Ready to get out and hike the trails near Greenville, SC? Today, contributor Kristina Hernandez shares some of the best places to hike near Greenville, SC.
For even more hikes, see our complete guide to hikes near Greenville, SC, which has hikes for every age, ability and every type of trail including trails with waterfalls, historic hikes, and more.
Some of my earliest memories as a kid were hiking with my family. It became a fun activity as my brothers and I got older and we got to pick out where we would go and which trails we would explore. I was banned from being the guide when I led us around in circles in the woods and eventually ended up on some unknown road (before GPS). Thankfully it’s pretty hard to get lost nowadays and hiking is still a favorite activity of mine. Because Greenville is so awesome, there are tons of great parks in the area to enjoy the outdoors, burn off some energy, pack a picnic and make a day of it.
When hiking, be sure to be considerate of other hikers, don’t leave trash on the trail, always keep animals leashed, don’t climb around waterfalls or allow kids to play near them as the rocks are and can be slippery and hazardous, and wear proper shoes (like not flip-flops or heels – I’ve seen people wear these when “hiking”), and be aware of your surroundings and wildlife like snakes and birds. For important tips on recreating responsibly, please see this story on the seven Leave No Trace principles.
One thing to note is that since the pandemic hit in March 2020, getting outdoors has now become a thing. National Parks, forests, and state parks are all reporting record-high numbers, which means many of our favorite trails are packed, which is pretty much the opposite of what we have been urged to do by medical professionals (although most agree that being outdoors is a good choice in these trying times). Because we live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and with literally hundreds of miles of hiking trails nearby, it’s truly not that hard to find less traveled trails. We made this Instagram short story on the All Trails app to show you how to search for less-trafficked trails. You can also join local hiking pages or just do your own research online or ask friends who are avid hikers. Happy Trails!
Kidding Around Greenville readers give some of their favorite hiking spots in the area below. One reader is on a mission to see all the beautiful waterfalls within an hour of Greenville. She uses the AllTrails Hiking & Mountain Trails app to find them, and other trails in the Upstate. We also have a list of waterfalls near Greenville to assist our readers.
Paris Mountain State Park
A great local park with beautiful trails to explore, Paris Mountain is the go-to park for many Greenville families. There are also picnic tables, a lake for swimming and playgrounds, which make this a perfect park for a day of fun. You’ll have to pay admission unless you’ve got a South Carolina Park Passport, which provides access to all state parks for free and costs $99.
2401 State Park Road, Greenville
Another favorite of Kidding Around readers is Lake Conestee Nature Preserve. There are a lot of trails, all of them easy. There are boardwalks over the marshes, which are a lot of fun to watch for turtles, fish, and snakes at. The park also has playgrounds, baseball fields and picnic shelters. See KAG’s detailed Lake Conestee Nature Park Guide. There is no admission fee for this park.
840 Mauldin Road, Greenville
Table Rock State Park is a natural beauty, sitting next to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and boasts miles and miles of hiking trails, from easy to strenuous. Hikers can enjoy gorgeous waterfalls, mountain streams and stunning views. Trails aren’t stroller-friendly; however, young children can definitely walk the Carrick Creek Trail (~2 miles) and will love the many waterfalls along the way. I used an Ergo to carry my baby and it worked out great. Pack a picnic and enjoy it next to the lake while the kids play on the playgrounds. If you want a challenge, try the Table Rock Trail, a difficult 7+ mile trek up to the top of the mountain. This park charges admission unless you’ve got an SC State Park Pass (I have one and I use it all the time!).
158 Ellison Lane, Pickens
Pleasant Ridge Park
With 240 acres to explore, there is no shortage of hiking at Pleasant Ridge Park. There is a trail that loops around the park that is open to hikers and mountain bikers (strollers may not be the best of options here) that is 5.4 miles long. The park also has picnic tables, a playground and a fishing lake.
4232 SC-11, Marietta
Jones Gap State Park
Jones Gap is home to the stunning Rainbow Falls at the end of a tough hike uphill. There are several other trails there at this state park in the Upstate but it’s a very popular place with a small parking lot. There’s an entrance fee and you have to reserve a parking spot on weekends through the State Park website.
303 Jones Gap Road, Marietta
Raven Cliff Falls
Raven Cliff Falls is located in Caesars Head State Park and is a fairly easy ~ 4 mile round trip trail. You can see the waterfall from an overlook. You can also do the challenging nearly-9 mile Dismal Trail-Naturaland-Gum Gap trail for a butt-kicking adventure over the suspension bridge at the top of the waterfall. Bring cash for the State Park entrance fee.
8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland
Kings Mountain Battlefield Trail
I love history and learning about South Carolina history has been a true joy since moving here. To that end, the Kings Mountain Battlefield Trail at the park is a 1.5 mile paved trail that tells the story of the decisive Revolutionary War battle that took place there on October 7, 1780. The trail winds through the woods where there are plaques and monuments that tell the story.
2625 Park Road, Blacksburg, SC
A little over an hour from Greenville lies Pisgah Forest, a vast expanse of woods with miles and miles of trails. We’ve written on Moore Cove Falls but there is also Frying Pan Tower (~ 1.5 miles), Mount Pisgah ( ~2.6 miles), Looking Glass Rock (~6 miles), Catawba Falls [closed till spring of 2024] (~2 miles), and Twin Falls (~7 miles) plus tons of others to explore and have adventures at.
A note about Dupont Forest
If you ask in any local hiking groups about where to go for the best waterfalls and trails, you’ll get a ton of recommendations for Dupont Forest guaranteed. Why? Because it’s pretty, the trails are easy, and there are a lot of waterfalls. Here’s the thing: it’s also being loved to death because of the insane traffic those trails get. The parking lots are packed. Trails are crowded. Everyone wants photos in front of the waterfalls. People park along the road and are causing erosion and all kinds of environmental damage. So while we are telling you about Dupont Forest here, there are so many (like lots and lots) other spectacular trails to enjoy that aren’t as crowded and are just as beautiful, if not more so than Dupont.
Do you have a favorite place to hike to add to our list?