“The Dan”

Spartanburg’s new trail system emerges


Photo courtesy https://www.wspa.com/news/32-mile-unified-trail-system-in-spartanburg-to-be-named-the-dan/

“The Dan” and existing trail routes in Spartanburg displayed on a map.

Samiah Lewis, Writer

A $23.8 million federal grant is going toward expanding 15 miles of new multi-use trails in Spartanburg. The Daniel Morgan Trail System, also known as “The Dan,” is Spartanburg’s 50-mile urban trail system consisting of 11 existing and proposed trails. PAL, a small Spartanburg-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health and wellness throughout Spartanburg County, states that “The Dan” is “the physical link connecting our tourism, environment, and health, as well as our economic, and community development projects.” 

According to WebMD, an American corporation dedicated to publishing news and information pertaining to human health and well-being, walking outdoors is great for fitness. Running and walking are powerful cardio workouts that can lower risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure and sugar levels, boost bone density, strengthen core and countless other benefits.  

Nathan Moseley (11) loves the trail system. He is a former cross-country runner who utilizes the trails for recreational purposes and practicing. 

“The Spartanburg trails are so well-maintained. I used the trails all the time while I was in cross country. The environment is always so perfect and peaceful. I can always rely on getting a nice workout on the trails,” Moseley said. 

Not only do the new trail systems provide recreational fitness activities to better the physical well-being of Spartanburg residents, but they are also proven to strengthen and improve mental health. 

According to a study by researchers at Stanford University, being in nature can boost people’s mood and improve mental health by reducing stress, anxiety and lowering risks of depression.  

Elle Schafer (9), a cross country runner, believes that the trails enable her to socialize with her friends on an entirely different level. 

“I love the trees and the shade that the trails provide. Using them is so therapeutic, and they provide such a great bonding experience with my friends when we run together. So many memorable moments have been created on those trails,” Schafer said. 

In addition to having mental health benefits, walking on outdoor trails provides an opportunity for human senses to open up in their surroundings while also improving their sensory perception. The National Park Service, a United States government agency dedicated to managing all national parks and other natural, recreational properties, suggests that many doctors prescribe taking walks due to the many health benefits of being outside, taking in the sights, smells, and feelings of nature. 

Julie Xayasane (11) enjoys the natural aesthetics of walking on the trails. 

“The scenery is gorgeous. I really love hearing the trickling water, the birds chirping, everything about the trails. Walking on them is so serene; I’m put in awe every time I step foot on one.” Xayasane said.