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Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Adventure is Waiting at Congaree National Park

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Are you planning a trip to Congaree National Park in Hopkins, SC? Whether you want to kayak, canoe or hike through the old-growth forest, Congaree National Park is a fabulous adventure. With unique hiking trails for all skill levels, plus so many natural features and animals to observe, there’s something for everyone at Congaree National Park.

This article includes:
Kayak or Canoe Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park Visitors Center
Congaree’s Old-Growth Forest
The Boardwalk Loop Trail at Congaree National Park
Things to Know Before You Go to Congaree National Park
Places to Stay Near Congaree National Park


Newbie Guide to Hiking in the Upstate

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Are you new to hiking in the Upstate? The mountains are calling and everyone wants to go. With the forced quarantine during the ideal weather of spring and the early summer months here in the Upstate, many families who have never hiked decided to give it a try. And that is awesome! There are few things as freeing and exciting as trekking off into the forest in search of a stunning waterfall or new adventure. 

I’ve been hiking since I was a kid but there were many years that I was off the trail. It was only when I moved here to the Upstate that I picked it up again and now, it’s a weekly occurrence at least. I’ve taken my kids on hikes all over this part of South Carolina throughout Greenville, Oconee and Pickens Counties. I’ve hiked probably hundreds of miles through the Western NC mountains and into the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s my happy place and my kids really enjoy the experiences we’ve had together on the trails. 

If you’ve just started out hiking or you are thinking to get into it yourself or with your kids, this article is for you! I’m including the best trail etiquette tips to get you started and make sure you have a great time outdoors plus some of my favorite trail recommendations. 

For important tips on creating responsibly, please see this story on the seven Leave No Trace principles.


Visit the Waterfalls of DuPont State Recreational Forest this Fall

Looking for a day away from it all out in the woods? On a fall day there is nothing like heading north to the streams, fresh air, dazzling waterfalls and fall colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With its 900 miles of hiking trails, six major waterfalls and over 10,000 acres of forest, DuPont State Forest is a showcase of some of the most fabulous scenery in western NC, just an hour from Greenville! KAG Contributor Liene is telling us all bout the best places to visit in Dupont State Forest.

Find even more great hikes on our Hiking Guide. Plus find tons of waterfalls in our area to visit here!

This article was originally published on Femme au Foyer as “DuPont State Forest and its waterfalls”.

Hooker Falls at Dupont Forest

What to expect if you go

To maximize a visit to DuPont, park in the Hooker Falls area on Staton Road and combine the Triple Falls Trail, the High Falls Trail and Hooker Falls Road for an unforgettable, three mile hike to visit three of the most popular and beautiful falls in the area. Two of them (Triple and Hooker Falls) you might recognize from the movie The Hunger Games, a portion of which was filmed in DuPont in 2011, and Triple Falls featured prominently in the movie Last of the Mohicans.

Just a short ½ mile from the Hooker Falls parking area you’ll reach Triple Falls, with three distinct cascades that drop 120 feet in total. The first overlook is just a short distance from the parking lot, and a few hundred feet further is the spur trail that leads down to the large rocky area between the falls. Bring a picnic to enjoy the spectacle – natural and human – before jumping back on the main trail.

Triple Falls trail and High Falls trail form a loop, but you can choose to stick close to Little River on High Falls trail and cut out a bit of the mileage by doing a there-and-back. (Triple Falls trail heads west, hitting Buck Forest Road and intersecting with High Falls trail and the Covered Bridge Trail about 1/3 mile from High Falls). To reach the base of the 150-foot cascade, take a detour on the short River Bend spur trail for a memorable view of the falls and the covered bridge at the top.

High Falls is the largest waterfall in the area, and together with the beautiful covered bridge was part of a planned real estate development in 2000. After a lengthy legal battle the state was able to purchase the land from the developer, ensuring the view of the falls would be preserved. The trail leading to High Falls is somewhat steep, so make sure to bring water and to set a comfortable pace in the summer heat.

Triple Falls at Dupont

Once you’ve retraced your steps to the parking area and crossed back under Staton Road, you’ll turn west on Hooker Falls trail. Make sure to pause at the observation area above the falls before circling down to the base of the 12 foot waterfall. From the popular swimming hole at the base of the falls, Little River flows on into Cascade Lake, outside of the state forest’s boundaries. The hike to the falls is relatively easy, a mildly sloping 0.4 miles down a gravel road.

These three DuPont waterfalls make for a perfect year-round destination. The weekends during the summer will find a crowd at Hooker Falls, cooling down in the natural swimming hole, meanwhile autumn brings unparalleled fall foliage to the views around High Falls. Winter will decorate the waterfalls in ice, and finally spring means wildflowers and the return of the Blue Ghost Firefly. Whichever season you visit, you’ll find the scenic and tranquil beauty of DuPont State Forest and its waterfalls a memorable experience you’ll want to repeat again and again.

Want more information?

  • DuPont State Forest website.
  • Friends of DuPont website.
  • Trail map can be downloaded for free here.
  • Major waterfall map here.

Has your family checked out DuPont State Forest yet?

Tips and Tricks for Babywearing Like a Pro

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If you’re considering purchasing a baby carrier for your little one but not sure where to start we can help! Local mom Lindy Wilson knows a lot about babywearing and she is sharing her knowledge on this topic with our readers in this informative piece. You’ll find everything from tips on buying the best carrier for your baby, babywearing groups in Greenville and more in this piece.

Whether you’re a diehard attachment parent or just looking for a stair and all terrain friendly alternative to strollers, you might want to check out babywearing. Babywearing is the ancient art used by various cultures throughout the world of carrying a small child on one’s self using a carrier such as the traditional papoose or even just a strip of fabric.

Babywearing groups in Greenville

One of the things that assured me that we were moving (sight unseen!) to the right place was the online parenting groups I found here in Greenville. No one bats an eye (well for the most part) when my husband or I wear one of our babies. One of the best things to do if you are interested in babywearing, is to attend a babywearing meeting hosted by the Upstate Babywearers. Their Facebook page can lead you to the more area specific private groups as well as the local swap page. The meeting will give you a hands on introduction and additional instruction on babywearing. Currently the meetings are monthly at Modern Cloth in Greenville.

babywearing in Greenville

Babywearing basics

Here on out I will try to give a brief Babywearing 101. As discussed, babywearing has been around for eons whether it was an African kanga, Mexican rebozo or an Asian mei tai. Although as it hasn’t been practiced in recent Western culture as much, we’ve lost what used to be common knowledge regarding safety and there have been some product recalls reflecting this. For instance, if you come across this recalled “bag sling” PLEASE contact Infantino for a replacement product.

The main safety guidelines for babywearing are TICKS: Tight, In sight (back carries are ok but are a more advanced move and shouldn’t be attempted until more experienced), Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off chest- you should always be able to fit two fingers between your baby’s chin and chest to keep airway open, and Supported Back- avoid carriers that don’t keep baby’s knees higher than their bottom and have baby facing away from you.

Where and what when buying a carrier

Now that you know what to start to look for, let’s talk where you can buy a carrier. Most babywearers end up buying online since the selection is so much wider. However there are a few local places to get a nice carrier. The obvious are your big box stores like Target, Walmart, Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby. The most well known mainstream carrier is a Bjorn. However I’d skip them. Instead I’d get an Ergo (don’t forget the additional infant insert for young babies!), Lillebaby, Beco, Boba, Tula, Action or even the “knock off” Infantino Union. These will be more comfortable for you and your baby. These are known as “soft structure carriers” and are like backpacks or hiking carriers without the frame. These tend to be very straight forward and their utilitarian look are a favorite of dads. A forerunner to these is a mei tai the Chinese carrier I mentioned earlier. It doesn’t have buckles so you just tie the straps. It’s a simple square of fabric that covers your baby with a strap at each corner. The Infantino Sash is a mainstream version of this and very affordable.

The BabyHawk is a more upscale brand. There are also the “simple pieces of fabric” that you use to hold baby on you known as “wraps”. Most are about 15 yards long for beginners (size six in wrap terms) but come longer or shorter depending on the user’s needs. Some people use a length of osabung or jersey cotton or even a sturdy table cloth to make their own. I would only recommend this for those very experienced with sewing. The most popular commercial wrap is a Moby though now there is an ErgoBaby and BobaWrap. These are widely available, though if you can spend just a little more, I’d recommend a Wrapsody Hybrid Stretch pictured with the princesses above. It’s just as forgiving to use but will stay supportive as your baby grows bigger and bigger. It is also the ONLY stretchy wrap that is safe for putting baby on your back. Wraps can be a lot of fabric to deal with but it passes over your child so much that it’s very secure yet comfy. Unlike pouch slings, the options and amount of “passes” are much more secure. Pouch slings can be a good start but tend to be easy to misuse so I’d choose something else.

Ring slings are a better bet but those take a bit more to track down and have a bit of a learning curve. They work like those belts with the two hoops at the end. The weight of your baby holds the end secure and it’s very adjustable. These are usually the easiest sling to learn how to nurse in (meaning you can potentially nurse hands free and very discreetly without the obviousness of a nursing cover). There are all kinds of other fun tricks you can learn when you attend a meeting.

The hardcore babywearers all tend to love “wovens” which are wraps but not stretchy. These are often imported from higher end textile producers in Europe. I do have a soft spot for these. The Dolcino is a good one to start with, or the Wrapsody Bali Breeze though it’s thinner and can dig in if not wrapped well (though it does encourage you to wrap properly from the start). Be careful- these tend to lead to a full blown babywearing addiction! Symptoms include obsessive online cart stalking and declining bank balances! Babywearing need not be expensive of course and many of the carriers mentioned here can be found for well under a hundred (which compared to the price of most strollers these days is a steal!). Hope you’ll considering trying your hand at Babywearing Around Greenville! I find it a great way to keep up with my young children while enjoying our city’s many local events, most of which I hear about right here on KAG!

Do you have a preferred method of babywearing?

This Local Trail Has Beaver Dams, Water Bird Observation Areas, and More!

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The Cottonwood Trail is the perfect space for your children to experience the seasons in the Upstate.  In the summer, lush and green in the summer, crackling with autumnal colors in the fall, sparse and atmospheric in the winter, and brimming with new life in the spring, your children can observe the seasonal changes while exploring the great outdoors.

The Cottonwood Trail in Spartanburg, SC

Named after the majestic Cottonwood trees dot the landscape, The Cottonwood Trail Preserve is maintained by the Spartanburg Area Conservancy. 

Located on the Eastside of Spartanburg, the 3.6-mile trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking with the family. The trails are unpaved, but all-terrain strollers and bikes, and even wagons can easily navigate most of the paths.

The Cottonwood Trail is the longest in the preserve and follows along Lawson’s Ford Creek, providing a scenic water view that is still a safe distance from the walking trail.

The trail is pet-friendly so that the family dog can get in his steps for the day, too!  (Dogs are expected to remain on a leash and under the control of their owners at all times.)

Cottonwood Trail Access

Parking and entrances to the trail are found off Sydnor Road (across from the Spartan High tennis courts) and Beechwood Drive (off of Fernwood Drive).  The trail is open every day from dawn to dusk.

Find Beaver Dams & See Reptiles & Water Birds on the Boardwalk and Wetlands Trail

An offshoot of the Cottonwood Trail, the Boardwalk, and Wetlands Trails offer a first-hand experience of South Carolina’s famed wetlands.  The Boardwalk Trail is marked by a sign pointing to the beaver dams and quickly turns from a dirt trail into a boardwalk.  Take a break on the benches and observation deck to check out the reptiles and water birds.  If you’re lucky, you might spot the heron that calls this particular wetland his home.

Don’t Forget Your Picnic

A picnic area lies across the main bridge, crossing Lawson’s Fork Creek, so pack a snack and pause to play in the woods!

You can access a map of the Cottonwood Trail online.

Keowee-Toxaway State Park Is Known for Spectacular Views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Keowee-Toxaway State Park straddles Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (Hwy. 11) between Devils Fork State Park and Long Shoals Wayside Park, one of eight South Carolina State Parks located along the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Known for spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 1,000 acre park is considered a gateway to the Jocassee Gorges, the area defined by a series of steep-sided gorges delivering mountain rivers and streams down to the Piedmont of South Carolina.

Things to do at Keowee-Toxaway State Park

View of Jocassee at Keowee-Toxaway State Park

Have a picnic

The Park is split by Highway 11, with the picnic shelters located on a short loop to the south. Five picnic shelters are available for rental, and the picnic tables with free-standing grills throughout the park are offered on a first come, first serve basis.

Stop at the Visitor Center

Once you’ve finished your picnic lunch, head across Highway 11 to the north portion of the park. The Park Visitor Center houses exhibits about the natural diversity and history of the park, and its importance as a scientific research destination of the region. If you’re looking to check out the Visitor Center, be advised that office hours are 11 am to noon and 4 – 5 pm. Despite these rather short hours, the Park is open Saturdays through Thursdays from 9 am – 6 pm and Fridays 9 am – 8 pm. Keowee-Toxaway State Park is free to the public.

Hiking & Creek Stomping at Keowee-Toxaway

Mom and two kids splash near a small waterfall at Keowee-Toxaway State Park

There are 5.5 miles of trails in the Park, the two main hikes being Raven Rock Trail and Natural Bridge Trail. The trailhead for these two trails is located behind the park office. Natural Bridge Nature Trail is a 1½-mile loop, and at the far end of the loop is the Raven Rock trailhead, that combined with the Natural Bridge loop provide for a 4.4-mile hike to Raven Rock and back.

Natural Bridge Trail

Hiking the Natural Bridge loop clockwise starts you off along Poe creek and numerous small waterfalls. Soon you’ll come to the intersection with Raven Rock Trail with its views of Lake Keowee, passing rock outcrops and a boulder field before reaching Raven Rock. Looping back to Natural Bridge Trail you’ll cross Poe Creek on the trail’s namesake, an enormous natural rock ‘bridge’ before crossing through an upland hardwoods forest to reach the parking lot.

Lake Trail

The ½ mile Lake Trail departs from the campground, and emerges from the woods near the Villa to Lake Keowee, where guests can enjoy fishing for bass, bream, crappie and catfish.

Keowee-Toxaway is a perfect hike for a spring day; keep your eyes peeled for the wildflowers that enjoy the moisture along Poe Creek, and enjoy the rhododendron and azaleas blooming in late spring and early summer. On a hot summer’s day prepare to cool down in Poe Creek, the irresistible tumble of water making it hard to leave. Autumn brings colorful fall foliage, but catching the right day in winter means less-crowded trails and parking lots – this is a park for all four seasons.

Camping at Lake Keowee

Ten paved camping sites have individual water and electrical hookups for RVs up to 40 feet, while the tent camping area has 14 sites with central water, individual tent pads and fire rings. Restroom facilities with hot showers are available, as well as a dump station. Backcountry camping is allowed at three designated sites on Lake Keowee accessible by a hike on Raven Rock Trail, or by paddling to them in a canoe/kayak. For larger groups a primitive group area is located in the backcountry; registration is required and reservations are accepted.

If camping isn’t for you, reserve the three bedroom villa that overlooks Lake Keowee near the boat launch. The cabin is completely furnished, heated & air-conditioned with all the amenities: linens, cooking and eating utensils, washer/dryer, satellite television, Wi-Fi, two fireplaces and a private boat dock.

Enjoy Lake Keowee!

Boating: Keowee-Toxaway provides non-motorized boat access to Lake Keowee; to launch a motorized boat you have to use the access at Fall Creek Landing, five miles southwest of the park.

Fishing: Fishing is allowed. Bass, bream, crappie and catfish are commonly caught fish.

Swimming: Swimming is allowed, however there are no lifeguards or designated swimming areas in the park; swim at your own risk.

With easy access to Lake Keowee, three beautiful trails with all kinds of unique natural features, and spectacular views throughout the park, Keowee-Toxaway has plenty to offer. We’ve enjoyed our visits in all four seasons, however spring has a special magic with the ephemeral wildflowers blooming and trees budding electric green. Head north to this gem of a state park and experience the magic for yourself!

A portion of this post originally appeared on Femme au Foyer.

Keowee-Toxaway State Park website

Keowee-Toxaway SP trail map

What’s your family’s favorite thing to do at Lake Keowee?

Take a Trip to Caesars Head State Park this Fall

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Dramatic views over the Upstate along with easy access and ample parking make for a winning combination at one of our favorite SC State Parks – Caesars Head!

About Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Park form the 11,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, and are connected by several hiking trails including the popular Rim of the Gap Trail and Jones Gap Trail. Less than a mile from the Caesars Head Visitor Center is another favorite trail – Raven Cliff Falls Trail, taking you to a platform that looks across the gorge at the 420 foot waterfall.

However, you can get the grand views without the hike by heading to the Visitor Center, where it is only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot to the overlook. This time of year you’ll probably meet members of the Hawk Watch program documenting the annual hawk migration; the past few years the numbers of hawks counted peaked a little after mid-September, while large numbers of turkey vultures were seen into November. Bald eagles and even peregrine falcons can be seen during these months! To get an idea of how the migration is progressing this year, check the daily tallies; those can be viewed on the Hawk Count website. Also see our article on the Hawk Watch at Caesars Head for additional information and educational resources.

Autumn is a great time to visit for another reason, as the fall foliage in the foothills can be spectacular while cooler temperatures allow for increased visibility. Views extend over Table Rock reservoir all the way to North Carolina and Georgia. Remember to bring layers, as it is often 10 degrees cooler on Caesars Head than it is down in Greenville.

From the overlook don’t forget to walk the trail around to view “Caesar’s Head” in profile! The trail descends through “Devil’s Kitchen,” a crack in the granitic gneiss rock, and circles around to a viewing area from the side of the outcrop. If you cross US 276 from the Visitor Center you’ll find the trailhead for Frank Coggins Trail, which mostly serves as a connector to many of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area trails, but is also an easy hike in a less crowded section of Caesars Head.

Amenities at the State Park include restrooms, picnic tables and the Visitor Center, which houses exhibits, hawk displays and a variety of souvenirs. For those looking for a longer hike, or reservations at one of the 18 backcountry campsites, check in at the Visitor Center for trail maps and information.

Plan your own trip to Ceasars Head

Directions: From Greenville take Hwy. 276 W for about 30 miles. The parking lot and Visitor Center is located at the top of the mountain, 3 miles before the NC border.

Hours and Admission: Trail access cost: $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 ages 6-15, ages 5 and younger are free

Days and Hours of Operation: 9 am – 9 pm, daily during daylight saving time. 9 am – 6 pm, daily, the remainder of the year. Trails close one hour before dark, year round.

Visitor Center Hours: 10 am – 5 pm Monday – Thursday and 9 am – 5 pm Friday – Sunday. The Visitor Center and gift shop are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, however the park remains open on these days.

Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife.

This article was originally published on Femme au foyer.

Does your family love Caesars Head as much as mine does?


Reedy Creek Park, Nature Center, & Preserves

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Local mom Bethany Winston reviews the Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserves as well as the surrounding Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte, NC. This free day-trip destination includes a treehouse-themed playground, hiking, and an indoor nature center.

Recently, my family discovered an amazing nature center and preserve about 6 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte: Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve located inside of the large Reedy Creek Park. This county owned park was completely free, including parking. While there might not be an admission fee, don’t make the mistake of thinking that means that this nature center is not worth the drive from Greenville.

Find a place to stay near Reedy Creek. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Things to Do at Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserves


Reedy Creek Park has three playgrounds that we discovered. The first playground was on our left almost immediately after entering the park. It’s a large playground with plenty of slides, ramps, and ladders. The play structures were not particularly high and I think even smaller children would enjoy it as long as they are comfortable climbing short ladders. There was little shade on this playground and it was hot on the day we visited so my kids chose not to play long, but it was a large, interesting playground and I’m sure would have been a completely different experience if we had visited earlier in the day or during a cooler season of the year.

Playground at Reedy Creek Park

Adjacent to the playground, we also found basketball courts and picnic shelters. There was also a rather large dog park on our right before we reached the playground.

Just a little bit farther up the road, we found the parking lot for the Reedy Creek Nature Center. This area of the park was wooded (quite a relief due to the heat).

Outside the Reedy Creek Nature Center, we found a second playground that felt like a hidden magical world tucked away in the forest. The playground included natural themed play structures such as artificial tree stumps and the main focal structure was a treehouse complete with a bridge.  My kids played for a good hour on this playground and probably would have been content to spend the day on it.

Later in our day we drove up to the third playground which was beside a lake. This “playground” only had a couple swings and a volleyball court, but it was an easy walk down to a beautiful lake with a fishing pier. We saw several families picnicking and fishing in this area.

Reedy Creek Nature Center

The Nature Center was small but it was free and even better air conditioned. Inside the Nature Center, our children were able to look at animals and small science displays. We also found a quiet area for pretend play where our children could dress up as rangers and play in a pretend campsite. The room had a couple rocking chairs for adults too. It was very quiet on the day we visited and we had the spot to ourselves. Our kids had a lot of fun and didn’t want to leave even after a long play time.


After a long day of fun (we had already spent hours at Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte) our kids were too tired and hot for us to dare attempt sustained hiking, but the map showed several easy hikes on the preserve that we hope to try on another day. One hike lead to an historic site and was only an hour walk. The grounds also had butterfly gardens, bird feeders, streams, vast wooded areas, and lakes. We were able to obtain a free map from the Nature Center so that we could still take a short stroll. The trail system was clearly marked and it was possible to take both short walks along the trails and longer hikes.

Tips for Your Visit

If you visit on a hot day, be sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray. While the preserve does have a lot of shade, there are several open spaces with little shade.

Plan plenty of time if you want to get the full experience. The preserve alone is over 900 acres of woods. Fortunately, the park does have a decent road system and multiple parking lots, so you can drive to the parts of the park in this article if you are short on time or if your children are tired (like us).

Don’t forget your fishing supplies. The park has two fishing lakes. Visitors over 16 must have a fishing license.

The Nature Center has a gift shop for those who would like to purchase souvenirs.

Bikers will find plenty of bike-friendly areas but are limited to the gravel trails and paved roads.

Hummingbird Festival at Reedy Creek Nature Center

Each August, a hummingbird festival is held at the Reedy Creek Nature Center. It includes bird banding, science experiments, bird hikes, art vendors, and storytelling sessions. The front desk at the Nature Center recommended coming early to see the most hummingbirds.

About the Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve


2900 Rocky River Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28215


Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday, 1-5 pm

For more inexpensive day trip ideas see our list of day trips under $25 from Greenville.

Have you ever been to the Reedy Creek Nature Center? Tell us about it in the comments.

Have You Been on the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System? Try this Simple Itinerary.

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One of Greenville’s most unique outdoor attractions is its 21-mile, multi-use Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System. This old railroad line is now a relatively flat and fully paved greenway space for Greenville families and individuals to walk, run, bike, and enjoy being physically active.

The trail runs directly through Downtown Greenville, and not only serves as a recreational development but as well as an alternative transportation route for non-motorized vehicles.

The trail system connects surrounding parks, neighborhoods, schools and communities within Greenville County, and has numerous restaurants and shops that are easily accessible right along the side of the trail.

It is a great way for the family to explore what all Greenville has to offer while being active and having fun along the way! ~Sarah King, guest contributor from LiveWell Greenville

This Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail Itinerary is part of our summer long Park Hop series featuring itineraries and parks on the 2016 Park Hop. Park Hop is an annual event that challenges your children to visit parks over the summer while earning prizes. It’s completely free and you can visit the parks on your own schedule through the summer. Learn how to join Park Hop and find the complete list of parks in our feature article

Taking a Day Trip Along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System

Trail Itinerary: Cleveland Park to Linky Stone Park

Looking for a day full of outdoor fun and excitement for the entire family? Take a short walk from Cleveland Park to Linky Stone Park along the trail system!

This 1.4 mile long adventure will take you through some of Downtown Greenville’s most beautiful parks and scenery, including the Liberty Bridge in Falls Park.

Cleveland Park and Greenville Zoo

Starting in the historic Cleveland Park, families can go and visit the Greenville Zoo or play on one of its many playgrounds.

The large play area right outside of the zoo is one of Greenville’s most popular children’s playgrounds, and is filled with play equipment ranging from swings and monkey bars to slides and other amazing activities that will have your child moving.

There are covered shelters with picnic tables within the park, and don’t forget to visit some of the statues along the trail including a Cold War Jet Memorial for the only fallen American killed by enemy fire in the 1962 Missile Crisis.

cleveland park

Falls Park

Just about half a mile down the trail from Cleveland Park, you will enter Falls Park on the Reedy River.

This park includes a lot of open green space for children to run around and explore, as well as smaller trails off of the Swamp Rabbit that give you the chance to see other parts of this recreational area.

It is in the heart of Downtown Greenville, and is a wonderful place to eat lunch or have a picnic.

Downtown Greenville

Families and individuals can easily access Main Street and visit many of the wonderful restaurants within the area, including Spill the Beans (for a sweet treat) and Papi’s Tacos.

As you continue along the trail, don’t forget to cool off at the small splash fountain across from the TD Bank amphitheater. The train-shaped fountain pays respects to the trail’s former use as a railway line, but is a fun activity for the kids to cool off from the warm summer days.

Linky Stone Park

The Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail continues to wind its way across River Street (caution while crossing) and on into Linky Stone Park, which offers a small play area and Children’s Garden.

Located under the colorful South Academy Street Bridge, this small park during the summer is filled with beautiful gardens, mural drawings and even a playhouse that is open to small children on selected days of the week.

Try to spot the Swamp Rabbit statue as you make your way on the trail, and be careful not to lose track of time while you are exploring all of what this park has to offer!

Linky Stone Park

Trail Itinerary: Greenville to Travelers Rest

One of the most popular areas of the trail is the 6-mile stretch between Downtown Greenville and the town of Travelers Rest. This trip is not ideal for young children, but would be a great way to spend the day with older friends and family members.

There are many attractions, restaurants, and shops along the way that offer a chance for trail users to stop and take a break.

Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery

This includes the popular Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery, which you can find healthy and nutritious food items to meet your hunger needs.

Furman University

Many locals also enjoy stopping at Furman University to view the beautiful campus and take a stroll on the small walkway around the lake. Visitors enjoy looking at a full outline of Paris Mountain over the Furman Lake while listening to the Furman Belltower play some familiar tunes.

Boy standing on bridge looking across the lake at the Furman Clock Tower

Travelers Rest

Just a few more miles down the trail is the popular Travelers Rest. As indicated in the name, this is a great place for families to rest and relax while eating lunch at one of its many delicious restaurants like Tandem, Sidewall, and Whistle Stop.

Make sure you leave enough time in your day to visit all the amazing places between Greenville and Travels Rest because I can assure that you will not be disappointed!

Fall Park sign (1)

In Conclusion…

There is always something fun and exciting to do along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System! As the trail continues to grow and connect families to other parks, neighborhoods, schools and communities, so does the number of opportunities for you to explore what all Greenville has to offer.

Make sure to spend some of your fun-in-the-sun days this summer exploring the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail with the family!

RELATED: Park Hop 2016 | Your Children Will Beg You Not to Leave These 5 Playgrounds | 50+ Free (or Inexpensive) Things to Do this Summer

What is your family’s favorite thing to do along the Swamp Rabbit Trail?

Meet Sarah King, Guest Contributor
Sarah King is a recent graduate of Furman University where she studied History and Health Sciences. Starting in the fall she will be attending the University of South Carolina to work on obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public Health. This summer she is LiveWell Greenville’s At Play Coordinator Assistant, and enjoys staying physically active whether that be hiking, running or exploring downtown Greenville with friends.