Photo of Falls Park in Greenville, SC

The Swamp Rabbit Trail

With a new Frugal Backpacker location in the beautiful Greenville SC, we are so excited to be a part of this community and explore all that the city has to offer! From restaurants, breweries, trails, and more, there is so much to discover, and we want to help you all do the same through posts like these! Today we are highlighting the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 20-mile greenway opened in 2009 that runs through the heart of Greenville along the Reedy River. We have inserted a fantastic four minute video tour of the trail, so definitely check that out above.

Oh The Things You Can Do

This trail has it all, from a detailed map highlighting where the restrooms, parking, and water fountains are), to an extensive guide called “ The Carrot ” highlighting the restaurants and breweries along the way. Not to mention every one of these locations are within either a 1 mile bike ride or ¼ mile walk from the trail! The Swamp Rabbit Trail is also dog friendly, so that means you and your (on leash) furry friend can enjoy the journey together! Biking is among the most popular activities on the trail, and if you don’t have a bike, don’t worry! Just stop by Reedy Rides on your way, Greenville’s dedicated bike rental business for the trail.

Teal Bike on part of The Swamp Rabbit Trail

Photo taken by @galemanor on Instagram

Great Routes for a Biking Adventure

If you are looking to get the Downtown Greenville experience, consider starting your adventure at Cleveland Park and heading into the city to find out everything it has to offer. If you prefer something a bit more laid back, try starting around Furman University and make your way over to Traveler’s Rest. There you can spend the day exploring all of the cute shops and restaurants on your route!


Some of our staff had planned on biking the trail this past Saturday, but were unfortunately thwarted by rain. That didn’t stop us from having a good time though, and enjoying one of the restaurants along the trail, The Swamp Rabbit Café! As you can see, everyone had a great time and really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of this cute café, regardless of the rainy weather. 

Photo from outside of The Swamp Rabbit Café

Photo of staff members outside of the Swamp Rabbit Café

We want to hear from you guys what YOUR favorite part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is, so leave a comment on Facebook under this article and let us know where your adventure takes you!



A bee visiting a purple flower.

Why Plant for Pollinators?

In recent years due to high levels of pesticides many bees have become endangered, all are at risk. Many estimate bees have plummeted by upwards of 30%, others say it is much higher. You can take action in your own backyard by planting items that bees are likely to visit. Bees are natural pollinators, without them we would no longer have some of our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Keep it Natural

When planting to attract bees, be sure to stay clear of chemicals. Pesticides are designed to kill insects, so by default you are also killing the bees.  By staying organic you will provide a safe and natural habitat for the pollinators.

Go Native

North and South Carolina have more than 500 native bee species, and there are more than 4,000 species in North America.  Native bees are attracted to native plants, so that is a good place to start.  Research shows native plants are four times more attractive to native bees. Some examples of native species for WNC and Greenville SC are purple coneflower, aster, bellflower, black-eyed susan, mint, alyssum, poppies, sunflowers, lupine, creeping thyme, lavender, bee balm, great blue lobelia, goldenrod, and many others thrive in gardens and provide food and habitat for native pollinators. Not only will these plants attract bees, but many of them will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Embrace Variety

Bees are drawn to a variety of colors and sizes.

Bees and other pollinators have good vision to help them find flower and nectar.  Bees tend to prefer the blue and violet-colored flowers the most, followed by white and yellow. These color flowers tends to produce far more nectar than flowers of other colors. This allows the bees to harvest more from these plants. Planting your flowers in clumps will attract more pollinators than individual plants scattered throughout the garden.

Include different shapes in your flowers. With the diversity of bees, each kind has their favorites. Bees will be different sizes, have different tongue lengths, and will feed on different shaped flowers. Having a variety will provide more benefits for more bees.

Create a Welcoming Environment

You can provide housing for bees. Some bees, like mason bees, will build nesting sites in insect holes and hollow stems. These cavity dwellers will also move into bee houses made from bamboo reeds, and holes drilled in wooden blocks.  You can also find bee houses for sale at garden shops.

Gathering nectar is hard work for bees and they do get thirsty. A bee bath will give them a place to get fresh, clean water. Fill a shallow container with water and several pebbles or twigs for bees to land on while drinking. Make sure to keep the water safe by changing it often and keeping it clean.

Bees work all season; so plant items that will bloom in early spring to fall. Enjoy a variety in your garden!


Here are some additional resources for caring for and selecting pollinator friendly plants:

NC Cooperative Extension Pollinator List

Note: while this list specifies the piedmont region, similar eco-systems make it applicable to the mountains as well. 

Clemson Pollinator Fact Sheet Central Appalachian (including WNC) Pollinator Guide Southeast Mixed Forest (including Upstate SC) Pollinator Guide

How to Make a Bee Bath

This is a question that has been at the center of many conversations for me over the last eight years. I was never overtly drawn to being outdoors until I entered college. Having constant structure, deadlines, responsibilities, and never enough sleep, I turned to nature for respite. Being outside reminded me of summer camping trips with my family and being happy and stress free. Around this time, I found out about a major that was offered at my school called Outdoor Leadership.

When I entered the major, I fell in love with the healing qualities of being outside. I found peace in the adventure. I became enthralled with the culture of the program and the outdoors community. The program I was enrolled in had a very strong philosophy of experiential education. I was challenged to learn by doing, instead of learning by reading. Classes were centered around discussion and challenge.

One of my most memorable trips was the first trip of my senior year. I was enrolled in a course we called Immersion. It was a semester dedicated to trips- planning, packing, and participating. Our first trip of the semester we were presented with a challenge of writing our life stories down and sharing with our group. Some of the people in my class, I had only met that semester. It was uncomfortable, scary, and ultimately freeing. Sitting around a campfire every night one person would tell his or her story. It was the closest and most connected I’ve ever felt to a group of people. Being surrounded by the noises of the woods at night, feeling a cool breeze, and smelling the smoke of the fire brought me comfort and strength to share the deepest parts of myself with almost strangers.

After college, I took a job at a wilderness therapy program in Florida that worked with teenage girls. Many of my deeper conversations with my campers were about healing through being outdoors, hard work, and living simply. Despite spending all of my working hours outside, I still craved the outdoors on my days off. I would spend my free time hiking, exploring caves, and paddling natural springs. I simply couldn’t get enough of being outside.

I believe that being outdoors connects us to a deeper part of ourselves that is rooted in our DNA. I believe nature connects us to something bigger than ourselves.


Why do you adventure? Why is nature important to you?


Marie Cole is a full time employee at Frugal Backpacker in Greenville, SC.
She graduated with a degree in Outdoor Leadership from NGU in 2015.
Her favorite outdoor activities are hiking, camping, kayaking.
Her favorite book is Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Loving the outdoors is about more than just enjoying our forests and waterways. It means being responsible stewards of the lands we love, and putting our money where our conscience is. We’re excited to be partnering with United by Blue – an awesome brand that cleans up a pound of trash from our waterways, for every item sold. The best part? Not only are their clothes well made and environmentally responsible – they’re also available at incredible prices. This week, you can snag them at 50% off. Check out our favorite styles below, and stop by either Frugal Backpacker location to shop these and many more stylish finds.

Martel Wool Vest

Was: $158  Now: $79

Garretson Relaxed Plaid

Was: $78 Now: $39

Nicholson Reversible Shirt Jack

Was: $138 Now: $69

Banff Colorblock Shirt

Was: $94 Now: $47

Spend less. Play more. Frugal Backpacker’s philosophy on outdoor gear sounds pretty appealing to price conscious shoppers, but there’s a lot more to this Asheville fixture than low prices. What makes Frugal so awesome? Here’s the deets as told by long time Frugal customer and staff member, Hannah.

Frugal finds – Yes, there’s more to Frugal Backpacker than the prices, but the truth is we all love to feel like we’re getting value for our money. From samples (more about those in a sec) to close outs, to really cool brands with accessible prices, we work really hard to make sure that our customers can find the product that they’re looking for at a reasonable price. Offering outdoor gear at good prices isn’t just about a bargain, it’s about working to make outdoor activities and high quality apparel accessible to everyone, regardless of age or income.

Seriously good customer service – My very first Frugal Backpacker experience was as a teenager, setting out for my first backpacking trip. I had a limited budget and zero idea what I was doing or what I was looking for, but a very helpful employee (thanks, Dan) set me up with a great fitting pack, boots, socks, and insoles for under $200. Everything performed well, and I’ve had serious love for backpacking and Frugal Backpacker ever since.

With the rise of discount websites, you can find a deal almost anywhere, but there’s no replacement for helpful advice from friendly outdoorspeople. Our staff includes thru-hikers, class V paddlers, and gear junkies who know and use our gear and can help you find exactly what you need for your next adventure.

High quality gear – Anyone who’s ever purchased outdoor gear from a big box retailer can tell you that there’s a lot of truth to the phrase “you get what you pay for”. At Frugal Backpacker, our goal isn’t just to get you “cheap” outdoor gear. We know that value comes from getting a great product at a price you can feel good about. We work with respected brands to get samples, closeouts, and items from previous seasons at discounted prices, and we pass the savings on to you. The result is high quality gear that we can stand behind, if you ever have a problem with your gear, let us know and we’ll work to make it right.

Cool stuff you can’t find anywhere else – Here’s where the gear head in me comes out – I love a cool piece of tech that no one else has. Want a sweet Arc’teryx jacket prototype that never made it into production? A Patagonia shell that has some really cool technology, but is only available online? A Mountain Hardwear suit for extreme mountaineering? A basecamp tent from The North Face? These are all examples of really cool items that I’ve seen come through Frugal over the years. At MSRP, they’re way too expensive for normal retailers to sell, so you’re not likely to find them in your local gear shop. Fortunately for you, when these pieces make it to us, they’re available at a discounted sample price, so you can snag an exceptional piece of gear for a song.

Lovin’ local – Did you know that 48% of every dollar spend at a locally owned business feeds back into the community, versus 14% of every dollar spent at a large national retailer? When you shop at Frugal Backpacker, you get to support your local community while snagging some sweet deals. What’s not to love?