Parks and Natural Areas
Whether visiting local community parks, hiking in the mountains, or inland sailing on the local lakes, the climate and geography of the Upstate invites outdoor recreation. Area parks, forests, and nature reserves give the Upstate a unique character.
Mountain is probably the Upstate’s best-known landmark, and the state park named for it is one of the state’s oldest and most popular parks. Record numbers of visitors have enjoyed camping, hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, and nature trails.
Some of the Upstate’s parks even offer visitors a taste of history.
Mountain is a national military park featuring exhibits and a battlefield trail. Contiguous to the national park is
State Park . The state park maintains and operates a frontier homestead known as the Living Farm; the park also offers camping, swimming, and other recreational amenities. Nature lovers can also combine outdoor recreation with history when visiting the historic
Park , which is the site of the original 1776 settlement in
Greenville . The park is now a riverside greenway with walking paths, picnic spots, six landscaped garden areas, and two waterfalls all in the midst of downtown
Greenville . In addition, Croft State Natural Area, which was once part of a World War II Army training camp, now offers visitors 7,054 acres of rolling terrain, including a 21-mile equestrian trail. The park also provides a natural habitat for deer, wild turkey, and many other animals.
Caesars Head is an excellent park for nature enthusiasts and photographers. This park joins
State Park and other natural areas to comprise the Mountain Bridge Wilderness and Recreation Area. At 3,266 feet above sea level, Caesars Head provides a panoramic view of nearby valleys, Table Rock,
Mountains , and other distant peaks of the
Blue Ridge Mountains .
Falls , situated along one of the Park's many hiking trails, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern . Visitors enjoy hiking, biking, and bird watching.
State Park , located only a short drive from downtown
Greenville , offers visitors a quiet place to relax in a mountain setting. Formerly a watershed for the City,
Mountain is one of the oldest protected areas in
South Carolina . This 1275-acre park is well known for its stands of large trees, lake swimming, hiking, and numerous picnic areas.
Nearby Chimney Rock is also a popular destination. Native Americans were probably the first to climb the giant rock, followed by settlers who also enjoyed the spectacular view. Throughout the year, the Park is host to a variety of special activities including rope and rock climbing demonstrations, nature workshops, the annual Easter Sunrise service, Heights of Spring celebration, Krazy With Kudzu fall programs, and December holiday programs.
Corporate residents have even added to the outdoor recreation possibilities in the Upstate. Milliken & Company’s grounds offer the public a grassy, wooded area with a duck pond and fountains. The company’s campus is great for relaxing strolls and picnics.
Horseback riders enjoy the
Center . This 210-acre preserve combines resources for nature study with award-winning equestrian facilities. The facility also hosts the famous Blockhouse Steeple Chase.