Looking for a place to get outdoors near Easley, SC? Check out Nalley Brown Nature Park. Here’s what you can expect when you visit Nalley Brown Nature Park, plus some tips and ideas for things to do in the surrounding area from local mom, Liene.
We are blessed to have a large selection of parks and natural areas in the Upstate in which to enjoy the outdoors, from the state and county parks such as Jones Gap and Caesars Head to our urban public spaces like Lake Conestee Nature Park and the Swamp Rabbit Trail. But what about those beautiful days when we don’t have the time to travel all the way up to the Blue Ridge but want something different from the same-old, same-old? With the approach of fall, the lure of the outdoors will take families on explorations all over the Upstate, bringing the dilemma – where to go today?
A perfect option for those days when the mountains are a little too far is Nalley Brown Nature Park. Located at 380 Adger Road, this park features almost 3 miles of trail on its 38 acres, and is only 3 miles from downtown Easley!
The park was many years in the making; Catherine Brown Ladnier donated the land in 2001, but over the past two decades the project stalled more than once and it took a push by the then-mayor of Easley Larry Bagwell to finish it before the end of his term.
Things to Do at Nalley Brown Nature Park
Adjacent to the parking area visitors will find a small pavilion and a play area with a few tunnels and climbing structures (keep in mind there are currently no restrooms). However, the heart of the park is its 2.5 miles of trails; leading through scrub pine and mature hardwoods, the trail network forms two main loops that can be combined for excursions ranging everywhere from a few tenths of a mile to almost three miles.
Nalley Trail is the longest trail and forms an outer loop of just under 1 ½ miles long. An inner loop, Brown Trail, is another 0.85 miles, and a wetlands trail connecting the two loops on the west side of the park adds another tenth of a mile with its boardwalk. Definitely bring your furbabies along to enjoy the trails, as dogs are allowed, but be sure to have them leashed for their safety. Finally, an ADA-accessible loop just off the parking area is a mile long.
If you are interested in renting the shelter at Nalley Brown to enjoy a picnic, you can submit a rental request online with the City of Easley, or apply in person at the Parks and Recreation Department at 111 Walkers Way in Easley.
History of the Nalley Brown Nature Park
The history of the property influences the forest we see today. The Nalley and Brown families farmed the property and owned it for around 150 years, and from the trail, you’ll see reminders of the old farmstead: abandoned car parts here, old farming supplies there.
Damage from long-ago farming practices still scar the land, heavily eroded ravines show the result of bad farming practices, as well as more recent harm – the dumping of trash into these gullies. On the other hand, the mature beech-oak forest has towering hardwoods over a hundred years old, and the softwood forest has its own charm with the smell of pine and the thick canopy of pine needles. The wetlands trail brings visitors down to a tributary of Eighteen Mile Creek whose waters eventually flow into Lake Hartwell, and mosses and ferns line the sides of the ravines while the occasional wildflower brings spots of color to the forest floor.
Bring a picnic to enjoy under the beautiful pavilion, or head to Easley afterward; kids love the “Train on Main” scavenger hunt, and adults might enjoy a stop at Ninja Warrior Coffee House to refuel and local grocery and natural market Farmacy to pick up last-minute groceries for dinner. If you are looking to cool off after your hike, check out the Saluda Outdoor Center on your way back to Greenville and go tubing down the Saluda River in Easley.
Nalley Brown Nature Park is a welcome addition to the natural spaces of the Upstate, providing a hiking option close to home for those living west of Greenville as well as a way for people to get outdoors in what is becoming increasingly urban landscape. We hope to see additional improvements (such as restroom facilities and educational signage) in the near future and look forward to seeing what the change of the seasons brings to this new park.
This article was originally published on Femme au foyer.