Dear Palmetto Conservation Supporter:

AS 2017 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, it is gratifying to report on the tremendous progress we made this year on our beloved Palmetto Trail. THANK YOU to our many members, volunteers, partners, sponsors, donors, staff and the Palmetto Conservation Corps! Here are a few mountains-to-sea highlights.

  • We broke ground on the new passage at Stumphouse Mountain where the City of Walhalla is working with us to build a state-of-the-art mountain biking park—a dream-come-true destination in the Upstate for the cycling community and gorgeous hiking terrain.
  • We opened the scenic Roundtop Mountain Passage and created a fantastic loop with the Foothills Trail through Jocassee Gorges near Table Rock and Sassafras mountains. Our Palmetto Conservation Corps helped the Forest Service rebuild fire-damaged trails nearby.
  • We completed a required history and archaeology review and plan to break ground soon on the new passage along Eastatoe Creek into Keowee-Toxaway State Park near Dug Mountain.
  • In the Midlands, it was a year of bridges and boardwalks. Dominion and Fluor employees spent organized workdays to help rehabilitate structures on the Peak to Prosperity Passage and the Fort Jackson Passage.
  • We can see the Wateree River from the not-quite-finished Wateree Passage boardwalk! The three-quarter-mile boardwalk now includes the Palmetto Trail’s only suspension bridge. A huge “THANK YOU” to Cox Industries for the generous donation of lumber.
  • Last January, we worked with city leaders in Santee and Summerton on strategic planning to improve the Palmetto Trail greenway between their communities. Then in August, the S.C. Department of Transportation closed indefinitely the old highway bridge across Lake Marion, which the Palmetto Trail uses to connect the two communities. We are in limbo.
  • We enhanced Eutaw Springs Passage, rerouting through Gardensgate Plantation to create a mile-long nature walk and a primitive camping spot for small groups.
  • We repaired bog bridges and rerouted sections of Lake Marion Passage, and we worked to repair hurricane damage on the Swamp Fox and Awendaw Passages.

Next year, all things Palmetto Trail will have our undivided attention. We transferred the Revolutionary War Battle of Camden property to Historic Camden, and the Glendale Outdoor Leadership School to Spartanburg’s Local Hiker. The local owners will be excellent stewards.

2017—what a fantastic year! As we hike and cycle into 2018, I cannot stress enough how important your contributions are. Time. Talent. Dollars. All make a huge impact on what we can accomplish together. Thank you. During the holiday season, please consider sharing your love of the Palmetto Trail by giving PCF memberships and Palmetto Trail shares. Why support the Trail? We suggest reading The Nature Fix by Florence Williams (and we have copies for sale). Enlightening book!

See you on the Trail!


Natalie Britt