Did you know the Doodle Trail is another Upstate trail open for biking, walking, and running? The Doodle Trail route is an old train track path, located in Pickens County. Repurposed train tracks are the new trend in urban hiking trails. If you love exploring Greenville’s Swamp Rabbit Trail or The Mary Black Rail Trail in Spartanburg, you’ll want to check out the Doodle Trail.
The Doodle Trail is an 8.4 mile Rail Trail that connects Easley and Pickens. I’ll be honest II hadn’t learned of it until recently. That funny name kind of sticks with you once you hear it though. The name of the trail is a remnant of the day when it was a working train track. In 1898, the train service carried passengers and cargo back and forth between the towns, without the ability to turn around on its return to Pickens. So it scurried backward from Easley like a doodlebug, hence the name.
The Doodle Park
We like parking where the original trailhead is at the Easley Doodle Park. The park has restrooms, a playground, a picnic area, and a place to rent bicycles for use on the trail. The new trailhead, a mile-long extension, is closer to downtown near where the Silos is being built. My kids love the park, and we can’t visit the trail without stopping there.
There is a Little Free Library location, as well as the Born Learning Trail. According to the United Way of Pickens Website, “Born Learning Trails are interactive, walkable trails of signs for caregivers and children which foster early learning opportunities. Each sign suggests fun outdoor games designed to boost children’s language and literacy skills while helping families get active together.”
There are two more of these trails in the area:
- J.B. “Red” Owens Recreation Complex, 111 Walkers Way, Easley
- Jaycee Park, 149 N. Homestead Road, Pickens
Enjoying The Doodle Trail
There are so many things to see while you’re on the trail. On our last visit, I asked my kids to pretend we were pioneers and to look for things we could forage to eat. As I’m sure you can imagine it was interesting. Kind of like a real-time Oregon Trail, minus rampant dysentery. We found grapes, mysteriously hanging from trees over the trail. The kids loved looking for things we might eat if we were making our way across the frontier. We found a stream to drink from (not really, PLEASE do not do this), trees for shelter, and other ways to survive our imaginary trip. My kids got so creative, and it made the trail so interesting.
The trail is paved, wide and very stroller and bike-friendly. We haven’t made it from one end to the other yet, but every time we go, we walk a little further before turning around and it’s made a great goal for the kids and I to go round trip in one visit.
Things To Know About the Doodle Trail
- The only restrooms on the trail are at each end, so be sure to use the facilities at the trailhead. This way you hopefully won’t have to stray from the trail to try and find a restroom.
- Dogs are permitted, but must be leashed at all times. Dog waste bags are available at the trailheads.
- The trail crosses streets at several points. Please use the stop signs to keep everyone safe.
- Remind your children that the trail is shared by others, and a quick lesson in giving others the right of way will allow everyone on the trail to have a good experience.
- This trail is less trafficked than others, masks and social distancing are still a good idea for when you are not alone on the trail.
- The Doodle Trail is open from dawn to dusk, 7 days a week.