BJU students are finding that the Greenville area is home to several parks and hiking trails that serve as enjoyable outdoor recreational activities. Senior business administration major Christen Moore recommends Paris Mountain State Park. “Paris Mountain is good [to go to] when you need to go out in nature but […] don’t have much time,” Moore said.
The park is approximately four miles away from BJU and hosts quality camping spots, five of which are accessible on the sides of the trails.
A work relief program in operation from 1933 to 1942, known as the Civilian Conservation Corps, built the park during the Great Depression. Stone and timber from the original construction of the park are located outside of the Park Center to display the history of the park.
Caesars Head State Park overlooks the Blue Ridge Escarpment and provides views as far as North Carolina and Georgia. The park’s Raven Cliff Falls trail is a 4-mile round trip and leads to a view of the falls. A 6.6-mile round trip trail to a suspension bridge gives another perspective of the falls.
Connected to Caesars Head State Park lies Jones Gap State Park. Both state parks are part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area that is made up of 13,000 acres of mountain forest.
Jones Gap consists of several trails as well as the Middle Saluda River. Rainbow Falls Trail provides a gorgeous view of waterfalls, and the Middle Saluda River is a hot spot for trout fishing.
Table Rock State Park provides its visitors with 3,000 acres of trails, lakes and campsites, with mountains and waterfalls making up the views. The Civilian Conservation Corps built many of the structures in the park that remain today.
The hike at Table Rock is especially popular among the student body. Junior education major Abigail Rocha recommends that students hiking this trail bring extra water since the hike is challenging.
“[Hiking Table Rock] was a cool way to refresh my soul and get out in nature,” Rocha said. Senior music major Jared Miller noted that the hike could be of interest to both amateur and experienced hikers.
There are also scenic areas in the Greenville that require minimal hiking. Looking Glass Waterfalls is located in Pisgah National Forest, and Black Balsam Knob via Art Loeb Trail is located in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area.
Neither Bald Rock Heritage Preserve nor Pretty Place require hiking. Bald Rock features a view of South Carolina’s foothills, and Pretty Place overlooks a lavish hillside. Many BJU students enjoy visiting Bald Rock for sunrise or sunset views.
For a challenging hike, Sassafras Mountain in Sunset, South Carolina, provides an 8.2-mile hike with a particularly extensive view. Hikers can see three states at the top of the 3,553-foot point: South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. An observation tower with a compass dividing North and South Carolina stands at the end of the trail. Visitors can ascend this 11-foot lookout to experience the epitome of what the views have to offer.
For more information including directions to trails in Greenville and surrounding areas, visit alltrails.com.
Cover Photo: Bradley Allweil