Paris Mountain State Park (4-8-14)
Located only about 5 miles north of Greenville, SC, Paris Mountain State Park encompasses around 1,500 acres of land surrounding one of the many monadnocks which lie along the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in this region. Because of its proximity to Greenville on certain days this park can feel very much urban as people crowd in to camp, fish, and swim. Paris Mountain itself is not all that impressive, only rising to an elevation of around 2,000 feet but it does stand out from the surrounding landscape which averages some 500' lower. The park also has quite a long history, dating back to the mid-1930's. This age can be seen in the many historic structures located within the park, many of which are made of stone and were constructed during the depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Anxious to see the first signs of spring, I decided to descend from my home mountains just to the north for a somewhat greener and warmer hike than I would find locally. Although I managed to pick a nice warm day I was still a bit early for a wide variety of wildflowers and the trees had still only just begun to but. Regardless, it was still a wonderful 7+ mile spring hike. The warm sun, the hint of green, and the conspicuous lack of crowds made this rather unspectacular hike very enjoyable. Come on along...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 34.931264, -82.383582
Route Type: Loop + spur Difficulty: HARD
Hike Length: 7.5 miles Hike Duration: 3:30
Trailhead Temp: 55'F Trail Traffic: 50-100 people
Min. Elevation: 1,150' Max. Elevation: 1,950'
Total Vertical Gain: 1,150' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 153'
Trails Used (blaze Color): Brissy Ridge (yellow), Fire Tower (blue), Fire Tower-Kanuga Connector (unblazed), Kanuga (red)