The former Travelers Rest High School is located in the middle of town, close to the highway and adjacent to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a popular walking and bike path. Officials were dismayed when they learned that the school district was planning to leave the abandoned school buildings standing and use the parking lot as a bus hub. Worried about a highly visible blight in a central area, they acted quickly to convince the school district to sell the property instead.

Once the school district agreed to the plan, officials soon envisioned the 31-acre parcel as a municipal recreation complex that could house city facilities in a park setting. Travelers Rest was in the planning stages for a new city hall and was also in need of additional festival space and a permanent location for the farmers market. City officials believed the newly acquired land was a perfect fit for these endeavors and more.

Travelers Rest partnered with Greenville County to make the ambitious project a reality. The city and county worked together to come up with money for the project, tapping hospitality tax revenue bonds and applying for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant. In the end, each entity purchased half of the land.

While the county is still raising money to rehabilitate the football stadium and build a baseball complex, the city has already built an amphitheater for events and a pavilion for the farmers market. A new City Hall and a fire station are next. Meanwhile, the public has embraced the project and even chose the name "Trailblazer Park" in a citywide contest to come up with a moniker for the city’s new gathering space.

Contact Dianna Turner at or 864.834.8740.