Success of bike trail could mean future expansion


By Dean

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- You may have heard about the new bike trail in Goose Creek, but have you heard why or how it became reality? What about the future of the trail or similar trails in the area?

The latest creation of the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission is eight miles dirt, mud, sharp turns narrow paths and fun. Brad Phillips helped design the trail.

"I first got the idea because of the lack of any public venues for off road cycling in the area," he said. After an attempt to construct a trail in Francis Marion National Forest, which was delayed because of a logging issue, I began looking for an alternative site."

"Oliver Sendall of CCPRC and I discussed the possibility of the property at Wannamaker as a potential site at a cyclo-cross race in November."{}

Located near the CCPRC Wannamaker Park, the trail offers a little bit for everyone, from the most experienced rider to the novice.

It took hours of work to get the trail ready for the general public. Phillips says it was a true labor of love.

"After walking{} the flagged loop with several CCPRC staff, it was presented and approved. Next step was construction. We had 5 major workdays, using mostly volunteers from a local group (the Low Country Fat Tire Freaks). I continued to work on the trail every free moment I had, along with some help from Matt as well as Julie Hensley from CCPRC."

Phillips said the first step in construction was to clear the route, which involved the removal of vines, stumps, small trees, and dead-falls. Next, was the mind numbing raking of 8 miles then following up with backpack blowers.

"After that, we began shaping hills and berms to be more conducive to travel," he said. "Then, the roots were chopped out. Last, signage, which involved marking the trail,{} posting of rules etc. Ninety percent of the work was done using only hand tools, which meant countless hours of hard labor."{}

The single-track trail offers multiple options depending on how hard the cyclist wants to go. And if the early reviews are any indication, the Wannamaker Trail could lead to more development in the future.

"After receiving great reviews as well as a high volume of usage, discussions have already begun about future trails in the area," Phillips said.

The Wannamaker North Trail is also open for hikers, walkers and runners. Dog lovers can also take their 4-legged friends for a walk on the trail, but the dogs must be on a leash.

The trail head is located near 455 Westview Blvd., off of Highway 52.{}