee map the route along Brushy Creek for a planned greenway trail.

The team boarded a city bus and followed the proposed route, mapping it out as a preliminary step. Alta Planning has said that they expect the study to take about 6 months to complete. This would be the first of several trips to the site. The feasibility study will confirm the layout of the route and identify potential challenges and solutions for the bicycle and pedestrian path. This includes confirming easements and looking for any permitting issues. Since the route would cross 123, the study will consider preliminary options for a bridge or tunnel, which may be the focus of a future detailed engineering study and implementation.

Phil Kearns shows the team where a proposed bridge would cross a beautiful rock feature on the planned Brushy Creek Greenway trail.

Alta Planning and the City of Easley will host a community meeting in mid-November to communicate progress and get input from residents.

Easley’s Bicycle- Pedestrian Master Plan is posted on www.BikeEasley.com and is also linked on the City of Easley’s website.

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Easley’s First Bicycle Lanes to get Bicycle Symbols

Easley, SC, July 15, 2010

The City of Easley is making progress in the effort to become bicycle friendly. After approving its new Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan in December of 2009, the City has been fast at work to implement the plan in stages. The first step has been the re-striping of lanes downtown to incorporate bicycles.

On Friday, July 16th the bicycle symbols will be painted onto the new bicycle lanes beginning on East 1st Avenue at Russell Street at 8:30 A.M. John Cox of Land Planning Associates, Inc., Easley will be supervising the markings which will be installed by JAT Markings of Travelers Rest. Terry Trippe with JAT has said that it will take about half a day to put the 23 symbols down.

John Cox notes, “The symbols will go from Pendleton Street to HWY 93 (Main St) on East 1st, Russell Street, East East 2nd Avenue, East 3rd, and South B (all partial roads that tie in together).”

In addition says John, “The City has also submitted documentation to the DOT to explore a ‘road diet’on Highway 135 from North Main to Fleetwood Drive, on the way to the Palmetto Baptist Hospital. The comprehensive Master Plan shows other road diets, but this one is the easiest to complete.”

Easley has also begun the process of a feasibility study for its planned Brushy Creek Greenway after funds were recently made available through Greenville Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS).

For more information about the Bicycle Friendly Community effort, and to see Easley’s Bicycle, Pedestrian Master Plan, go to www.bikeeasley.com.

Written by Christine deVlaming
City of Easley Bicycle Friendly Committee
Reprinted with permission of the City of Easley

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