Top Five Outdoor Adventure Spots in Greenville, SC

Although the slow-paced southern lifestyle may be what you first notice in Greenville, SC, adrenaline junkies will delight in the adventure opportunities outdoors as well. Just a short drive from town, you can bike down a mountain, embark upon any number of water activities, or hike through the wilderness. Get ready to embark on some experiences to remember.

1. Mountain Biking at Paris Mountain
With the best mountain biking in the state, just a hop, skip, and a jump from town, Paris Mountain offers almost 12 miles of mountain-biking trails. The Mountain Creek and Sulphur Springs trails are especially good choices for bikers. Sulphur Springs trail even has berms.

2. Hike the Palmetto Trail
Eventually, this trail will take you from high in the Blue Ridge Mountains down to the Atlantic Ocean. It's not fully complete, but there are still long stretches worth adventuring. Check out The Middle Saluda passage, 13.9 miles of waterfalls and stark elevation changes. This section of the trail connects existing trails through Jones Gap and Caesars Head State Parks. Catch a glance of Raven Cliff Falls, a 420-foot highlight of the trail.

3. Explore the Blue Ridge Escarpment
If you're not quite ready to embark on the full 14 miles of the Palmetto Trail, there is still plenty to discover along the Blue Ridge Escarpment, the area where the mountains visibly become foothills. Head to Table Rock State Park to get in on the action, as well as the 11,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness area, which includes Jones Gap and Caesars Head. Find lovely streams, lakes, and diverse mountain landscapes to keep you interested.

4. Raft the Chatooga River
Designated by Congress as a "Wild and Scenic" river, the free-flowing Chatooga will inspire your wild side. It begins in the Sumter National Forest in North Carolina before flowing southwest toward the South Carolina and Georgia border. This river became famous for its appearance in the movie "Deliverance." Water levels vary depending on rainfall, so choose Spring or early Summer for the most raging rapids.

5. Rappel the Falls of the Green River
Near neighboring Saluda, NC, the Green River offers ample adventure for everyone. Raft the Upper Green River, one of the steepest commercially-run rivers in the Southeast, complete with two class IV rapids. Or, try your hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding. You can also rappel down the Little Bradley waterfall or the 200-foot Big Bradley Falls. It's a thrill-seeker's dream come true. You'll start with a 1-mile hike up the falls, then practice on a 30-foot rappel before attempting the big one. And, don't look down!

Jannan Poppen is a freelance writer in Greenville, SC. She's an explorer at heart and will try just about anything once.