Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Visit to Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville, SC

Table of Contents for Programs This Trip

When you hear about South Carolina’s Paris Mountain State Park, one of the first things usually mentioned is its location, just under six miles from the center of downtown Greenville. And that’s true. Generations of Greenville folks, young and old, have enjoyed this Park’s facilities with only a short drive. Or even walk!

But don’t expect to find a typical urban Park when you visit Paris Mountain. Yes, its proximity to a large urban area attracts lots and lots of day visitors. Visitors who aren’t necessarily used to pristine natural environments, and who don’t yet know what’s expected of visitors to such areas. In terms of trash removal and respect for the natural environment.

But the management at Paris Mountain maintains a trash-free, peaceful, and beautiful natural environment here that is a marvel. And they manage to do so with a minimum of fuss.

I visited Paris Mountain for the first time last year, back in July. Click here to access the eight articles from that trip, including interviews with Park Manager Jason Hege, Interpretive Ranger Cathy Taylor, and Jason Daly, president of the Park’s Friends Group. Given the Park’s location I was surprised to find it so clean and well maintained.

In fact, it became something of a challenge to find a piece of trash in the public areas or along one of the several hiking trails. I didn’t find a single piece, if memory serves!

This trip, I found the Park as nice as it was last year, with even a few improvements. Most significant for those of us who require near-constant access to the internet, Paris Mountain now has WiFi! You’ll find the access code posted on the front door.

The campground bath houses have been renovated inside. At least the one near site # 19 that you see in the photo above. showerA contractor was just completing work on the women’s side when I arrived on Sunday afternoon.

The results are excellent. New shower fixtures; new paneling in the shower area; and new paint and trim all around. Bath house facilities is one of the first things that readers ask about. So I pay special attention.

In earlier years, swimming was one of the most popular activities at South Carolina’s State Parks. And many, if not most, Parks maintained swimming facilities.

Now, only a few of the Parks continue this tradition. Paris Mountain is one where visitors can still swim in a natural environment.

At least during the summer season. It recently closed until next season, but you still can rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat on the weekends to enjoy the small lake in front of the office building.

campsite 19Well, time to get over to campsite # 19 and set up. As you can see in the photo above if you click for a larger image, this site, like all of the others, is paved.

BAL LevelerBut like many of the campsites in this campground it requires some adjustment to get your travel trailer as level as it needs to be for more than a single night of camping. I was glad to have the BAL Leveler along to square things up. This is a minor price to pay for the opportunity to enjoy this Park and its environs.

This visit I’ll try to get out to see a few of the many attractions in the Greenville area. Such as the Greenville Zoo and a couple of the museums. So stay tuned!

Click here for the Greenville Zoo visit.

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