Paris Mountain State Park

On Sunday October 2nd we decided to meet up with our daughter at Paris Mountain State Park. We met up at the first parking lot after the entrance to the park, near Lake Placid. While we were waiting for our daughter to arrive, I studied an interesting bridge with stone columns, apparently a civilian conservation corps project from the 1930s.

Since this was our first visit to this park, we let our daughter lead the way. The first part of our hike was the Lake Placid Loop. At the far end of the loop was a dam and a pretty wooden bridge. The stone dam was built in 1898 by the Paris Mountain Water Company and was originally known as Reservoir #2. We visited the first dam at Mountain Lake, later in our journey. After we crossed the bridge, this far side of the loop had better views of the lake. As my daughter and husband walked ahead of me, I became distracted by something on a fallen tree in the water. I had to call them back to that spot to show them the large (for me anyway) black snake sunning itself on the tree.

Once we finished the loop, my daughter directed us to another trail. I believe it was the Mountain Creek Trail. We passed through the amphitheater where concerts were held throughout the year. In fact, we were supposed to have attended a concert the day before, but with the Hurricane coming through those plans were cancelled. There were a few uphill sections where I lagged far behind the others but they eventually paused and waited for me to catch up.

The Mountain Creek Trail ended at the Sulphur Springs parking area. We walked a little way into the woods and paused to study a small creek near the trail. Nearby, I found an interesting yellow flower which I thought might be some form of Hawkweed, but later identification pinned it as a Maryland Golden Aster. Later I would discover that the little red flowers shown here were part of a Strawberry Bush.

Pretty soon, our journey took us past some sort of gazebo in the middle of the woods. From the gazebo, I could see a spider web in the trees occupied by a huge yellow and black spider. They sure made them big here in South Carolina. The lighting wasn’t right for me to get a photo, so unfortunately, I was unable to identify it.

Continuing up the Sulphur Spring Trail (the hikers only section), we soon made it to the Mountain Lake dam. This dam and valve house was built around 1890 by the Paris Mountain Water Company. While my husband examined the valve house and walked up the steps towards the reservoir, I decided to stay on level ground and watched the water flowing down to the ravine below.

We decided that this was as far as we wanted to go and made our way back towards the parking area. Since we were leaving Greenville the next day, we said our goodbyes to our daughter and wished her well, before heading back to town.


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