The Top 10 Parks in Greenville, South Carolina

images og a small canal in with buildings on either side and footbridge crossing the canal. There is a large cloud in the sky and the image is highly saturated
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city of Greenville offers small-town charm with big-city amenities, all within driving distance of major destinations like Atlanta, Asheville, and Charlotte. In addition to acclaimed art museums and performing arts venues, notable restaurants and breweries, and a walkable downtown dotted with boutiques and galleries, Greenville is an outdoor lover's paradise. The city is home to nearly 40 parks and green spaces, from downtown showstoppers like Falls Park on the Reedy to hidden neighborhood gems like Legacy Park. In addition, greater Greenville County has three large state parks, where visitors can enjoy everything from strenuous hikes up steep mountains to paddling and swimming in placid, pristine lakes.

Hike to sweeping mountain vistas and dramatic waterfalls, stroll through gardens on paved multi-use paths, mountain bike on challenging single track or enjoy a quiet picnic at these top parks in Greenville.

01 of 10

Falls Park on the Reedy

View of a small rocky waterfall in a the city park, Falls Park On The Reedy with buildings in the distance
John Coletti / Getty Images

This stunning, 32-acre green space in downtown's historic West End is the ultimate urban oasis. Stroll along the walking trails to view landscaped gardens and public art installations or hop on the multi-use Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail to connect into nearby Cleveland Park and the Greenville Zoo. For the best views of the city and the park's namesake waterfalls, all you have to do is cross the 355-foot suspension bridge. The West Market Street parking lot offers two hours of free parking, which gives you enough time to also explore downtown's many boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries.

02 of 10

Cleveland Park

paved park trail with a rock wall on the left side and greenery on the right

Courtesy of Swamp Rabbit Trail

Address
Cleveland Park Dr & East Washington, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Phone +1 864-467-4355

Located along the banks of the Reedy River and adjacent to the Greenville Zoo, this 120-acre green space is the city’s largest park. Bordered by stately homes, Cleveland Park has several amenities including tennis courts, playgrounds, a volleyball court, softball field, picnic shelters, and a fitness trail with workout stations. Spot local plants and wildlife on the half-mile Fernwood Nature Trail, walk through the serene Rock Quarry Garden, or run or cycle the paved, multi-use Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, which spans 22 miles along the Reedy River throughout the city. Free parking is available in a surface lot on the park's northern edge.

03 of 10

Paris Mountain State Park

view of a lake on a sunny day framed by two tree trunks

Courtesy of Paris Mountain State Park

Address
2401 State Park Rd, Greenville, SC 29609, USA
Phone +1 864-244-5565

Paris Mountain is formed by a monadnock that towers above hardwood forest just ten minutes from downtown Greenville. The surrounding 1,540-acre state park is one of the city's best recreation areas, with 15 miles of hiking and cycling trails, a summer swimming area with kayak and canoe rentals, four lakes, and access to the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail. Want to stay overnight? The grounds include 39 paved campsites.

Like all South Carolina state parks, admission, which includes swimming access, is $6 for adults, $3.75 for South Carolina seniors ages 65 and older, $3.50 for children ages 6 to 15, and free for children 5 and under.

04 of 10

The Children's Garden at Linky Stone Park

Address
24 Reedy View Dr, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Phone +1 864-232-2273

Tucked beside the Reedy River underneath the South Academy Street Bridge in downtown, this whimsical children's park is one of the city's hidden gems. Unique features of the colorful 1.7-acre, sensory park include a gingerbread cottage, a secret garden, a geology wall comprised of local rocks and minerals, and a textile garden. The park offers picnic tables and ample shade, and street and garage parking are available nearby.

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05 of 10

Jones Gap State Park

river rushing over rocks surrounded by lush greenery on either side
Dustin Ahrens / Getty Images
Address
303 Jones Gap Rd, Marietta, SC 29661, USA
Phone +1 864-836-3647

Along with neighboring Caesars Head, Jones Gap State Park is part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, located 25 miles north of downtown along the North Carolina Border. The 13,000 acres of mountain woodlands are home to 60 miles of hiking trails, ranging from short, gentle strolls to lengthy, rocky, and steep excursions. Opt for the moderate 4.3 mile out-and-back Rainbow Falls trail for bird watching, wildflower sightings, and views of one of the park's two waterfalls. Teeming with mountain trout, the Middle Saluda River is popular with local anglers. The park has a small gift shop with supplies as well as backcountry campsites. Admission rates are the same as Paris Mountain.

06 of 10

Caesars Head State Park

view of a lookout point above Caesars Head State park with autumn trees in the foreground
JillLang / Getty Images
Address
8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland, SC 29635-9428, USA
Phone +1 864-836-6115

Head to neighboring 13,000-acre Caesars Head State Park for panoramic views of waterfalls, bird watching, and 60 miles of stellar hiking trails. Try the 4-mile, out-and-back Raven Cliff Falls Trail, a moderately paced path that leads to an overlook to view the dramatic, 420-foot namesake waterfall. For a more challenging trek, opt for the 6.6-mile Dismal Trail Loop, which crosses a suspension bridge at the top of the Falls. In the autumn, come not only for the vibrant foliage but also to watch the migration of hawks, bald eagles, falcons, and other species as they head south for the winter from the rocky peak of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Admission rates are the same as other South Carolina state parks.

07 of 10

Timmons Park

A beloved neighborhood spot on the city's northeast city, this compact, 26.6-acre park is a local favorite. In addition to a 1.8-mile dirt, single track loop for hiking and mountain biking, the park has lighted baseball fields, pickleball courts, a playground, picnic shelter, and an 18-hole golf course. Free parking, water stations, and restrooms are also available, and the park is open daily from dawn to dusk.

08 of 10

Table Rock State Park

view of a very large lake with trees and a mountain on the opposite bank
JillLang / Getty Images
Address
158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671-9524, USA
Phone +1 864-878-9813

Located 25 miles northeast of downtown, Table Rock State Park offers over a dozen miles of hiking trails ranging from half-mile easy excursions to strenuous paths that wind through dense forest and over boulders to the mountain's 3,124-foot summit. For an easy, family-friendly stroll, opt for the 1.9-mile Lakeside Trail, which offers views of the mountain and local wildlife. The park also has two lakes, with seasonal swimming access as well as kayak, canoe, and pedal boat rentals, plus fishing piers, a playground, a gift shop, and monthly "Music on the Mountain" bluegrass jam sessions held at Table Rock Lodge. Guests wanting to stay overnight can book one of several fully furnished cabins or stay at one of two campsites.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Legacy Park

view of a very small rocky waterfall surrounded by tall reeds

Courtesy of Legacy Park

Address
336 Rocky Slope Rd, Greenville, SC 29607, USA
Phone +1 864-467-4355

Inspired by New York City's iconic Central Park, this residential 20-acre green space is popular with local families. Grab a picnic or take a book to read in the grassy, open field, which is ideal for playing frisbee, flying a kite, or a pick-up game of soccer. The park also has a sand volleyball court, two playgrounds (including a fenced play area for small children), a pond, scenic gardens, unique water features, and miles of paved paths, perfect for strollers and bicycles.

10 of 10

Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

lake surrounded by trees in Lake Conestee Nature Preserve, photographed on a cloudy day

Courtesy of Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Address
840 Mauldin Rd, Greenville, SC 29607, USA
Phone +1 864-277-2004

This 400-acre nature preserve is nestled along three miles of the Reedy River just south of downtown. A state-designated Wildlife Sanctuary, the park is ideal for bird watching and home to more than 200 species of birds as well as local wildlife like river otters, beavers, deer, and salamanders. Hike or stroll along 13 miles of trails, including six miles of paved paths ideal for cycling or strollers and a one-mile paved boardwalk over marshland. The nearby Lake Conestee Dam is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset and the suggested admission donation is $3. Please note there are no trash cans, so be prepared to carry out your own waste, and leashed dogs are only allowed on the paved paths, not dirt trails.

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The Top 10 Parks in Greenville, South Carolina