Guide to Hiking Near Greenville, SC: Trails for Little Kids, Big Kids, and Adventurous Families

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Looking for a great hike to enjoy with your family near Greenville, SC? Check out our Guide to Hiking in the Upstate! You’re sure to find a new hike to try that’s just right for your family. This is your new go-to guide for hiking in Upstate, SC.

Table Rock summit

This article includes:
Trails to Hike Near You, Just Right For Your Family
Family Hiking Trails in Greenville, SC
Hiking in Pickens, SC
Hiking in Easley, SC
Hiking Trails in Mountain Rest, SC
Hiking Trails in Central, SC
Hiking Trails in Marietta, SC
Hiking Trails in Sunset, SC
Hiking Trail in Walhalla, SC
Hiking Trails in Cleveland, SC
Hiking in Clinton, SC
Hiking Trails in Spartanburg, SC
Hiking Trails in Columbia, SC
Hiking Trails in Western North Carolina

I’m ashamed to say it took me a year of living here to start figuring out all the amazing places in the Greenville area – and within a couple of hours’ drive – to go hiking and enjoy the outdoors. But once I started taking my kids on the trails, a whole new world opened up and it is amazing.

Our readers also really enjoy hiking with their families and we have dozens of articles about the best hiking trails, reviews of individual trails, and hikes for smaller kids. We’ve organized this guide by linking our most popular hiking lists, hikes by location, and where to find hiking supplies in town.

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. You can also join local hiking pages or just do your own research online or ask friends who are avid hikers.

Also, for important tips on recreating responsibly, please see this story on the seven Leave No Trace principles. Happy Trails!

Our Kidding Around Hiking Lists

Use these lists to find the trails that are just right for your group. Whether you need a hike perfect for families with toddlers, or you’re hiking with a group of teens you’ll find ideas here! Love waterfalls? Maybe a hike with a swimming hole? We have you covered in these lists!

Best Reader-Recommended Hiking Trails Near Greenville, SC – This article lists the hiking trails that our readers say are the best near Greenville.

Best Hikes for Toddlers & Small Kids – This popular article is full of easy hikes that are perfect for smaller children.

7 Great Hikes with Teens – This article includes hikes that are challenging but fun for teens.

5 Amazing Winter Hikes for Families – Our list of winter hikes includes hikes with plenty of sun for cold winter days.

Waterfalls of the Southeast: Waterfall Hikes for Families– This is a list of great hikes with waterfalls in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

Hikes with Waterfalls Near Greenville, SC – We love waterfalls and found some amazing ones to go and check out in the Upstate and nearby.

Newbie Guide to Hiking – If you’re just starting out on the trails and need some tips and trail recommendations, this is the story for you.

20 Awesome Swimming Holes Near the Upstate – Many of these swimming holes you can hike to and then cool off in mountain waters.

The Ultimate Guide to All 47 South Carolina State Parks – Check out our new guide to all of South Carolina’s state parks!

South Carolina’s Top 30 Most Beautiful Natural Places The South Carolina 7 Expedition in 2021 included these 30 gorgeous places in South Carolina.

Foothills Trail– Guide to the Foothills Trail, which is full of fun hikes for everyone from families to adventure-seeking backpackers. Our guide takes you on a tour through access points of the trail so you can plan the perfect hike for you.

Palmetto Trail– Guide to the Palmetto Trail: choose a passage of the Palmetto Trail for a great day hike or plan a longer adventure.

Waterfall at Wildcat Wayside
Wildcat Wayside

Online Resources for Hikers

We have many articles linked below of great trails but to find new ones, we really love the free AllTrails app. You can search around for length and difficulty by location and there are reviews and photos. SCTrails is also a fantastic, local resource.

Also, I have found a wonderful community of women who know all about hiking at Girls Who Hike™ SC  and for moms who love to hike with their smaller kids, Hike It Baby is another great resource. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to earn prizes while hiking. Our article Kids in Parks Allows Your Kids to Earn Prizes While Visiting Parks will tell you how.

Hikes in Greenville, SC

Paris Mountain State Park

This state park has nine trails from easy to strenuous, ranging in length from three-quarters of a mile to over 3.5 miles. Or you can combine trails for longer hikes. Lake Placid the easiest trail around the lake and it’s less a mile. The Sulphur Springs Trail is the toughest. Paris Mountain also hosts Ranger-Led Hikes, which are awesome for families.

Entrance fee
2401 State Park Road, Greenville
Distance from Greenville: 15 minutes

Paris Mountain in the fall

Lake Conestee Nature Park

Lake Conestee Nature Park boasts 12 miles of trail that crisscross 400-acres of forest and wetlands.  Guests often come across snakes, turtles, and even a bear has been spotted before. Some of the trails are paved, which is great for running or walking with a stroller. None of the trails are difficult. Dogs and bikers are not allowed on the natural path trails.

Free
840 Mauldin Road, Greenville
Distance from Greenville: 15 minutes

A young boy walking towards a bridge across the river at Conestee.
Lake Conestee Nature Park

Hikes in Pickens, SC

Table Rock State Park

Table Rock is a favorite of Greenville families and one of the first places I hiked after moving to town. The Carrick Creek Trail is a great intro to the park, winding through the forest and over creeks and next to waterfalls.

It’s two miles and rated as easy although I’d say it’s moderate in some parts with slight elevation. The Table Rock Trail is also located at this park, a strenuous 7+-mile round-trip hike to the top of Table Rock. Be prepared with lots of water for this one. It’s very hard but you’ll be awarded with incredible views!

Entrance fee
158 Ellison Lane, Pickens
Distance from Greenville: 40 minutes

Twin Falls

The lower trail to Twin Falls is only 0.7 miles and you get two waterfalls! Be sure to take the lower trail through, not the upper trail, which is longer and drops you at the top of the waterfall.

Distance from Greenville: 1 hour

Twin Falls

Hiking in Jocassee Gorges

There are opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors all over the Jocassee Gorges area. In addition to the swimming, boating and hiking you’ll find at area state parks, you’ll also find great hiking along the Jocassee Gorges portion of the Palmetto Trail called the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage.

Check out this Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage video tour of the trail from KA’s Liene.

Hiking Trails Near Easley, SC

Nalley Brown Nature Park

Nalley Brown Nature Park is located just 3 miles from downtown Easley, SC. It offers almost 3 miles of trails over 38 acres of woods. Find out about the trails and what to expect in our review of Nalley Brown Nature Park.

Hiking Trails Near Mountain Rest, SC

Bull Sluice

You can hike, swim and even raft along the Chattooga River at Bull Sluice. The hike itself from parking to the swimming hole is very short, with short trails to observation areas where you can watch rafters take on the rapids. Find out about Bull Sluice and other trails in the area in our article on Bull Sluice.

King Creek Falls

This beautiful waterfall is off the Foothills Trail way in the Upstate near the Chattooga River. It’s totally worth the trek out there and the trail isn’t hard at all.

Hiking Trails in Central, SC

100 Acre Woods

Tucked away on the fringe of the Southern Wesleyan University campus is a hiking area that you may have heard of in storybooks. While this isn’t the same 100 Acre Woods that A.A. Milne had in mind for Christopher Robin and Pooh, it’s still a wonderful place for curious children and adults to explore. 

Find out all about the 6 miles of hiking trails available for family hikes and biking at 100 Acre Woods.

Hiking Trails in Marietta, SC

Jones Gap State Park

The most popular hike at Jones Gap is Rainbow Falls, a tough, uphill hike to a gorgeous waterfall. There are other waterfalls at the park and the trails are rocky but they are fun to do with kids.

There are eight hiking trails at Jones Gap and range from easy to strenuous. You can connect to Caesars Head State Park and the Mountain Bridge Wilderness through this park as well. If you go on weekends, you’ll have to reserve a parking spot for $5 through the SC State Parks website.

Entrance fee
303 Jones Gap Road, Marietta
Distance from Greenville: 45 minutes

Jones Gap

Pleasant Ridge County Park Trails

With trails ranging from .03 miles to six miles in easy to moderate difficulties, Pleasant Ridge County Park has something for everyone. Just off the playground, is the steep entrance to the Leroy Smith Nature Trail which takes you to a pretty little waterfall near an old moonshine site, Pleasant Ridge Falls, and the remains of an old gristmill.

This is somewhat of a rugged trail, not appropriate for strollers, bikes or anyone who needs assistance walking. The beginning of the trail is steep wooden steps which my three-year-old handled very well. The six-mile JFA Trail is open to hikers and mountain bikers, and follows a rotating directional schedule so be sure to check the information boards located throughout the park.

Free
4232 SC-11, Marietta
Distance from Greenville: 40 minutes

Three children walking up a leaf covered trail.
Pleasant Ridge Park

Hiking Trails in Sunset, SC

Keowee-Toxaway State Park

Herein lies one of my most favorite trails near Greenville: Raven Rock Trail loop. It’s actually two loops (the Natural Bridge Trail and Raven Rock) but I take the trail that is half a loop of each of them so it’s not too long, although it’s still just over four miles total.

It’s so fantastic because you can splash in a little waterfall at the Natural Bridge and then hike out to Lake Keowee and go swimming. Plus, the view of Lake Keowee at the overlook is stunning. And it’s free!

Free
108 Residence Drive, Sunset
Distance from Greenville: 50 minutes

Two children looking out over Lake Keowee  at Keowee Toxaway State Park
Overlooking Lake Keowee on the Raven Rock Trail

Beech Bottom Falls

Follow the Beach Bottom Falls trail crossing the creek with the help of a gorgeous footbridge, as you approach the observation platform with a fabulous view of Beech Bottom Falls. Kidding Around Contributor, Liene, tells you where to find the trailhead and what you can expect to see along the trail in our article on Beach Bottom Falls.

F Van Clayton Memorial Highway, Sunset, SC

Beech Bottom Falls
Footbridge along the Beech Bottom Falls Trail

Sassafras Mountain

You can hike the trails around Sassafras Mountain, but if you’d rather just take in the views from the highest point in South Carolina, you can drive to the top of Sassafras Mountain and make the short walk to the observation tower.

Hiking Trails in Walhalla, SC

Oconee Station State Historic Site

Oconee Station State Historic Site is a great place to learn some history, take in autumn’s colors, or hop on the trail to Station Cove Falls for some summertime splashing.

Station Cove Falls is a beautiful waterfall on an easy trail and it’s less than two miles round trip.

Riley Moore Falls is a two-mile round trip hike to a sandy beach where you can swim in the summer.

Riley Moore Falls

Hiking Trails in Cleveland, SC

Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head is part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness and has over 60 miles of trails. There are 12 individual trails but you can connect them to hike several miles.

This is where you can hike to the overlook of Raven Cliff Falls as well take the Dismal Trail to the suspension bridge over the falls for a day of hard, but rewarding, hiking. Be sure to bring a map or download one on your phone before you go as there are trails that intersect.

Entrance free
8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland
Distance from Greenville: 55 minutes

Child looking through an observation viewer at Caesars Head State Park Overlook.
Caesars Head State Park Overlook

Hiking Trails in Clinton, SC

Musgrove Mill Historic Site

You’ll want to begin your visit to Musgrove Mill at the Visitor’s Center, where park rangers will play a short audio presentation about the battle, accompanied by a map with lighted markers, which will give your family a birds-eye view of the movement of both patriot and loyalist troops. T

hen you’ll need to choose to hike one of Musgrove Mill’s two trails: either the one-mile hike to the loyalist camp along the Enoree River or the 1.3 mile battlefield trail beginning at Horseshoe Falls along Cedar Shoals Creek. Neither are of great difficulty.

398 State Park Road, Clinton
Distance from Greenville: 50 minutes

A battlefield information sign at Musgrove Mill Historic Site
Musgrove Mill Historic Site

Blackstock Battlefield

Not far from Musgrove Mill, you can explore a second battlefield, Blackstock Battlefield. KAG contributor Liene, has everything you need to know to hike the Blackstock Battlefield.

Hiking in Anderson, SC

Sadlers Creek State Park Trails

Sadlers Creek State Park in Anderson, SC has two trails – one is an easy .6 mile loop called the Pine Grove Loop Trail and the other is a six-mile biking trail that goes along the lake. If you hike that trail, just be cautious of mountain bikers.

Entrance fee
940 Sadlers Creek Road, Anderson
Distance from Greenville: 50 minutes

Child walking on paved trail at Sadlers Creek State Park.
Pine Grove Loop Trail at Sadlers Creek Park

Clemson Experimental Forest

There are miles of easy trails at the Clemson Experimental Forest, right outside of Clemson University. Some trails even have waterfalls!

Hiking in Spartanburg, SC

Trails at Croft State Park

There are eight trails at Croft State Park in Spartanburg ranging in difficulty and length from .75 miles up to over 12 miles. Trails are described on the Croft State Park page. The Palmetto Trail: Croft Passage will take you over the longest footbridge in the SC State Park Service, “Advance America”, which is 65 feet long.

Entrance fee
450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg
Distance from Greenville: 55 minutes

Child looking towards a small river at Nature Trail at Croft State Park
Nature Trail at Croft State Park

Hiking Trails in Columbia, SC

We have a hiking guide just for the Columbia area on our sister site, Kidding Around Columbia. Check out 15+ hiking trails near Columbia SC.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Located in Columbia, Sesqui State Park has four hiking trails from .5 miles up to six miles from easy to moderate difficulty. The Sandhills Hiking Trail is two miles and paved, perfect for strollers.

Entrance fee
9564 Two Notch Rd, Columbia
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours

Wooden sign with white text, "What Will Your Adventure Be Today?"
Sesqui State Park Trail

Congaree National Park

Explore an old-growth forest at Congaree National Park. KAG Contributor Liene describes the trails at Congaree National Park and even takes our readers along on a video hike tour through the park. Check out her article on Congaree National Park.

Peachtree Rock

See the only natural waterfall in the midlands at Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve near Columbia, SC.

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve

Hiking Trails Western North Carolina

Glassy Mountain Trail at the Carl Sandburg Home

Located on the grounds of the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, NC, the Glassy Mountain Trail is easy to moderate and climbs about a mile to the top of the mountain. It’s a beautiful view. You can also hike along the other trails on the vast property and even pet and play with goats at the barn, all for free.

Free
81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, NC
Distance from Greenville: 50 minutes

Woman looking out at the view from Glassy Mountain at Carl Sandburg Home
Top of Glassy Mountain

Little Bradley Falls

The trailhead to Little Bradley Falls is across the street from the signed trailhead to Bradley Falls, which has a kiosk indicating the danger of that trail, and which can be a little hard to find. Little Bradley Falls is a three-mile round-trip hike to a gorgeous waterfall with a few stream crossings.

After hard rains, this trail can possibly be unsafe to travel so be sure to check the weather and the AllTrails app before you go. It’s not a difficult hike, just technical in parts given tree roots, stream crossings, and some steep drop-offs.

Free
Holbert Cove Road, Saluda, NC
Distance from Greenville: 55 minutes

Little Bradley Falls
Little Bradley Falls

Dupont State Forest

There are miles and miles of trails, along with several waterfalls, in Dupont Forest and it’s an extremely popular destination for hikers. If you want to stay away from people, either choose another place or get there really early. The trails aren’t difficult and you can see High Falls, Triple Falls, and Hooker Falls within a couple mile hike.

Bridal Veil Falls is stunning as well. Here’s a map of the waterfalls and here is our guide to hiking around the forest. Also, be aware of mountain bikers since it’s a hot spot for them and you don’t want to get run over.

Free
Staton Road, Cedar Mountain, NC
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour

People gathered on rocks by the water near Hooker Falls.
Hooker Falls in Dupont Forest

Gorges State Park

Just over the state line in North Carolina lies another trail to Rainbow Falls, which is much bigger and more fierce than the one at Jones Gap. But if you keep going another quarter-mile from those falls, you’ll come to more waterfalls!

Turtleback Falls isn’t as stunning but it’s really fun. When I went in the summer, there were a bunch of people jumping off rocks into the water beneath the falls. The trail is about four miles round trip and of moderate difficulty. The hike back is harder and more uphill than the hike to the waterfalls.

Free
Gorges State Park, 976 Grassy Ridge Road, Sapphire, NC
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park
Rainbow Falls

Glen Falls Trail

Right outside of Highlands, NC is the Glen Falls Trail. This is super easy on the way down – just watch out for roots – but a total uphill battle on the way out. It’s over two miles and there are a bunch of places to stop and view the falls along the way. You can sit at the bottom for a picnic too. Pretty awesome.

Free
1091 Glen Falls Road, Highlands, NC
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours

Person looking up towards Glen Falls.
Glen Falls Trail

Moore Cove Falls Trail

This easy 1.5 mile round trip trail in the Pisgah Forest is a great family hike because it’s not hard and it leads to a waterfall you can walk behind. The Moore Cove Falls trailhead is after Looking Glass Falls and before Sliding Rock.

Free
US-276, Brevard, NC
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Moore Cove Falls
Moore Cove Falls

Mount Pisgah Trail

From the Mt. Pisgah campground off the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the two mile trail up to the top of the mountain for spectacular views. You can also visit other waterfalls along the parkway and of course, enjoy the outdoor experience at the campgrounds.

Free
408 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Canton, NC
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Mountain views with fall colors.
Mount Pisgah

Bearwallow Mountain Trail

Get ready for a steep one-mile climb to the top of Bearwallow Mountain in Hendersonville, NC. The trailhead is at the crest of Bearwallow Mountain Rd. (Bearwallow Gap) where the pavement turns to gravel (the gravel road continues on over two miles to the town of Gerton, NC).

Parking is along the shoulder, and the trail begins beyond the old gate. You’ll see the trail kiosk on the right.

4854 Bearwallow Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Bearwallow Mountain

Catawba Falls Trail [Closed until 2024 for construction]

This trail east of Asheville is a fantastic trail for families because it’s not long and ends at a stunning waterfall. If you are adventurous and want to get to the top of the falls, there are ropes up a steep and narrow trail to the right of the falls.

Total mileage is around 2.5 miles and it’s a fairly easy trail and very, very popular. Go early on weekends to get parking. The trail is closed for repairs until 2024.

Free
3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort, NC
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour and 40 minutes

A metal bridge and an old stone structure at Catawba Falls Trail.
Catawba Falls Trail

Big Creek Trail to Midnight Hole

The three-mile round trip hike in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina is immensely rewarding – there’s an emerald lagoon called Midnight Hole!

Put “Big Creek Trail” into your GPS, right outside of Waynesville, NC
Distance from Greenville: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Green lagoon surrounded by large boulders at Midnight Hole on Big Creek Trail.
Midnight Hole on Big Creek Trail

Rough Ridge

Rough Ridge is off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain and it is stunningly beautiful. I’d love to see a sunrise or sunset from here. You can get to this spot in the pictures doing less than 1.5 miles roundtrip. It’s not as steep of a drop as it looks and it’s not off trail (don’t go off trail anywhere, especially here as the ecosystem is very fragile).

Distance from Greenville: 2.5 hours

Rough Ridge

Local Stores that Sell Hiking Supplies

You will find several Greenville, SC and Spartanburg, SC stores that sell hiking gear. Some of our favorites are:

What’s your favorite hike to go on near Greenville?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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