A little bit of information can have a powerful effect.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Early Warning System is the only service in the United States that scans for the proposed abandonment of railroad corridors in every state, information we then send to relevant local communities and trail advocates to alert them of the potential for a rail-trail.
In October of last year we learned that Pickens Railway Company hadfiled for the abandonment of 8.5 miles of track near the cities of Pickens and Easley in Pickens County, South Carolina. Our blog, email list and eNews blasted that out to our friends and partners in South Carolina and our network of 500,000 trail fans across America.
Eight months later, Pickens and Easley have taken this great opportunity and run with it.
It was terrific to read in the Easley Patch today that both cities' councils have eagerly approved purchasing the former Pickens Railway line in order to create a bicycle and pedestrian trail, inspired by the great popularity of the nearby Swamp Rabbit Trail.
"It's going to draw a lot of people to the area," said Pickens Mayor David Owens. "When they come in, they're going to eat, they'll buy gas. That's what it's all about for us, to draw people into town."
"It's going to bring revenue to Pickens, the county, Easley as well. I think it's a win-win for all of our residents."
Congratulations, Pickens County. It's terrific to have you join the movement toward a more healthy, active and prosperous America.