CLEMSON — The South Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded Clemson University a $1 million grant to build a biking and walking trail in the Fants Grove area south of the campus.

The trail is part of a biking and walking trailways project that aims to develop connections around campus that support sustainability, recreation and quality of life, and also strives to maintain Clemson’s positive relationship with the community.

This map shows the planned trail in the Fants Grove area south of campus.

This map shows the planned trail in the Fants Grove area south of campus.

The trail will connect Hopewell/Cherry Farm with Seed Orchard Road. The trail also represents the first in a new approach to encouraging alternative modes of travel.

“In the past, we have built bikeways adjacent to vehicle travel lanes and promoted shared roads, but this $1 million grant is a departure from that model,” said Gerald Vander Mey, director of university Planning and Design. “This shared path is the first trail that will be separate from the road and is intended to be used by pedestrians, bicyclists, runners, etc.”

The trail is part of the larger long-range plan for the campus, which includes more like it, including along Walter T. Cox Boulevard (Highway 93).

The ultimate goal of the trailways project  is to promote health and wellness among all Clemson community members as well as connect the entire extended campus.

“The trail will be a community asset that many people will find to be useful and enjoyable,” Vander Mey said. “Whether the users are from the campus or the city, the trail will be available for everyone’s benefit.”

This is the third grant to the university Planning and Design Office in the past seven years. Others have included state and county-based grants and athletic funds for the pedestrian bridge at Riggs Field. Together, they have brought more than $5 million worth of improvements to the university.