Paris Mountain State Park
What do you do when you have a day off?
Well, when we have a day off, we head to the mountains!
We are lucky that there is a decent sized mountain just about an hour from us. We hadn’t been out to Paris Mountain and Paris Mountain State Park yet, so we figured it was time to try it and get our hike on!
And, I’ve gotta say off the bat, this little state park was awesome! It was beautiful, not too far away from home, and had miles of hiking trails, plus a great little lake for swimming.
Located in the city of Greenville, South Carolina (you literally drive through a neighborhood and there it is!), Paris Mountain State Park is 1,540 acres of lush green forest with an elevation reaching 2,000 feet. It includes 4 lakes in the area, one of which is Lake Placid (not THAT Lake Placid, with the giant alligator, thankfully haha). The park also offers hiking, biking, fishing, camping, picnicking areas, and a playground.
To get into the park costs a small fee, $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-15, ages 5 and younger are free. This fee gets you in plus access to swim in the designated swimming area on Lake Placid.
After paying at the manned entrance, we stopped at the visitor center for some quick info.
While Troy figured out where we wanted to hike, the kids were entertained by the interactive exhibits talking about the area, the wildlife, the plants, and the lakes. We only stayed for maybe 10 minutes, but on a hot day, this little center would be a great reprieve to learn some cool facts.
Hiking Tips: Make sure to put on sunscreen and spray down with bug spray at the beginning of your day, but always reapply throughout the hike if you need. Wear hats for more protection, from the sun and bugs. Bring LOTS of water. Know your surroundings and trail info before you start.
We decided to do two hikes for the day. The first being an extremely short and easy access trail up to Mountain Lake.
This trail was a great way to warm up our hiking legs!
The kids chased butterflies, found lizards, and followed the sound of rushing water until we arrived at this beautiful little lake.
Just below the lake we found a small waterfall. We followed the trail down to the bottom of the falls for a little exploring. Bubs was sure he could climb the actual falls, but we told him it wasn’t allowed. He had to settle for climbing rocks and tree branches instead.
We admired the falls and the lake for a few minutes before turning back.
Hiking Tip: Once you get back to your car and you’re in between hikes, unpack sandwiches and fruit for an easy lunch on the way to the next trail! Bring stuff already put together and save time and money while refueling.
We decided to try a piece of the Brissy Ridge Trail. It was more difficult and much longer than our first walk, but it was a beautiful hike! Bubs did great and Little Miss mostly enjoyed a free ride!
The Brissy Ridge Trail is a loop totaling 2.4 miles. There are a lot of rocks, roots, and uneven trail surfaces to hike over. We did not finish the entire loop, but hiked until we reached the junction for the Kanuga Trail then turned around. We probably did about 1 1/2 miles of it total in and out.
Even though it was a warm 95* the day we were at Paris Mountain, the trails were shady and there was a great breeze that helped cool us off. Again, make sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated!
Every once in a while the trees broke enough to give us some amazing views of the Greenville area. This was one of the reasons we wanted to give the Brissy Ridge Trail a go, and it did not disappoint!
By the time we got back to the car we were all ready for a cool down. Luckily, Paris Mountain has a great lake perfect for just that!
Lake Placid is a 13 acre lake with an excellent swimming area just in front of the visitor center. There are no life guards on duty, but they have roped off the areas allowed for swimming. You can rent paddle boats or canoes for a small fee as well for more exploring around the lake.
We brought our own river tubes for floating, and they were a hit!
Out until the rope, the water is quite shallow. Bubs was able to touch with his head above the water until about 2 feet from the rope. And, the water was the perfect temperature! Not cold, but cool and refreshing. It’s a great little area for kids to play.
I will warn you, there are water snakes, not poisonous, in the area, and they like to nest in the docks on either side of the swimming area. We were “lucky” enough to see one swimming around while we were there, but he was shooed away with no incident. Bubs was so excited and wanted a closer look, but everyone else was fine viewing from a distance, haha.
Little Miss took to the water like a little fish! Usually she’s more hesitant and freaks out if water gets even close to her face, but she was swimming and splashing around the entire time.
We can definitely say that we will be going back to Paris Mountain State Park. We’re thinking a weekend camping trip would be so fun. Close to town, but with the feeling of being miles away, it is the perfect little getaway for some outdoor family fun!
Before heading home, we made sure to find Pink Mama’s Ice Cream! We found this place somehow online, and I immediately knew I need to go there.
They have two building locations, one in Traveler’s Rest, the other on Pleasantburg Dr. in Greenville. There’s also a food truck you can rent for events! How fun would that be!?
We hit the building on Pleasantburg Dr. and just look how cute it is!!
With so many different flavors of ice cream in multiple shapes and forms (cones, sandwiches, shakes, and more!), it was hard to choose what we wanted. I eventually settled on a Moose Tracks ice cream sandwich, and I was not disappointed!
The kids had cookies and cream scoops in a cup, and Troy went with the birthday cake batter milkshake. I had a taste of his shake, and man it was SO good!
They had an outdoor space for eating with picnic tables, shade, and greenery. But, the kids were into the bean bag toss game!
If you are ever in Greenville or Traveler’s Rest, SC, you have to try Pink Mama’s Ice Cream! You will not regret it 🙂
So, what do you do on your day off? Comment below!