Every time I ride the West Ashley Greenwaytrail, I imagine the trains that rolled on the tracks here from years past. I can almost hear the sound of the steel wheels rolling down the rails, and the whistle blowing with a sound that cuts through the foggy morning air. Several points along the trail, the trees form a natural canopy, providing an illusion to all its travelers of long mystic tunnels. The overall length of the trail is 10.5 miles. The first few miles of which is asphalt pavement - perfect for any bicycle. However, where the pavement ends, it's best to be riding something that can handle a rougher terrain, such as a mountain bike.
At about the seven mile marker, the West Ashley Greenway cuts right through theClemson University Agriculture Extension. This is where I spot the "Egret tree". That's the name I've given it anyway. It's a tree within the Clemson compound surrounded by water, and apparently a nesting area for the Snow White Egrets. On previous rides, I had seen many more of them than I'm seeing now. It still makes for a great picture. I dismount my bike for this one, jump a ditch and hold the camera over my head and above the top of a chain-link fence...I can hardly see anything in the view screen; so I just point, click, and hope.
The entire trail displays a plethora of natural beauty; however, the most spectacular part of it is found just beyond the Clemson University Agriculture Extension. At about the eight mile marker, the salt water marsh that runs along the Wapoo Cut is literally right up against the trail - on both sides. At one point there is a sand bar that enables me to actually ride off the trail and into the marsh for a short distance. A little further down are the two bridges. On previous rides, I've observed people fishing and crabbing here. The view.....there is just no way to accurately describe it. If you click on the pictures within this article, it will enable you to see an enlarged version of them; and that still falls way short of the breath-taking wonderment of this area surrounding the West Ashley Greenway. This is a great trail, lots of fun and a great view. "I will be doing this again". To learn more about South Carolina trails, visit these sites: SC Trails, Rails to Trails Conservancy, and TrailLink