The Carolinas were made to be explored. As October approaches, the leaves transform into flames of burnt orange, red, and yellow. Humidity disappears, leaving the air crisp and cool. There is only one problem with hiking in the Upstate: Where should one begin? Check out our list of five local favorite hiking spots to get the inside scoop on where to explore during your next Airbnb visit to the Upstate.
#5 Swamp Rabbit Trail
One of the most beloved hiking spots in the Upstate is the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 28 mile nature walk that stretches from Travelers Rest to Greenville. It offers relatively flat, paved paths for bikers and walkers, making it an ideal spot for families with children and/or dogs. Picnic areas, water fountains, and restrooms are readily available along the path as well. Ideal spots for parking include Gateway Park, Trailblazer Park, Falls Park, Cleland Park, and Lake Conestee Nature Park. Lake Conestee Nature Park offers viewing stations for wildlife, especially for local birds and deer. When traveling on the Greenville side of the trail, be sure to stop at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, a local gem that offers lunch specials, homemade baked goods, organic produce, and more. If you do not mind a busier path with lots of opportunities for people watching, this may be the spot for you during your next Airbnb adventure.
#4 Paris Mountain
Even though it is in the heart of bustling Greenville, Paris Mountain feels relatively secluded and serene, making it a top hiking spot in the Carolinas. It offers 17 miles of relatively level trails and four lakes to explore. Swimming, fishing, and camping is allowed; canoes and paddles boards are available for rent. Admission to the park is $6 for adults, $3.75 for seniors, $3.50 for children 6-15, and free for children 5 and under. Leashed dogs are welcome! The best thing about Paris Mountain is that it provides simple lakeside views and a small waterfall. This is the perfect location if you are looking to adventure into nature without having to travel far from Greenville.
#3 Caesars Head and Jones Gap
Another excellent hiking spot for an Airbnb visit is the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which connects two breathtaking state parks: Caesars Head and Jones Gap. There are various loops and trails that hikers can take in this 13,000 acre forest, but the most popular one is the Raven Cliff Falls Trail. On a clear day, the overlook above Greenville is unforgettable, a sea of green hills stretching far into the distance. Fishing, picnic areas, and waterfall views make this park a relaxing getaway. Admission to the park is $3 for adults, $1.50 for seniors, $1 for children 6-15, and free for children five and under. There is no roadside parking at Caesars Head and parking is first come, first serve, so it is always a good idea to arrive as early as possible.
#2 Waterfalls at Wildcat Wayside and Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
Looking for an adventure into the Carolinas without the long, strenuous hike? Check out Waterfalls at Wildcat Wayside for a quick 1 mile hike round trip. This is a free nature trail near Caesars Head State Park that offers views of 3 separate waterfalls. Leashed dogs are welcome! When you finish here, head over to Bald Rock Heritage Preserve, a stunning natural overlook of Greenville. One of the best parts about Bald Rock is that it requires no hiking; simply park at the makeshift parking area on the left side of the highway, and it is a 50 yard walk to the overlook. Be careful on the rock as there are no guide rails, and there is sometimes broken glass. The best times to visit are sunrise, sunset, and nighttime for stargazing. Overall, Wildcat Wayside and Bald Rock are close together and offer a real treat for visitors to explore in the Upstate.
#1 Table Rock State Park
Hiking to the top of Table Rock is a challenge, but it is well worth the view. Located roughly an hour from Greenville, Table Rock State Park is a 3,000 acre park named after the recognizable granite dome of Table Rock Mountain. It offers easy, moderate, and strenuous trails alongside rivers, valleys, and peaks. Admission to the park is $6 for adults, $3.75 for seniors, $3.50 for children 6-15, and free for children five and under. Hikers must register at the Nature Center before heading out; they must return before sunset. If hiking the popular Table Rock Trail, be sure to pack water, snacks, and all personal essential hiking materials because it is a long and strenuous journey to the top. If you are a nature enthusiast, you don’t want to miss out on this adventure.