What is the Green Crescent Trail?

What is the Green Crescent Trail? Will it be similar to the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville County, SC or the Doodle Trail between Easley and Pickens, SC?

In short, the Green Crescent Trail is a all about its connections (#GoConnect). It’s a proposed *network* of multiple pedestrian and biking paths. And their purpose will be to improve the quality of life, economic vitality, and public health in the greater Clemson-Central-Pendleton community. Because it will actually be many connected trails, we call it the Green Crescent Trail(aka GCT).

And the Friends of the Green Crescent is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded and run by local community members. We’re leading a movement to bring the GCT to reality and to make our community more pedestrian & bike-friendly.

Above all else, the Green Crescent Trails movement is about connections.

Our Mission: #GoConnect

An early Green Crescent Trails meeting where community members marked important local assets

The GCT is not a rails-to-trail initiative. We don’t have an abandoned railway that can be converted to trails.  Instead, the GCT vision is to connect the amazing destinations that already exist within our community.

The actual trails will be a mix of on and off-road paths. They will include shared-use paths for pedestrians and bikes (like the Swamp Rabbit and Doodle Trails), but they will also include sidewalks, natural paths (dirt/mulch), protected bike lanes, shared use roads, and pedestrian crossings.

The common theme is making those connections safe and user-friendly for all users, from an 8-year old on a wobbly bike to an 80-year-old on wobbly knees.

We believe that our community already has amazing assets. But these assets could be made even better if the attractions themselves and the connections between them were more pedestrian and bike- friendly.

That’s where the Green Crescent Trails come in! The GCT will run both:

  • between our community’s important locations, like connecting the town of Central and the City of Clemson
  • and within the locations themselves, like improving sidewalks or paths in a neighborhood, a park, or a downtown district.

Speaking of locations, let’s take a look at what the GCT will actually connect.

What the Green Crescent Trails Will Connect

Here are some of the places that local community members identified as connection-worthy for the Green Crescent Trails:

Forests/Natural Areas:

Clemson Experimental Forest – a 17,500-acre local gem (photo credit: Clemson University)


Abernathy Park - courtesy of VisitClemson

Abernathy Lakefront Park in downtown Clemson (photo credit: VisitClemson.com)

Downtown Districts & Village Centers:

Historic Pendleton’s Village Green (photo credit: Town of Pendleton)


Bowman Field and Tillman Hall at Clemson University (photo credit: Clemson.edu)

Local Schools: 

Kids preparing to cross the new Green Crescent Bridge on the way to Clemson Elementary

  • Clemson Elementary
  • Central Elementary (Central Academy of the Arts)
  • Pendleton Elementary
  • Daniel High School
  • Riverside Middle School
  • RC Edwards Middle School
  • Clemson Montessori School

Historical/Cultural Attractions:

Central History Museum in downtown Central (photo credit: VisitClemson.com)

Local Libraries:

Central-Clemson Library (photo credit: Town of Central)

  • Pendleton Library
  • Central-Clemson Library
  • Clemson University Library


Patrick Square – one of many local residential neighborhoods (photo credit: Upstate Business Journal)

  • historical
  • contemporary
  • new development

The Big Picture View

Overview Map - Green Crescent Trail Feasibility Study

Overview Map – Green Crescent Trail Feasibility Study in Clemson and Central

When you put the key landmarks on a map, the obvious connections between them become more clear. The map above is from the 2016 Feasibility Study funded by Pickens County, the City of Clemson, the Town of Central, and Southern Wesleyan University. Both Clemson University and the Town of Pendleton completed their own, separate pedestrian and biking studies.

For now, most of these connections are simply lines on a map. In some cases like on Berkeley Drive in Clemson, there are existing sidewalks and bike lanes.

Existing sidewalks and “bike lanes” on Berkeley Drive in Clemson

The vision of the Friends of the Green Crescent is to turn those map lines into real pathways that will improve our community. And that is what our movement is working to make happen right now.

Future articles will talk in more detail about current projects, our implementation plan, and how the Green Crescent Trails could be funded.

But for now, here’s an image to help imagine what the Green Crescent Trail could do for our community.

Berkeley Drive Clemson SC - image of potential Green Crescent Trail pathway

What places like Berkeley Drive in Clemson could be like with the Green Crescent Trails

What’s Next?

If you are interested in the Green Crescent Trails movement, we’d love your help! Here’s what you can do.


  • Read the 2016 Green Crescent Trail Feasibility Study if you want more details
  • Get email updates about future articles, videos, and more from the Friends of the Green Crescent



  • Your time. Be and advocate with us. We’re fun! Let us know you’re interested.
  • Your connections. Help us identify other donors and supporters.
  • Your dollars. Help us continue our advocacy efforts by donating (tax deductible) to the Friends of the Green Crescent Trail

We look forward to creating the Green Crescent Trails together with you – one step at a time!