The inside scoop on exploring the great outdoors in and around Greenville
Jones Gap State Park in northern Greenville County is home to 60 miles of hiking trails, some of which are along the Middle Saluda River, the state’s first designated Scenic River. Anglers can land a mountain trout, and hikers can enjoy the beauty of early-season wildflowers or an explosion of fall color.
Its trails link to Caesars Head State Park, known for its breathtaking panoramic views, waterfalls, and as a prime viewing spot during “Hawk Watch,” the fall migration of thousands of hawks on their way to South America (mid-September through the end of November). And it's not just hawks! Other rapid-flying raptors you may see include Bald Eagles, Mississippi Kites, American Kestrels, Turkey Vultures, and Peregrine Falcons. The sky can fill with huge flocks of birds that can contain thousands at any one time, known as "kettles," and they travel approximately 70 miles each day towards their wintering grounds. Don't forget your binoculars!
Nearby Table Rock State Park has several hiking trails, the most popular of which leads to the 3,124-foot summit of Table Rock and its epic vistas.
Raven Cliff Falls, located in Caesars Head State Park, is the tallest in South Carolina with its 420-foot drop. The waterfall itself was named for the ravens that breed in the cliffs that help to form the falls and 150+ species of ravens have been spotted in the area. There are two hiking trails to view the falls: 1) Raven Cliff Falls Trail, a 4-mile round-trip hike which leads to the scenic overlook where you can view the waterfalls, and 2) Dismal Trail Loop, a 6.6-mile round-trip hike that brings you to Wilderness Bridge, a unique suspension bridge that crosses over the creek at the very top of Raven Cliff Falls. If you're up for one strenuous hike, you'll never get a better view than watching the falls plunge into the depths below.
Take a Spin
EASY BIKE RENTALS
If you want to take a spin around Greenville or along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail,Greenville's got quick, easy, and convenient bike rental options! Be sure to check out Reedy Rides (Downtown Greenville), Bike the Rabbit (Downtown Greenville; reopening in November), SRT Bike Shoppe (directly on the trail adjacent to Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery), and TREK Bicycle Store (Laurens Road).
If you’re looking for a little more adventure in your trip, you've got options that provide a higher dose of adrenaline for rent. Half-Moon Outfitters can provide everything from paddleboards to kayaks, one-wheel boards, and electric skateboards. Restarting in 2021, Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest rents kayaks, canoes, SUPs, boat trailers, tents, and backpacks while you’re on the way to the lakes or hitting up the trail.
On the Water
EASY BOAT RENTALS & TOURS
Looking for something with a little more horsepower? Check out Jocassee Outdoor Center to rent pontoons, deck boats,ski boats, kayaks, and canoes to utilize on Lake Jocassee or Lake Keowee. And, if you want to let somebody else steer, check out Jocassee Lake Tours for a navigation-free experience. (They also offer both single and tandem kayak rentals, should you choose to paddle your own oar!)