Savannah Valley Railroad Trail

South Carolina

Savannah Valley Railroad Trail Facts

States: South Carolina
Counties: McCormick
Length: 9 miles
Trail end points: Barksdale Ferry Road and Moss Avenue
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Grass
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6423277
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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Savannah Valley Railroad Trail Description

The Savannah Valley Railroad Trail will one day follow the Savannah River on a northwest course from McCormick to Calhoun Falls. It will cross two counties (McCormick and Abbeville) and link three state parks: Baker Creek, Calhoun Falls, and Hickory Knob.

Currently, 9 miles of the trail are open for public use in McCormick County. Along your journey, you will see several streams and the Badwell Cemetery, a burial place for settlers dating back to the 1700s.

The trail’s first 2.2 miles, from Barksdale Ferry Road to Cemetery Road, traverse dense woodlands along a grass rail bed. (If biking, be sure your tires are puncture resistant.) The middle section starts out as an on-road route, but then becomes another grass rail bed. The trail ends at the wooden trestle over Mill Creek, which can now be crossed and incorporates a nice picnic area with table seating overlooking Mill Creek. The rail bed picks up on the other side and goes to Willington.

Parking and Trail Access

In McCormick, there is a parking lot on Barksdale Ferry Road and also at the Badwell Cemetery Road entrance.

Savannah Valley Railroad Trail Reviews

The trail now has about 9 miles of trail open and maintained. There are parking places in several of the trailhead entrances that are also marked with trail kiosk signs. Along the trail are rest benches, picnic tables and the trail has mile markers every half-mile. The Railroad Trestle over water has been refurbished, has a picnic table and is in use - it is about 1/2 mile from the parking area on Route 7. Just about the whole trail goes thru forest so it is shaded in warmer weather. All in all it is an enjoyable walk or bike ride with access to some historical sites.

Rode the trail from Barksdale Ferry Rd to about a mile past the trestle and back. Trail was in fair shape. Lots of roots and holes. But still manageable on a cyclocross bike. About a mile past the trestle I saw posted and no trespassing signs. The trail at this point was started to get overgrown and a tree had fell across the trail. I wasn't sure if the easements had been purchased this far or not. There was no signage telling me the mileage or if the trail had ended. I turned around out of fear of trespassing and rode back to the truck. I would recommend a bike with some suspension or full suspension if planning to complete entire trail. Hopefully the future holds a paved or concrete trail. This trail also has a lot of potential. Also recommend some kind of barricades to keep people out with vehicles. When I was coming back headed to Barksdale Ferry Parking area. I ran up on a truck pulling a trailer headed out to the road. Be Careful.

I enjoyed walking this trail. The first part (all rail trail) was probably my favorite as I prefer a trail to the road section but the road wasn't busy. Walking to the cemetery during the first part adds another nice mile (half a mile each way). I haven't tried walking to Willington yet (you can't yet cross the trestle and would have to go around somehow).

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