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State Parks in Upcountry
Northern South Carolina Outdoor Adventure
Northwestern Palmetto State is known as The Upcountry, or simply Upstate South Carolina. Bordering Georgia, Tennessee, and of course, North Carolina, this scenic region features a number of South Carolina state parks thanks to vast lakes, great trails, and the Appalachian Mountains.
Set on the Georgia border near Interstate 85, Sadlers Creek State Park and Lake Hartwell State Park offer non-stop fun on Lake Hartwell.
Covering 400 acres, Sadlers Creek features swimming and boating, plus dry-fun like biking, birding, and the .5-mile Pine Grove Trail. The Lake Hartwell State Recreation Area yields 14 miles of lakeshore, plus hiking, boating, and fishing across 680 acres.
Several state parks pepper the Tennessee border and the Appalachian Trail. Explore Jones Gap State Park, Caesars Head State Park, Table Rock State Park, Keowee-Toxaway State Park, and Devils Fork State Park.
Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Oconee State Park offers even more hiking, fishing, and boating on 1,165 acres. This park, along with the neighboring Oconee Station State Historic Site, are set just northwest of Seneca.
Further into South Carolina, Paris Mountain State Park is located near Piedmont and Greenville, while Croft State Park is found in nearby Spartanburg.
Set east near the North Carolina’s Charlotte metropolitan area and Fort Mill, Kings Mountain State Park, Landsford Canal State Park, and Andrew Jackson State Park offer even more fishing, hiking, and boating – plus historic sites and living museums.
Have Fun At South Carolina’s Paris Mountain State Park
Sprawling over 1,500 acres, Paris Mountain State Park is an outdoor lover’s dream come true. Enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking and pedal boats at Lake Placid. Old Firetower Bicycle Trail offers scenic views and a few twists and turns for cycling enthusiasts. Head for three-mile Sulphur Springs Loop Trail or two-mile Brissy Ridge Trail if you’re interested in observing wildlife. After a refreshing swim, dry off with a stroll along the Lake Placid Self-Interpretive Nature Trail. Be sure to visit the Park Center, housed in a historic bathhouse built in the 1930s. See historic exhibits on the area, plot your hike using the 3-D park map, or attend one of several special programs to learn more about the park’s history.
Andrew Jackson State Park
Make your way across South Carolina and head for Upcountry. Once there, be sure to visit the city of Lancaster and spend some quality time outdoors at Andrew Jackson State Park. With more than 360 acres of gorgeous South Carolina nature to explore, Andrew Jackson State Park is one of the most popular destinations in all of Upcountry. Drive in from Fort Mill.
Created in 1952, Andrew Jackson State Park honors the former United States president who was born in South Carolina. You'll find a wide range of hiking trails, excellent bird watching chances, a large bronze statue of Andrew Jackson on horseback – named "Andrew Jackson, A Boy of The Wexhaws" – and plenty of fishing.
Caesars Head State Park
With 7,467 acres to explore, Caesars Head State Park is one of the largest parks in South Carolina. As you trek through SC's Upcountry, visit Caesars Head State Park for an exciting outdoor adventure. Drive in from nearby Piedmont and discover any of the 13 hiking trails at Caesars Head State Park.
You won't want to miss out on exploring the Raven Cliff Falls trail, one of the most popular at Caesars Head State Park. You'll get to cross the Raven Cliff Falls suspension bridge, which sways at 420 feet high in the air. Caesars Head State Park and Jones Gap State Park are collectively known as the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.
Croft State Park
With more than 12 miles of hiking trails, Croft State Park is an ideal destination for travelers visiting Upcountry South Carolina. Not far east of Greenville, Croft State Park opened in 1949 on the site of a former US Army training camp from World War II. Croft State Park is open year round.
Covering more than 7,000 acres of gorgeous Upcountry parkland, Croft State Park is a short drive away from nearby Spartanburg. As you explore Croft State Park, find over 20 miles of horseback riding trails, a playground for the kids, and a bevy of picnic shelters.
Devils Fork State Park
As you venture through Salem on your next trip to Upcountry South Carolina, be sure to visit Devils Fork State Park. Stretched over 622 acres of pristine SC woodlands, Devils Fork State Park allows you to boat, fishing, hike, bike, and yields a slew of bird watching chances.
Devils Fork State Park opened in 1990 and since has become a landmark for outdoor fun and recreation. Drive in from Seneca – found just south – and experience a day full of excitement. Whether you seek the aquatic adventures Lake Jocassee yields, or if you're looking for the picturesque Jocassee Gorges, you'll find it at Devils Fork State Park.
Jones Gap State Park
Home to a collection of beautiful nature trails, Jones Gap State Park has been delighting visitors of South Carolina's upcountry since it was opened in 1989. Just north of Greenville, vacationers will find eight different hiking trails stretched across nearly 4,000 acres of mountain woodlands.
Nature trails found at the park include the Coldspring Branch, Rainbow Falls Trail, Rim of the Gap, and more, with each trail varying in length and difficulty. Other park amenities include fishing in the Middle Saluda, Matthews, and Julian Creeks, as well as picnicking and birdwatching opportunities.
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
Home to some of the more memorable sights of South Carolina, Keowee-Toxaway State Park offers vacationers an ideal, scenic retreat in upcountry woods. Just north of Seneca, guests are encouraged to traverse one of two hiking trails leading over the naturally-formed bridge, through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and concluding at Keowee Lake. Visitors of the lake enjoy fishing for bass, catfish, crappie, and bream.
Kayaks and canoes are permitted on the lake, with motorized boat access to Lake Keowee located just five miles from the park. There's plenty to do on land as well – bike riding, bird watching, and picnicking are popular activities among park guests as well. Don't forget to visit the gift shop to take a piece of Keowee-Toxaway State Park home with you.
Kings Mountain State Park
Kings Mountain State Park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and remains a favorite destination for upcountry South Carolina travelers.
Located in Blacksburg, the park has fishing lakes, hiking and biking trails, equestrian facilities and a Living History Farm.
The Living History Farm includes a replica of a 19th-century barn, a house, a cotton gin, blacksmith shop, gardens and cows, cats and chickens.
Schedule plenty of time to explore this wonderful park and the adjacent Kings Mountain National Military Park. Travel to nearby Fort Mill for a wonderful experience.
Lake Hartwell State Park
Aquatic recreation abounds at Lake Hartwell State Park. Located just outside of Greenville in upcountry South Carolina, you can't miss the 56,000 acre lake, perfect for fishing and boating with two ramps for easy boat entry.
Lake Hartwell State Park has plenty more to offer visitors who prefer to remain on land. The park also features a basketball court, playground equipment, multiple picnic shelters, and scenic hiking trails that traverse the park grounds.
Oconee State Park
Created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression, Oconee State Park covers over 1,100 acres of scenic South Carolina upcountry. Travelers vacationing near Greenville, make a stop at Oconee State Park and take in the adventurous beauty.
Outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home with fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and much more available year round.
Oconee is the perfect stop for the whole family as well, with playground equipment, a gift shop, swimming, picnic shelters, and wireless internet access. Don't forget to hit links on the 18-hole mini golf course located near the park entrance.
Sadlers Creek State Park
Located in South Carolina's upcountry, Sadlers State Park stretches across nearly 400 acres of scenic land near the town of Seneca. Sadlers State Park offers guests a wide variety of outdoor recreation, set on a peninsula extending into Lake Hartwell. Visitors of the park enjoy the numerous hiking and mountain biking opportunities in the wooded sandhills.
Due to its aquatic location, park guests also utilize the region for fishing, swimming, and boating on Lake Hartwell. Pack a lunch – Sadler State Park has great picnic areas and a pavilion ideal for large gatherings. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife – birdwatching is a very common practice at the park as well.
Table Rock State Park
Set in the South Carolina upcountry, the Table Rock State Park delights visitors with its eye-popping scenery and majestic, natural formations. The wooded park is set across 3,000 acres, located near the town of Greenville. The park receives its namesake from the towering rock formation that appears "table-like", due its flat mountain top.
Aside from the aesthetic beauty, the park provides a variety of outdoor recreation to its guests as well. When you visit the park, you are encouraged to traverse the 80 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Don't forget to bring your lunch and have a scenic South Carolina picnic with Table Rock State Park as your backdrop.
Cheraw State Park
Experience fun under the sun in Upcountry South Carolina when you visit Cheraw State Park. Make the drive in from Latta and explore more than 7,000 acres of wonderful South Carolina parkland. You'll want to fish, boat, or play on Lake Juniper, and golf fans enjoy the Cheraw State Park Golf Course.
Admission to Cheraw State Park is always free, but hours of operation vary by season. If you're traveling with your pets, you'll be happy to know Cheraw State Park is pet-friendly is most open areas. When you head for Lake Juniper, be sure to rent a canoe or kayak – or bring your own, if you have one. There are also hiking and biking trails at Cheraw State Park.
Landsford Canal State Park
Plan a visit to South Carolina and enjoy some time outdoors. Located along the Catawba River in upcountry South Carolina, the Landsford Canal State Park offers visitors a long list of recreational activities and amenities.
You'll find this quaint, scenic nook just south of Fort Mill and a short walk from the shores of Catawba River.
Given its namesake, the park was built to preserve the 19th century canal structures that made Catawba River navigable. Popular activities include hiking, picnicking, nature viewing, and, of course, fishing along the shores of Catawba River.
If you're planning your visit during the months of May to June, you're in luck – the native rocky shoal spider lilly is in full bloom during that time.