About Us

The Savannah Valley Railroad Trail (SVT) is a hiking and biking trail opened in 2011, but the route has history dating back to the mid-1800's.

The Savannah Valley Railroad was first chartered in 1856 with plans to run from Anderson in the north to Edgefield, but it did not happen.  Twenty years later, the Charleston & Western Carolina laid 58 miles of track over the same basic route -- Anderson, Iva, Loundesville, McCormick -- in the 1870's.

A merger of four local railroads, including the Savannah Valley Railroad, in 1886, resulted in a Port Royal & Western Carolina Company with 12 locomotives and eight passenger cars.  By 1896, the name reverted to Charleston & Western Carolina, and the company had 400 miles of track.

This trail (or railroad right-of-way) went from McCormick to Bordeaux, Willington, Mt. Carmel, Hester, Calhoun Falls, Latimer, Loundesville, Barnes, Iva, Starr, Deans, and into Anderson.  While the railroad thrived in the early 20th century, by 1952, passenger service was limited and by 1955, service was freight only.  Trains stopped running in the 1970's and the State of South Carolina acquired the right-of-way.

In 2006, the Ninety Six District Resource Conservation and Development Council and McCormick County residents thought that the SVT would make an excellent rails-to-trails project.  They organized a steering committee to develop the trail.  The committee wove its way through a maze of regulations, processes, and procedures and gathered support from numerous local, county, and state organizations.  Volunteer labor began clearing the trail in 2008.  The trail is governed by Savannah Valley Trails, Inc.