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Swamp Rabbit Trail boosts business says study

Posted: Apr 18, 2012 8:04 PM EDT Updated: May 16, 2012 8:07 PM EDT

By Aaron Barker

People walk along a recently opened section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in downtown Greenville. (File/FOX Carolina)

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

study of the Swamp Rabbit Trail's three years of use finds that the path draws money to nearby businesses.

The study was conducted by Julian Reed, an associate professor at Furman University.

The Greenville Hospital System's trail was designed to improve the health of those who work at the hospital and live nearby.

Reed's study found that more than 350,000 people used the trail during its first year. The study also found that nearby businesses have reported a 30 to 85 percent increase in sales or revenue since the trail opened.

"People are going to local businesses, such as the one we're in right now, to grab a meal or to grab their groceries," Reed said, as she discussed the results at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in Greenville. "I see this trail not only having a tremendous economic impact, but also connecting communities."

Reed said her study also found that the trail has had a positive impact on the well-being of workers.