This Local Trail Has Beaver Dams, Water Bird Observation Areas, and More!

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The Cottonwood Trail is the perfect space for your children to experience the seasons in the Upstate.  In the summer, lush and green in the summer, crackling with autumnal colors in the fall, sparse and atmospheric in the winter, and brimming with new life in the spring, your children can observe the seasonal changes while exploring the great outdoors.

The Cottonwood Trail in Spartanburg, SC

Named after the majestic Cottonwood trees dot the landscape, The Cottonwood Trail Preserve is maintained by the Spartanburg Area Conservancy. 

Located on the Eastside of Spartanburg, the 3.6-mile trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking with the family. The trails are unpaved, but all-terrain strollers and bikes, and even wagons can easily navigate most of the paths.

The Cottonwood Trail is the longest in the preserve and follows along Lawson’s Ford Creek, providing a scenic water view that is still a safe distance from the walking trail.

The trail is pet-friendly so that the family dog can get in his steps for the day, too!  (Dogs are expected to remain on a leash and under the control of their owners at all times.)

Cottonwood Trail Access

Parking and entrances to the trail are found off Sydnor Road (across from the Spartan High tennis courts) and Beechwood Drive (off of Fernwood Drive).  The trail is open every day from dawn to dusk.

Find Beaver Dams & See Reptiles & Water Birds on the Boardwalk and Wetlands Trail

An offshoot of the Cottonwood Trail, the Boardwalk, and Wetlands Trails offer a first-hand experience of South Carolina’s famed wetlands.  The Boardwalk Trail is marked by a sign pointing to the beaver dams and quickly turns from a dirt trail into a boardwalk.  Take a break on the benches and observation deck to check out the reptiles and water birds.  If you’re lucky, you might spot the heron that calls this particular wetland his home.

Don’t Forget Your Picnic

A picnic area lies across the main bridge, crossing Lawson’s Fork Creek, so pack a snack and pause to play in the woods!

You can access a map of the Cottonwood Trail online.

Juliet Wright
About the Author
Juliet Autenzio Wright has lived in the Upstate for over 20 years. She is a proud alumna of Converse College and a former high school teacher. Now a stay-at-home mom to three little girls, ages five, two, and six months, Juliet loves exploring Spartanburg through the eyes of her children. Her favorite family-friendly activities include local parks and nature walks, library story times, and the many local festivals Spartanburg has to offer. In her spare time, she privately tutors, ghost writes, and reads as many books as possible. Juliet’s family and friends make her world go round!

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