Trail Town designations launched by the S.C. National Heritage Corridor
Last summer, S.C. Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, officials with the S.C. National Heritage Corridor and those of the statewide SC7 Expedition christened the City of Conway near Myrtle Beach, S.C. as the first of other soon-to-be-named South Carolina Trail Towns.
The town of Traveler’s Rest in the Upstate of S.C, specifically Greenville County, is next: Traveler’s Rest is slated to become a Trail Town in the spring of 2024.
What is required of a Trail Town? “Infrastructure already in place,” says Abbey Crocker, program manager, S.C. National Heritage Corridor. “Clean, safe [hiking] trails that are easily accessible and well lit, and with proper signage are important. Also good area restaurants, hotel accommodations,” for visitors and outdoor recreational enthusiasts.
There also needs to be community involvement or “buy in” says Crocker. They have to want to be known as a trail town destination.
[Please see Conway Trail Town Guide – https://issuu.com/scnationalheritagecorridor/docs/conwaytrailtowncover]
There is an application process to become a South Carolina Trail Town. Standards are not impossible, but they are exacting. “We want our designated Trail Towns to exemplify and represent the best of our already beautiful Palmetto State,” says Michelle McCollum, pres. of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor. “Tourism is South Carolina’s largest and ever-expanding industry, and so our beautiful towns and communities are key features of that specific industry and the appeal and attraction of our state.”
According to an article published in the Charleston Post & Courier: “The [Trail Towns] program provides assistance to communities looking to expand recreational opportunities and recognizes those that already are.”
The S.C. National Heritage Corridor represents 17 counties within the Palmetto State: Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, Saluda, McCormick, Edgefield, Greenwood, Abbeville, Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Berkeley, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester and Georgetown.
S.C.’s Trail Towns will however not be solely confined to those 17 counties within the corridor. A Trail Town may be designated anywhere within the state.
Founded in 1996, the S.C. National Heritage Corridor is a nonprofit organization and one of 55 congressionally designated National Heritage Areas (NHAs) of the National Park Service — recognizing the national importance of S.C.’s natural, cultural, and historic resources. National Park Service partners with NHAs to provide technical assistance and distribute matching federal funds from Congress.
– For more information about the S.C. National Heritage Corridor, please visit https://scnhc.org/about/.