Paris Mountain State Park | Outdoorsy

Paris Mountain State Park
Guide

Introduction

Located near the bustling city of Greenville, South Carolina, Paris Mountain State Park offers 1,540 acres of mountain forests and four freshwater lakes to make this an RV stop you don’t want to miss. Mountain lovers will enjoy the beauty of lushly wooded Paris Mountain, over 2,000 feet high and situated on an elevated plateau, which is part of the Piedmont region of the United States.

The four freshwater lakes in the park include Lake Placid, Mountain Lake, Buckhorn Lake, and North Lake. These lakes served as the water source for the city of Greenville in the past, a critical resource to this area of South Carolina. Whether you're here for the wooded beauty of the mountains or lakeside relaxation, Paris Mountain State Park is a great getaway for your next RV journey.

Built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, this park has a history going back to the Great Depression and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. The Park Center is located in the former bathhouse of the Corps, a renovated timber and stone building. A guide to the historic structures on-site is available for a self-guided tour of the rustic local architecture.

Geocaching, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, and canoeing just some of the fun activities that the park has to offer. The lively nearby community of Greenville keeps this park busy year-round. RVers can choose between 39 water and electric hookup sites suitable for RV and tent campers, five hike-in trailside campsites, and a private campground with cabins and a lodge when they stay at the park.

RV Rentals in Paris Mountain State Park

Transportation

Driving

Paris Mountain State Park is located in Greenville County, part of “Upcountry” South Carolina. Its proximity to the city of Greenville makes it easily accessible from routes 25, 29, and 276. Greenville is only nine miles away, and RVers can make use of this close destination to stock up their food supplies and other necessities during their stay at the park. The roads leading to the park from Greenville are clearly marked and spacious.

Once you enter the park, the road will become bordered by thick trees, and you should use caution navigating your big rig within the park, as some of the roads can be narrow and twisting. You can then park your rig or explore the park with your vehicle, by bike or on foot.

Parking

There are six main marked parking areas that are dotted around the park. You should have no problem parking your RV, although it may get a bit crowded during the busy season.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Paris Mountain State Park

Campsites in Paris Mountain State Park

Reservations camping

Travelers Rest / N Greenville KOA

Travelers Rest/N Greenville KOA welcomes rigs to their full hookup sites with deluxe patios, furniture, stone fire rings, and charcoal grills. Firewood and propane are available on-site. Some sites have up to 50-amp electrical service, are close to the pool, shaded, or sit close to a babbling brook. Remain connected during your stay with cable TV and Wi-Fi.

North Lake Trail Loop

If you are an avid backpacker, Paris Mountain State Park is a prime destination for you. For a more rustic experience, there are five hike-in trailside camping sites around the North Lake Trail Loop in the deepest area of the park. Each of these sites can accommodate two tents and sleep up to five people. This is a backpack-in site, so make sure to bring all the food, water, and other supplies you will need.

Paris Mountain State Park Campground

You can rest after a long day of RV travel at this wonderful campground, which is full of amenities like modern bathrooms with hot showers. Each of the 39 features electric and water hookups. If you need access to the internet, don't worry, because Wi-Fi is available. When you need to dump your water tank, a dump station is available right on-site.

Select campsites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long, with the others accommodating up to 35 feet. Many of the sites are graded, so you may need to take measures to level your rig. Campsite reservations must be made for a length of at least two nights. Campers should also note that mountain bikes are not allowed on the trails and in the park on Saturdays.

Pets are allowed in the park but are not allowed in any cabins, buildings, and other lodging areas. You can take them on the trails and most outdoor areas, but make sure to keep them on a leash.

Camp Buckhorn

Families and bigger groups of up to 40 people looking for a private and secluded getaway can make use of Camp Buckhorn. The camp is about four miles into the park along a curvy road and is fitted with its own gate. The 'lodge' is built with river stones and has a full kitchen, a meeting room, and restroom facilities with showers for men and women. It is also outfitted with an outdoor gas grill, chairs, an indoor fireplace, several large round tables, and suitable comfortable seating.

There are also 10 primitive cabins available for accommodation. One of the cabins is ADA-accessible and has a queen-sized bed, a couch, a small refrigerator, and a full bathroom. The rest of the cabins are more primitive with two bunk beds each and a smaller heater. The cabins all have electricity, outlets, and lights that visitors can make use of during their stay.

Visitors will find a bathhouse in between the cabins, with toilets and two showers. Children can also enjoy running around the nearby grassy area and pond.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

If you prefer to park your RV at a private campground or RV park, there are plenty of choices available in the area. These campgrounds can offer amenities such as cabins, laundry facilities, cable TV, swimming pools, and onsite activities. You can enjoy a rustic experience or a resort one, depending on the accommodations you prefer.

Seasonal activities in Paris Mountain State Park

Off-Season

Architecture Tour

Paris Mountain State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 and was one of the several New Deal projects assigned to them. If you want to learn more about this period, you can take a lovely architecture tour showcasing their construction methods using local materials to build footbridges, dams, reservoirs and rustic shelters. This is a unique experience, and you’ll love learning about the history of the park during your visit.

Geocaching

Geocaching is one of the many fun outdoor activities that Paris Mountain State Park has to offer. Go on your own treasure hunt and use your navigation skills to find geocaches throughout the park. Geocaching is a perfect year-round activity to explore the park in a way the whole family can enjoy. After you've found the geocache, make sure to leave it exactly as you found, so that others can enjoy the treasure hunt after you.

Bird Watching

Don’t forget to pack your binoculars and camera in your rig to experience amazing views of the native birds who call the park home. At least 20 different species of birds inhabit the park. You may be able to see hawks, woodpeckers, and even owls in the evening. The different trails around the park are the perfect place for birders to go on their search for birds. RVers who enjoy birding are sure to be kept busy and entertained during their stay!

Park Programs

Throughout the year, the park has hosts several different programs and events. If you decide to visit Paris Mountain State Park in the fall, don’t miss the popular and solar-powered “Music in the Woods” festival series. The park also holds Fall Color Walks to explore the wonderfully colorful fall foliage this time of year.

In the winter, you can enjoy different guided tours like the winter walk with the ranger, where you'll learn about native wildlife. Another winter program is the Tree Identification program, where you'll learn how to tell trees apart without their leaves.

Park Center

You won’t want to miss a stop at the Park Center, which offers fun for the whole family. The Park Center is located next to Lake Placid and is housed in the renovated stone and timber bathhouse of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Paris Mountain State Park is one of the sixteen state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps South Carolina. Plan a visit to learn more about Paris Mountain with interactive exhibits about the park's history and ecology, which are suitable for all ages.

In-Season

Kayaking and Canoeing

If you want to coast on the serene waters of the park, you’ll love the chance to go kayaking and canoeing. Get out on the water and relax in the peaceful Lake Placid. Private boats are unfortunately not permitted in the park lake, but, canoe, kayak, and pedal boat rentals are available seasonally, depending on weather conditions. There are no lifeguards on duty, so you are responsible for your own safety when you kayak and canoe.

Fishing

Paris Mountain State Park is a paradise for anglers. You can fish for bass, crappie, and catfish in the park’s beautiful 13-acre Lake Placid. If you’re up for a more adventurous freshwater fishing experience, hike two miles to North Lake (Reservoir #3) in the back of the park. This 15-acre lake is stocked with bass, bream, and catfish for fishing. If you are keen to fish during your visit to the park, make sure to have a valid South Carolina fishing license handy.

Picnicking

Pack a lunch and plan a picnic for a day out in nature! Six picnic shelters are available to rent for picnics and other group gatherings, on a first-come-first-serve basis. A waterfront shelter can be found on the shores of Lake Placid, as well as several other shelters found near the start of nearby trailheads. These picnic spots are all equipped with picnic tables and BBQ grills and are the perfect way to enjoy a relaxing day outdoors.

Hiking and Biking

Bring along your bike and hiking boots when you visit Paris Mountain State Park in your motorhome. There are 15 miles of well-marked hiking and biking trails located throughout the park. They are divided into 11 different trails ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous. The 1.2-mile Lake Placid Self-Interpretive Nature Trail loop is a lovely, flat trail, suitable for the whole family. It is also one of the only trails only available to hikers.

Swimming

Make sure to pack your swimsuit in your rig, because there is a refreshing swimming area open during the summer months. You won't regret bringing it along when you are ready to take a dip after a good hike. The designated swimming area is located near the Park Office. It is the only area where swimming is permitted in the park and is a swim at-your-own risk zone.

Find the perfect campsite.