Town optimistic about grant for trails project

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South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) officials will be in Williamston next week to look over the proposed route for a walking/biking trail. The town recently applied for a SCPRT Recreational Trails Program (RTP)grant which Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said he is very optimistic about receiving.

If the grant is approved, it will be instrumental in beginning the first section of a community trails system in the area, according to the mayor.

The funding would go toward a 10 ft. wide asphalt walking/biking trail which will begin at the Veterans Park bridge, connect with the depot/soccer field area and proceed along the town’s sewer outfall line to where it crosses Minor St. about midway between the park and Palmetto Middle School.

While there is no official master plan for a park expansion or trails system, there are “concept” drawings and plans which have been provided by professional trail designer Blake Sanders.

The plans reflect the mayor’s vision of a proposed trail system beginning in the park area and extending to the schools and on to West Pelzer and Pelzer.

Once that section is completed, there is the possibility of connecting with the schools, possibly partnering with the Safe Routes to School project.

The town is also considering a Born to Learn trail project in Mineral Spring Park which includes activity stations where parents and caregivers can interact with young children for fun learning opportunities.

Durham said the town has also applied for an Elevate Upstate grant which if approved could go toward an Arts and History Trail. The trail project features signage with local history along a designated trail.

In addition to connecting the schools to the downtown area, the proposed trail system can be expanded (in sections) to connect with what is called the Blue Trail on the Saluda River.

Anderson County Parks and Recreation Department is working to establish a “Blue Trail” system along the Saluda River which includes put in and take out points and other mapped designations for river users.

Durham said the proposed expanded vision of a interconnected trail system is currently just “in the discussion stage.”