Green Spaces for Socially Distant Fun

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Looking for an outdoor space for a picnic or just to let the kids run? Keeping your family safe during an imposed quarantine can be challenging. Kids are social creatures and they want to go and have fun with their friends. While that might not be recommended, going on a family adventure to a spacious place is still ok. Here are some green spaces in Upstate, SC where you can visit on a beautiful day.

Milliken Arboretum

Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Keep in mind while these places are ok to visit as they re-open, you still have to adhere to the CDC’s rules for keeping everyone safe. 

  • Once the capacity has been reached at some parks, they will be closing off admittance. It’s always good to check if possible before you head out if a park has reached capacity. 
  • Bathroom facilities and visitor centers will most likely be closed, so plan ahead for how to handle those needs.
  • Bring hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, or a jug of water and hand soap (like when camping).
  • Stay six feet away from anyone you encounter that isn’t with the group you came with. Adhering to social distance mandates will allow parks to remain open until this is all behind us. 
  • If you head somewhere that has a playground, prepare young children to not be permitted to use the equipment. Currently, all public playground equipment is closed off for use. This might be hard for young children to understand and bringing a distracting surprise like bubbles might help.
  • The CDC is recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This shouldn’t be an issue while outdoors, but keeping face coverings on hand might not be a bad idea.  

If everyone adheres to these guidelines, you can safely venture out and get some fresh air with your family.

Green Spaces for Outdoor Fun in the Upstate

Spartanburg Green Spaces

Blue Wall Preserve

  • 768 Pennell Road, Landrum
  • A 575-acre preserve, named for its view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Pacolet River Heritage Preserve

  • Bethesda Place Road (at the end of the road), Pacolet 
  • A 258-acre preserve that protects two prehistoric soapstone outcrops that date back thousands of years.

Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve

  • 401 Beechwood Drive, Spartanburg
  • A 116 -acre nature preserve, that includes the Cottonwood Trail. 

Hatcher Gardens

  • 820 John B. White Sr. Blvd, Spartanburg 
  • A 10-acre botanical garden and nature preserve, just outside of Downtown Spartanburg. 

Glendale Shoals

  • Emma Cudd Road, Spartanburg 
  • A 13-acre preserve at the ruins of the Glendale Mill. You can sit on the shore of the Lawson’s Fork Creek and enjoy nature, or take a stroll around the property.

Lake Cooley

  • 100 Cooley Dock Road, Inman
  • One of my favorite places in the Upstate to take a Kayak out, Lake Cooley is a 330-acre watershed. There is a fishing dock and plenty of shorelines to social distance.

Milliken Arboretum

  • 920 Milliken Road, Spartanburg
  • This 600-acre arboretum on the Milliken Corporate campus allows plenty of space for you to keep your social distance. 

Upper Chinquapin Greenway

  • Graham Road, Spartanburg 
  • This 36-acre area is located on the opposite side of Business I-85 from Milliken. 
Ducks at Milliken Arboretum

Greenville Green Spaces

Lake Robinson

  • 2544 Mays Bridge Road, Greer
  • The picnic shelters, docks, and piers will remain closed. However, there is plenty of space for people to lay out a picnic blanket and have a relaxing afternoon while enjoying the scenery.

Campbell’s Covered Bridge

  • 171 Campbell’s Covered Bridge Road, Landrum
  • The bridge area might need to be avoided during weekends depending on crowds, but the surrounding area offers plenty of space for kids to run around with room to spare. 

Poinsett Heritage Preserve

  • 580 Callahan Mountain Road, Travelers Rest
  • The bridge area might need to be avoided during weekends. With 120 acres to explore adventurous hikers could find more than they bargained for at one of the Upstate’s most haunted locations.

Greenville County Parks

  • The Greenville County parks and recreation locations are open to use, however the playgrounds and all facilities and programs are suspended until further notice.

Green Spaces Just A Short Drive Away From Greenville & Spartanburg

*Musgrove Mill Historic Site

  • 398 State Park Road, Clinton SC
  • A historic site with trails that run alongside the Enoree river. 

Oconee County – Chau Ram, High Falls, and South Cove County Parks campgrounds and day use areas will continue to be closed until further notice (Reservations for campsites being refunded through May 31st).

* South Carolina State Parkswill reopen on Friday, May 1st on a restricted basis. More details about the new restrictions in place can be found in All 47 SC State Parks Reopening May 1 – But With Restrictions .

Enjoying the places we previously did is still possible, with just a few minor adjustments. We will all get through this together! 

Did we leave off a great outdoor place to enjoy some socially distant activities? Let us know in the comments.  

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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