Lake Conestee Nature Preserve Opening Back Up With New Rules

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Lake Conestee Nature Preserve is hugely popular in the Upstate, partly because it is such a beautiful wetland and place to see lots of wildlife but also because families love the easy-to-traverse trails and open spaces.

Lake Conestee Nature Park wood and metal sign

The nature preserve has been closed because of COVID-19 since mid-March and, like many other places in the Upstate, have been working on plans to reopen safely.

The paved trails opened back up as part of Phase 1 on May 18, 2020. Those included the Sparkleberry Connector (that can be accessed from the parking lot of the park) and the Stonehouse Spur. The Swamp Rabbit Trail has already been reopened.

Natural surface trails on the East side of the Reedy River bridge will reopen on Monday, June 8, 2020.

No Dogs & Bikes on Natural Surface Trails

The primary mission of the Lake Conestee Nature Preserve is conservation and to that end, they are not allowing dogs or bikers on their natural surface trails any longer. Dogs, which must be leashed per local laws, and bikes are still allowed on the paved trails.

“The end result of these restrictions is that roughly half of our trail network will be accessible to bikers and dog walkers,” writes the Lake Conestee Nature Preserve on their Facebook page. “We will also have roughly half our trail network dedicated to foot traffic without worry about encountering dogs or bicycles.”

“Our school children and nature classes will be protected from dogs and bikers, both of which have presented many dangerous situations over the years. Lastly, our wildlife will benefit from vastly less disturbance of our wildlife habitats.”

These are the rules posted online:

1. No bikes are allowed on any natural surface trails. Bikes may be used, in compliance with posted rules, on all paved trails only.

2. No dogs are allowed on any natural surface trails. Dog walkers may walk their dogs, not exceeding two dogs per person, on physical leashes not longer than 6 ft in length. Dog walkers are required to pick up all dog waste and remove it from the preserve. Dog walkers may not leave their dog waste anywhere within LCNP.

The Nature Preserve said that violators will be asked to leave the park.

“Our rules are required to protect wildlife, their habitats, to enhance the safety of our patrons, reduce patron conflicts, and to reduce our maintenance burden,” continues the Facebook post.

If you see dogs on the natural surface trails, you can call the Greenville City Police and ask for animal control: 864-271-5333.

Map below shows what trails are open:

Trail map for Lake Conestee Nature Park

Want to explore what Lake Conestee Nature Preserve has to offer families? Don’t miss our Guide to Lake Conestee Nature Preserve.

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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2 years ago

So walking the dogs on the blistering hot pavement, and burning their paws is acceptable?

2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Why do people feel like their dog should be allowed any place they want? If the pavement is too hot for your dog then don’t plan to walk your dog there. There are plenty of other places to go. These are the nature park’s rules so they can ensure the park can be kept in tact as a nature preserve and classroom…perhaps biking and dog walking is not why their trails exist.