Vista Greenway Grand Opening

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Exciting news in Columbia this week! The brand new, much-anticipated Vista Greenway is set to open July 7, with a ribbon cutting and preview tomorrow. As residents of this city, we’ve personally been looking forward to its completion for a long time.

Part of the national Rails-to-Trails initiative, the Vista Greenway has turned the abandoned hundred-year-old Lincoln Street tunnel into a separated path for bicyclists and pedestrians, connecting Finlay Park and the Vista. The path, stretching 1,400 ft and 14 ft wide, was built for $176,000; a combination of private, public, hospitality tax and grant funding made the project a reality. The energy for this project came from individual activists, city officials and neighborhoods and businesses eager for the benefits such a project can bring to the area.

The Greenway is meant to be the first step in revolutionizing biking and walking in downtown Columbia. Ideally, it will one day connect the Elmwood, Earlewood and Cottontown neighborhoods with the Vista, allowing residents to safely walk or bike downtown. There is also the hope that eventually it will connect with the city’s still-expanding riverfront greenway trails.

Enjoy fireworks, Finlay Park and the official opening of the Vista Greenway as part of the city’s Chill Out in Columbia event on June 7. Along with many other activities, our friends at the Palmetto Conservation Foundation– who provided trail-building expertise for the project- have planned morning rides to the Greenway from different parts of town:

  • For Shandon and Five Points, Brian Curran will be leading a ride beginning at Outspokin’ Bicycles.
  • For Elmwood and Arsenal Hill, Cliff Spann will lead a ride starting at Roy Lynch Park.
  • From Earlewood Park, Greg Hilton and Fred Monk will lead a ride to meet up with the Elmwood group before continuing to the Vista.
  • For West Columbia, Tim Malson will be leading a ride from his new Summit Cycles location.
  • For Cayce, Patrick Blake will lead a ride from Parkland Plaza.

The rides will meet at the Lady Street Tunnel and proceed on a Greenway ride following a speech by Councilman Brian Newman. For times, route directions and further details, please visit Palmetto Conservation. Be sure to hang around for the rest of the day for the Freedom Festival and Summer Concert Series in Finlay Park all afternoon.

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