Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Welcome to Paris Mountain State Park
About Paris Mountain State Park
What is now Paris Mountain State Park traces its beginnings to an innovative plan by the City of Greenville to protect this fragile mountain watershed while supplying the city with water. Four lakes were built between 1890 and 1905 to meet that goal. Then in 1935, the watershed was turned over to the State of South Carolina. The men of the Civilian Conservation Corps soon built more than 50 structures on the site, many of which remain in use to this day, including the park center and Camp Buckhorn. Paris Mountain State Park, now on the National Register of Historic Places, officially opened on June 1, 1937. Then a welcome trip to the country, the 1,540-acre park has not become a valued retreat for the suburban communities around it, offering biking and hiking trails, boating, fishing, swimming and picnicking, as well as educational opportunities and camping.
South Carolina State Park Service Mission
To encourage people to discover South Carolina's state parks by providing resource-based recreational and educational opportunities that emphasize the conservation, protection and interpretation of the state's natural and cultural resources.
Paris Mountain State Park Mission
To provide recreational and educational opportunities emphasizing the cultural
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
Location. 34° 55.6′ N, 82° 22.15′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker can be reached from State Park Road. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of Paris Mountain State Park, at the entrance to the parking lot across from the Park Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 State Park Road, Greenville SC 29609, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. New Life for Old Bathhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Come On In, the Water's Fine! (within shouting distance of this marker); "Mom, Can I Have a Nickle?" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); What's So Special About this Bridge? (about 400 feet away); Open to the Sky (about 700 feet away); The Dam for Reservoir 2 Barracks in the Woods (approx. 0.8 miles away); Sulphur Spring (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Original Water Filter (approx. 0.9 miles away); Bull's Eye! (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .
1. Paris Mountain State Park. A renovated historic bathhouse serves as the new hub of activities at popular Paris Mountain State Park. (Submitted on June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Paris Mountain State Park. Paris Mountain State Park is a park located north of Greenville, South Carolina. (Submitted on June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Paris Mountain State Park Historic District. Paris Mountain is significant for its association with the establishment and development of a system of state parks in South Carolina. (Submitted on June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Civilian Conservation Corps. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program for unemployed men, focused on natural resource conservation from 1933 to 1942. (Submitted on June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
5. Paris Mountain State Park Trail Map (Submitted on June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Paris Mountain invites Wanderers
By Mike Foley
June 16, 2009
Since 1937, Greenville residents have used Paris Mountain State Park as a playground and swimming hole.
Chances are you've been there several times.
But how much do really you know about the 1,540-acre park? To test visitors' knowledge, and to get even more people on the trails, park officials developed a fun, active quiz to test both mind and legs.
The Wayside Wanderer program encourages visitors to seek “waysides,” that is, the signboards that denote historic facts about locations in the park or nature facts. The 15 waysides are spread across the park, although seven of them are clustered near the Park Center and Lake Placid.
“There's a lot of stories to tell about this park,” said Cathy Taylor, the park's Interpretive Ranger. “But everything that happened here was because of water.”
The streams that criss-cross the park were the source of Greenville's first reservoir, now known as the park's
In researching information about the park's origins, Taylor said she found a newspaper article at the library that extolled the virtues and benefits of the second lake.
“The article said the two lakes “‘would provide more water than Greenville would ever need,'” Taylor said. “Within six years, though, they built two more lakes.”
Greenville's unexpected growth outstripped Paris Mountain's ability to provide water, but it led to an unexpected benefit. Table Rock Reservoir was built as a replacement water source, and the water system's land and lakes at Paris Mountain became a state park by June of 1937.
In starting a state park from scratch, the first thing developed was the swimming area at Lake Placid. The Civilian Conservation Corps. built many park structures, including the iconic Park Center, which was originally the park bathhouse.
Taylor said her favorite part of researching park history was interviewing people who were intimately familiar with it.
“I'd call a person out of the blue,” she said, “and end up talking to them for an hour because they had so many stories.”
Many of those stories ended up on the waysides. One wayside near the bathhouse details Lake Placid as
“This was the place for teenagers then,” Taylor said.
Another details a sulphur spring where the water was bottled around 1900 and sold as a medical tonic. And another gives the true history of the firetower once located along the Firetower Spur Trail.
While park attendance has spiked upward in recent years, Taylor wants to encourage more people to visit Greenville's back yard.
“This is another excuse to get out on our trails,” she said about the Wayside Wanderers challenge. “Some people will be able to get to them all in one visit, but I expect it to take most people a few trips.
“I hope this will become as popular as ‘Mice on Main.'”
WANT TO WANDER?
Download a map and find the 15 Wayside Wanderer questions that can only be answered by visiting Paris Mountain State Park's historic and natural markers at: pmspf.org/new/pdf/WaysideQuestions.pdf.
— Submitted June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. About the Paris Mountain State Park Historic District
Paris Mountain State Park is located on the outskirts of the City of Greenville in the Piedmont
The CCC structures are grouped into three main areas, all surrounding or close to lakes. The most concentrated development occurs along the south side of Lake Placid. This section of the park includes picnic spots, the bathhouse, swimming area, amphitheater, athletic field, and park administrative buildings. The area around Sulphur Springs and Mountain Lake includes trails, picnic areas, and the archery
In general, the historic appearance of the park remains largely unaltered. Of the seventy extant man-made elements of the park, approximately seventy percent were constructed during the period of significance. Only three of the original buildings have been moved. Most alterations to the buildings are limited to enclosures, porch additions, and roofing material changes. Non-contributing buildings constructed after the period of significance are located mainly in areas separated from previous development.
The landscape of Paris Mountain State Park is clearly distinct from that of the surrounding area. While suburban development has grown up outside the boundaries of the district, the park remains predominantly undeveloped, essentially a natural area. because the parks design generally faces inward, outside development has not harmed the integrity of the historic district. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
— Submitted June 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • Natural Resources • Notable Places •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 3,551 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 3. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.