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“A morning on Paris Mountain”

Paris Mountain State Park
Ranked #10 of 102 things to do in Greenville
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Paris Mountain is only a few miles from downtown Greenville, but once in its state park a resident or a traveler enters another world, a lovely woodland retreat high above the city. That’s because Paris Mountain is a monadnock, a mountain that rises up out of otherwise relatively flat land. This particular monadnock is not far from the many more dramatic mountains north of it in the Carolinas. But while Paris Mountain tops out at only a little over 2,000 feet, it is a wonderful anomaly, particularly so near a large city.

The mountain was once home to the Cherokee, but in 1765 the first white settler, Richard Pearls, came along and either the Cherokee gave Pearls a good bit of land or, more likely, he found a way to steal it. In fact he name “Paris” is a distortion of the name Pearls. In 1890 dams and reservoirs were built on the mountain by the Greenville City Water System as a source of drinking water for the city. During the 1930s the state park on the mountain was built as part of one of many New Deal projects assigned the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). Most of the structures in the park were built by the CCC and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In its more than 1500 acres, there are 14 hiking/biking trails varying in difficulty, a large reservoir and the small Lake Placid that boasts a swimming area and canoe and pedal boat rentals. Along the lake are several picnic spots. Higher up the mountain Camp Buckthorn is rentable for weddings, meetings, reunions and so on, and there is also a campsite equipped for trailers and SUVs.

The easiest trail is at the lowest level of the park, the .8 mile Lake Placid Trail surrounding the small lake. At one end of the lake on the trail is the rather nice looking CCC-built dam. From the lake you can drive up a charming, tiny and winding road farther up into the woods until you hit about 1200 feet. Along the way there are several places to park at various trails, and where the road ends, in close vicinity to Camp Buckthorn, there are two large parking lots from which you can hike/bike the higher trails, one of which will take you to the reservoir, another to a fire tower, still others through beautiful woods and streams. So far I’ve taken only the Lake Placid trail, but look forward to walks on the heights in autumn, when the colors will be even more stunning and the weather a tad cooler than in the summer heat. Even when in Greenville it is very hot, however, the park is “wondrous cool, thou woodland quiet” (quoted from a song by Brahms) compared to the heat of the city. And it's a mere $2.00 per day admission fee. Certainly if you’re in this area you should try to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but particularly if you’re strapped for time in Greenville, you should definitely check out this park!

4  Thank DottoreGianni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"hiking trails"
in 30 reviews
"swimming area"
in 17 reviews
"paddle boats"
in 16 reviews
"sulphur springs"
in 16 reviews
"great hiking"
in 12 reviews
"small lake"
in 10 reviews
"close to town"
in 9 reviews
"mountain bikes"
in 8 reviews
"ridge trail"
in 6 reviews
"mile hike"
in 6 reviews
"great place to hike"
in 5 reviews
"easy hike"
in 4 reviews
"jones gap"
in 4 reviews
"nice hike"
in 6 reviews
"per adult"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 4 reviews
"greenville area"
in 4 reviews
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259 - 263 of 332 reviews

Reviewed July 31, 2013

Convenient to Greenville and a rich sanctuary of green and quiet. Great hiking trails, picnic areas and peaceful openings.

Thank krandy21784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We love hiking to North Lake with our dog! Beautiful scenery and great hiking trails to accomodate every skill level.

Thank dieselnator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Paris mountain charges very modest prices for the wonderful park. Plenty of amenities for kids. It is a state park and campground first, so don't expect anything crazy like a waterpark. They have some hikeable campsites that are worth the trip.

Thank madcap6808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 29, 2013

Went to this park in search of great hiking. We found it. The trails were great and the Rangers were friendly and helpful

Thank Randy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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