Paris Mountain and Croft

Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I try to whittle away on visiting all of South Carolina’s State Parks. This trip I was able to visit both Paris Mountain State Park, and Croft State Park.

I learned some new definitions on the visit to Paris Mountain, the first term being “monadnock”, which is an isolated rock hill, ridge or small mountain that rises abruptly from an otherwise level land area. I drove as far as I could to the top, and after living at sea level for several years – it seemed mighty steep to me. It’s been a while since I climbed a mountain!

This birdhouse model of the bath house at Lake Placid caught my eye. I was looking for a place to move along a painted rock I found at Huntington Beach State Park. You can see it in the first photo, left next to the front door.

Then…the sign with the artist’s name…Robert Holland. How fitting!

The creek under the footbridge was dry, so the stone footings were easy to view and admire the workmanship. The footbridge is a Civilian Conservation Corps-built gem. I learned a second new term, “parkitechture”. From Wikipedia, this refers to “National Park Service rustic – sometimes colloquially called Parkitecture – is a style of architecture that developed in the early and middle 20th century in the United States National Park Service through its efforts to create buildings that harmonized with the natural environment.” The locally-sourced stone and wood was beautiful, and did indeed fit in seamlessly with the surroundings.

One of the joys of visiting parks in the off season is the solitude, the peace and quiet. While a little past peak leaf season, the leaves had smatterings of color, smelled fabulous, and apparently the art of shuffling through the leaves is like riding a bike, because I greatly enjoyed doing so here.

Paris Mountain is the highest spot around Greenville, SC. There is a great Trail Map for downloading. It was a little windy when I visited, precursor to the remnants of Hurricane Nicole coming through. I did the Lake Placid Trail, due to time constraints, it was easy. I drove up as far as Brissy Ridge, and did some of that trail, which was not easy. The views were beautiful, but the leaves on the trail were slippery, it had started to sprinkle a bit.

I only stopped for an hour and a half at Croft State Park on the way back south, after Paris Mountain. Unfortunately I only took one photo at Croft, as the rain had started to become more steady. It was warm though, and I tested out my new Frogg Toggs rain suit, jacket and pants. They worked great, two thumbs up!

Croft State Park is a converted Army training base, and caters to the equestrian enthusiasts. There’s a horse show ring, and camping, and stables. The flowers below were blooming outside the Ranger Station. There are couple of interesting ruins accessible from the extensive trails, this is a park I will need to visit again, with more time dedicated to it. I would love to ride a horse there.

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