May is the perfect time to go on a hike with your family. Fortunately, the Upstate has some great places to spend the day outside.
Table Rock State Park: Table Rock is a great place to enjoy time with your family. Begin your visit with a trip to the nature center, where kids can get a preview of animals that they might see on a hike. There are hiking trails suitable for most skill levels from .7 miles to 4.1 miles. A little playground offers a break from walking for kids. You can rent kayaks or canoes for $5 per hour. My children’s favorite part has always been the swimming area, complete with a high dive. The area has a lifeguard on duty and opens May 27 Tuesdays through Saturdays, weather permitting. 158 Ellison Lane, Pickens.
Paris Mountain State Park: If you want a hike that is close to home, Paris Mountain State Park is a perfect day trip. With 15 miles of hiking and biking trails, you are sure to find one that will satisfy the fitness levels of anyone in your group. Mountain bikes are not allowed on the trails on Saturdays. You can take a break from hiking or biking and stop for a swim in the lake, fishing or a canoe or peddle boat ride. 2401 State Park Road, Greenville.
Dupont National Forest: If you’ve never been to Dupont National Forest, you are in for a treat. The biggest draw to the forest is the gorgeous scenery. It is so beautiful that several movies have been filmed here, most notably, “The Last of the Mohicans” and scenes from “The Hunger Games.” The area boasts 83 miles of trails with beautiful lakes and waterfalls. Recreational activities include hiking, mountain biking, and swimming. 1300 Staton Road, Cedar Mountain, North Carolina.
Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve: The most popular part of the Spartanburg preserve is the Cottonwood Trail. The short trail is a fun place for a quick trail walk or run. Five miles of trails right in the city offer a great place to get away and enjoy nature. Kids will love to search for wild turkey, fox deer, beaver, raccoons and a large variety of birds and reptile, all of which make their home on the property. Signs identify different types of trees and a footbridge over the wetlands allows hikers access to a different environment. Beechwood Drive, Spartanburg.
Croft State Park: This park is best known for horseback riding. However, miles of trails make it an excellent place for hiking or biking. The trails range from an easy .75 mile trail to a 12.6 mile trail. The park also offers an opportunity for fishing and boating. Rentals are available. A playground and picnic area make the park a perfect, close-to-home getaway for the whole family. 450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg.