North Augusta’s Greeneway Trail recently was named No. 5 as a top biking destination by Ideal Living Magazine.

“It (the ranking) validates what everyone around has known for years,” Mayor Lark Jones said. “The Greeneway is a very special asset. It can be used by young and old, walkers, joggers, dogs, serious cyclists, beginner cyclists, roller bladers and the occasional deer.”

The Greeneway is a seven-plus mile paved recreational trail that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way purchased by the city in 1988.

“A lot of places can do a rails to trails project if they have an abandoned railway,” Jones said. “North Augusta’s is unique in that it runs through and connects the entire town from end to end. It is anchored by our major park, has a very scenic section along the Savannah River and is 90 percent covered with a tree canopy.”

Todd Glover, City Administrator of North Augusta, said the recognition from Ideal Living Magazine is a testament to the work being done at the Greeneway.

“It is nice to be recognized for a job well done,” Glover said. “The Greeneway is a very unique amenity, but the Parks and Recreation staff as well as the Greeneway Trust do a great job of maintaining this special asset.”

John Smith, of the Silver Spokes cycling group and Smith Eye Care, said the Greeneway is an excellent cycling location.

“The Greeneway is very comparable to other great cycling locations,” he said. “It needs some refining, to level it out, but it is a great place to cycle.”

Smith believes the Greeneway draws people to the area.

“It’s a big drawing card for North Augusta,” Smith said. “It has a dramatic economic impact and a health impact. It brings people to North Augusta, those who like to exercise, and is very well utilized by the community.”

Glover believes the publicity from Ideal Living Magazine will help put North Augusta “on the map” for bikers from across the country.

“(This will draw) People who may be looking for a nice biking experience who don’t mind traveling to do so,” he said. “Any positive attention brought to our city is fantastic.”

The Greeneway Trail can be accessed at three locations: at Pisgah Road just off Five Notch Road, off Riverside Boulevard opposite the entrance drive to the River Golf Club, and at Riverview Park, 101 Riverview Park Drive. The Greeneway is open from dawn to dusk and is patrolled by the Department of Public Safety.

T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.