Contributor Maria Bassett reviews local Lake Robinson. For more ideas of places to enjoy the outdoors in and near Greenville, see our page Things to Do Outside in Greenville.
Spring is here bringing forth all its outdoor adventures. Playgrounds, games, and trips to the splash pads abound. But if you’re looking for something a little quieter, a bit more nature and little less crowded, consider a visit to J. Verne Smith Park at the tip of Lake Robinson.
Lake Robinson is owned by Greer CPW and serves as an impoundment for drinking water. It’s a popular lake for small boats and fishing, but the park area itself seems to be rarely populated with more than a handful of people. It does not have playground facilities, yet with plenty of picnic sites, beautiful views and several small docks and a fishing pier to explore, this park should not be an overlooked outdoor destination.
Things to Do
Lake Robinson is, in fact, one of my family’s favorite locations for a quiet picnic. The park’s location has a million dollar view, and is just steps from the parking lot. This makes J. Verne Smith Park a uniquely easy destination for those with young children or mobility impaired individuals to enjoy the beautiful views this foothill area can provide. The park has many picnic tables and ample large shade trees where guests can spread picnic blankets facing the water.
Consider bringing some sidewalk chalk for after your picnic, as there are many paved walking areas to roam. My children enjoy bringing sketching materials and watercolor pencils to try and draw bits of the view they are enjoying. We like to bring books to read quietly or out loud together (this is a great place for us to do a bit of homeschool work outside the house). And sometimes we bring Frisbees, balls, jacks and other outside toys. Tip: The park is on a hill, sloped towards the water. It definitely won’t work as a soccer field, but is fine for young children tossing a ball back and forth.
The lake edge of the park is rimmed with large rocks (perfect for keeping a runaway ball from rolling into the water). You cannot wade or swim here. But you can walk the paved pathways, sit out on the small docks and watch the boats, or stroll out along the fishing pier and see what creatures you can spot in the water. If you plan to fish, you’ll need to make sure you obtain the proper permit. You can obtain permits at Greer CPW Warden’s Office on site.
You can even grab a cup of coffee at nearby Scandi Tiny!
Things to Know
Verne Smith has a large raised picnic shelter with a fantastic view, which can be rented from Greer CPW for $150 per day, and a smaller shelter area also with a nice view, that can be rented for $75 a day.
Restroom facilities are located at the larger shelter.
The park is open sunrise to sunset. No skateboards, roller blades, or bikes are allowed on the walking paths, so it is best to leave those at home.
Park address: 2544 Mays Bridge Rd, Greer, SC 29651
Phone: (864) 895-3645
Have you ever visited Lake Robinson?