Hikes in Greenville SC

2022 Best Hikes Near Greenville and Upstate SC

One of the best reasons to love Greenville is the city’s proximity to abundant, scenic hiking trails. The peaceful outdoors surrounding Greenville, just minutes away from bustling downtown gives you the best of both worlds. Whether you want a relaxing day out in nature, somewhere for the kids to get out and explore, or a serious excursion with a big payoff at the end, there are so many options for Hikes Near Greenville SC!

As a wedding and family photographer (that frequently hits the trails for my sessions!) I have a ton of knowledge about the most amazing hikes in Greenville and all over upstate sc! Let’s dive in!

Best of the Best Hikes Near Greenville SC

  • Pinnacle
  • Lake Conestee Nature Loop
  • Sulphur Springs Trail Paris Mountain
  • Rainbow Falls

Best for Breathtaking Views: Pinnacle

South Carolina’s tallest contained peak, Pinnacle Mountain, provides the most breathtaking vistas across the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond. The iconic rocky slab at Table Rock may be more well known, but the view of Table Rock from Pinnacle cannot be beaten. Moderately challenging, the four-mile trail is one-way, and you can either return the way you came or pick up the slightly less strenuous Ridge trail to return to your car.

Stop at the Nature Center in Table Rock State Park before heading to the trailhead to fill out a registration card. The park service uses these to track who is out on the trail for maintenance and safety reasons. From the Nature Center, follow yellow blazes to pass by a waterfall, over footbridges and finally work through a few steep ascents to the panoramic views at the top of Pinnacle Mountain.

Best for an Easy Afternoon Hike: Lake Conestee Nature Park Loop

A picturesque nature preserve just south of downtown Greenville, Lake Conestee Nature Park covers 400 acres of protected marshland. The state-designated Wildlife Sanctuary is home to more than 200 species of birds, as well as small woodland animals and endangered salamanders. The 2.2 mile Nature Park Loop is perfect for an easy stroll across the boardwalk and through marshland. Dedicated to protecting Greenville’s many endemic species of wildlife, the park is a sanctuary to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

Best for Kids: Sulphur Springs Trail Paris Mountain

Over 1500 acres of neatly kept trails, located just minutes from downtown, the ever-popular Paris Mountain offers easy nature works and plenty of outdoor activities. The park offers hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking, and visitors can swim and fish in the 13 acre lake within the park, Lake Placid. While the walking loop around Lake Placid might be best for the littlest ones, families with slightly older kids should try the Sulphur Springs Trail, a slightly longer loop that traverses a variety of terrains and ecosystems.

Start at the Shelter 5 parking lot inside Paris Mountain State Park and head out on the loop in either direction. You will pass several tranquil springs, various wildlife habitats, and explore the old Greenville water reservoir. Well-maintained and moderately challenging, this 3.5 mile loop is just the right length to feel like you had an adventure, without all the driving and schlepping of a hike farther out.

Best for Waterfalls: Rainbow Falls

Sometimes the best views are the ones you have to work for, and this steep, moderate to strenuous hike comes with the promise of one of the biggest waterfalls in the Upstate at the end. A five mile round trip trail, Rainbow Falls gains almost 1,200 feet in elevation before opening up to a 100-foot waterfall cascading down from a sheer granite cliff.

Start on the Jones Gap Trail in Jones Gap State Park and then follow signs for Rainbow Falls, which is an out and back trail, traversing streams, bridges and boulders covered with dewy mosses and wildflowers. Start with Rainbow Falls, then come back for more big trails in Jones Gap, like the challenging 12 mile Rim of the Gap trail.

Elly M.

Until next time!

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