Tucked in the northwestern part of the South Carolina, Paris Mountain State Park is a 1,540-acre slice of green heaven. The ridges and valleys of the park will have you questioning the fact you’re only five miles from the bustling town of Greenville. The park boasts 15 miles of hiking and biking trails, along with swimming, kayaking, and fishing on eight-acre Lake Placid. Paris Mountain is unique because it is a monadnock, meaning it is an isolated mountain that rises out of a flat area. It is the highest land formation near downtown Greenville.
Along with 16 other state parks in South Carolina, Paris Mountain State Park was developed as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The park has been named a historic district on the National Register because of the buildings, lakes, and dams originally built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
If you are looking for a family-friendly, fun-packed park with a variety of outdoor activities, check out RV rentals in Greenville County.
Paris Mountain State Park campers can find nine trails for hiking and mountain biking. The park offers an experience for novice to experienced hikers and bikers, with trails ranging from easy to strenuous. Along the trail, you might pass the large stone damn, the Old Firetower and panoramic views of mountains and valleys. You will likely spot turtles, squirrels, deer, and other wildlife on your way through the pine and hardwood forests, and along the creeks rimmed with Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron. Mountain bikers should note that biking on the trails is prohibited on Saturdays.
Between the park’s four lakes, the whole crew is bound to find a water activity they enjoy. Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, pedal boating, and standup paddle boarding are all wildly popular. There are rentals available for campers and even opportunities to demo boards and boats before you purchase one. Private boats are prohibited from the park lake. Love to fish? The reservoir gets stocked with bass and remains a go-to fishing spot for Paris Mountain campers.
Bird watching is another popular pleasure of the park. Whip out your binoculars to get a glimpse of the woodpeckers, hawks, and owls that reside there. Campers looking to go on a hunt for something else can go geocaching. The park has several geocaches within its borders.
There’s also a playground, picnic shelters, and an amphitheater. Every fall, the park hosts the “Music in the Woods” festival. Folks who camp at Paris Mountain State Park in the summer months can anticipate plenty of naturalist and guided hikes for the whole family.
Camping at Paris Mountain State Park
The campground offers 39 paved sites, some accommodating RVs up to 40 feet and others up to 35 feet. All sites have electrical and water hookups. Campers have access to a restroom and hot showers. There is a dump station in the park. A store located in the park stays stocked with souvenirs and trail maps. Wifi is available at the Park Center, where the office is, but it is not available at the campground. Your pooch is welcome in most outdoor areas of the park, just as long as you keep it on a short leash.
The campground sits close to the park entrance and to the beautiful, clear Lake Placid. RV campers can reserve their spot online up to a day before they arrive; same day reservations must be made at the park.
Exploring the Area
One of the best things about camping at Paris Mountain is that, while you feel like you are secluded in nature, you can get to civilization within 10 minutes. The nearest town and hospital are just a few miles away.
Greenville boasts an up-and-coming downtown area with numerous classic and new restaurants. Once you’ve had a bite to eat, check out the intimate Greenville Zoo to see wildlife you won’t see at the state park. Saturday mornings are for farmer’s markets. Not only can you snag some local produce from the Saturday Market on Greenville’s Main Street, but you can also find handcrafted treasures. Dozens of vendors offer a range of goods in the summer and fall. Museum lovers are in luck. Greenville has a children’s museum, art museum, and Carolina music museum, among others.
Once you’re done camping in Paris Mountain State Park, find your way to other fun nearby Southern cities. It’s only 27 miles to Spartanburg, 60 miles to Asheville, and 106 miles to the famously hot state capital of Columbia.