The path that winds along Twelve Mile Creek in Lancaster is part of the Carolina Thread Trail, a system of greenways and blueways which connect 15 counties in North and South Carolina. So far, over 250 miles of pedestrian and biking trails and 100 miles of water trails allow people to explore both nature and neighboring communities. The Carolina Thread Trail opened in 2007 and is the joint effort of residents, business owners, and developers. The goal of the trail is to conserve land while connecting people.
The name “Carolina Thread Trail” honors the history of the textile industry in the region. It also references the trail’s purpose of “threading” or weaving together various communities. The trail logo depicts a popular quilt pattern – the Eight-Pointed Star – and reflects the trail’s textile theme; it also resembles a compass, referencing the exploratory nature of the trail. The sign pictured below marks the trail with the logo.
In South Carolina, the Carolina Thread Trail can be accessed in Cherokee County, Chester County, Lancaster County, and York County. While the trail has grown significantly and even connects trails that are not a part of the Carolina Thread Trail system, it is far from completion. In fact no completion date is set, as the trail is expected to grow exponentially and include hundreds of additional miles in the future.
The suspension bridge seen above and below opened in April of 2016. It is known as the Cross-State Suspension Bridge because pedestrians can use it to cross Twelve Mile Creek from Indian Land, South Carolina, to Waxhaw, North Carolina. The 180-foot-long bridge connects the Twelve Mile Creek Trail in South Carolina to the Twelve Mile Creek Greenway in North Carolina, creating four miles of the Carolina Thread Trail. The rail was built with a grant received by Waxhaw.
The Twelve Mile Creek Trail can be accessed in Lancaster from Walnut Creek Park. The trail is one of many sections of the greater Carolina Thread Trail found in South Carolina, including the Piedmont Medical Center Trail in Rock Hill.