Paris Mountain is a state park near Greenville, South Carolina. It’s $5 per car and the area includes a beach, lake activities, picnic tables, fields, and lots of biking and hiking trails. It’s a local treasure that not enough people utilize. Many of the trails are primarily used for mountain biking. But there are no bikes allowed in the park on Saturdays, so that’s a good time to plan a hike.
I prefer to hike loops (I hate backtracking), so I usually do the Sulpher Springs Trail. It’s mostly a mountain biking trail, but a third of it is hiking-only. There’s a gravel parking lot where most of the mountain bikers park. I like to park there and go down the big hill to start the hike. Do the opposite if you’re treating this as leg day.
If you want to do bigger miles, you can piece together several trails to make loops of varying lengths. I recently parked by Lake Placid and did a loop that covered most of the park over around 10 miles. Just download a trail map for reference since it’s easy to take side trails to parking lots.
If it’s a warm day, the mountain lake and dam are usually crawling with kids. There’s a parking lot and picnic area nearby if you’re just looking to hang out and have lunch around the water. Long ago, the dam controlled the water reservoir for Greenville. It’s fun to climb around the old stoneworks and see how the water was released. The area around the lake is filled with biting bugs, so bring some spray. After years of making excuses for bad insect repellant, I finally switched to Ben’s 100 and haven’t used another brand since.