PICKENS COUNTY — The Doodle Trail has made headway into the exercise regimens of many in Pickens County since its opening but it has also opened up opportunities for families who want to enjoy the outdoors together as well.
The Rodriguez family of Easley is one such family that enjoys the trail on Mondays as they ride together as a group or when they use the trail for jogging other days of the week, bringing along the kids as well, something they weren’t able to do before the trail offered them a safe alternative.
“We used to have to ride and run on the road in Easley where we live, and that’s dangerous with all of the cars,” Juan Mendez said. “There were just too many cars on the streets and we couldn’t all go out there together and be safe.”
The Doodle Trail is a 7.5 mile rails-to-trails partnership between the City of Easley and the City of Pickens that opened Memorial Day Weekend 2015. The multi-use trail is open from dawn to dusk for biking, walking, running and rollerblading.
With the opening of The Doodle Trail, the Rodriguez family is now able to climb on their bikes, grab the boys and head out for exercise and time together. They ride from Easley to Pickens and then return to Easley.
The Rodriguez family owns and operates Jalisco restaurant in Easley.
“We ride our bikes together on Monday. That’s the day the restaurant is closed and we can all come out together,” Mendez said. “The rest of the week we use the trail for running. Before we had it, there was no way for us to do all of this together and be safe.”
According to the City of Pickens website, the Doodle line carries a rich history of industry and economy important to both the City of Pickens and the City of Easley. In 1890, South Carolina issued a charter for the construction of a railroad between Easley and Oolenoy Gap, by way of Pickens.
In 1898, after eight years of construction, the 8.5-mile portion of the railway between Easley and Pickens became operational and until 2013, hauled a variety of commodities to and from Pickens and Easley, including food products, textiles, and automobile parts.
It was nicknamed the “Pickens Doodle” line because the freight engine could not be turned around and had to run backwards from Easley to Pickens, looking like a doodlebug.
Reach D.C. Moody at 864-855-0355.