Camping at Paris Mountain State Park SC (Part 1)

This coming Monday, May 4th, is my oldest child’s birthday so we decided to celebrate by visiting the 11th annual Reedy River Duck Derby held on May 2 in the Falls Park of downtown Greenville, SC. 

What? Never heard of the Duck Derby you say? 

Well, suspense is good for the soul. 🙂

We also decided to make a full weekend of it and camp out from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon at nearby Paris Mountain State Park, just 20 minutes from the heart of Greenville. 

This beautiful park is hilly, very shady, and is perfect for tent campers (RV’ers beware though, the road curves are steep). There is the typical park information center with tshirts, a gorgeous lake (beach swimming opens Memorial Day), a playground, and many meandering miles of well kept trails of various difficulties! 


 Now with kids, I like to know what our campsite is like before we arrive.  Reviews from Trip Advisor and have yet to steer me wrong in finding a large, private comfortable site! Our site this weekend, #14, has a tent pad large enough for our 10’x20′ family tent, picnic table, fire ring,  electricity, water, parking, is set far back from the campground road, and it backs up to woods with a trail head. The kids were immdiately in love with it and they began playing ball, shooting arrows with Jack’s plastic bow, and collecting bugs while Kevin and I set up the tent. 

Speaking of tents, putting together a large tent is sometimes gruesome. Halfway through it, I stood up and heard someone close by actually laugh at me. 

“HA HA!” they said. 

I looked around. Then the kids were laughing at a role poly a few feet away.  Then, there it was again..a different laugh….up above me. A black mocking bird was sitting directly overhead, uh, mocking us. The kids laughed again. 

“HA HA!” the mockingbird said again. 

He continued to HA HA at us as we HA HA’ed at him for the next few minutes. Then he grew tired of our shenanigans and flapped away. Probably to save Katniss. 

After striking camp we drove back over to the main park center area and took a .8 mile hike around the perimeter of Lake Placid. 



As this was one of their easy trails I wasn’t expecting much more than lovely lake views – but as we neared the midway point we got a pleasant surprise! 

A large waterfall cascaded over the dam of Lake Placid and spilled over rocks and under a bridge. The watery breeze alone was enough to put me on cloud 9 for the next few hours. Not to mention the beauty of it!



After such a pleasant Friday evening hike, we ended up back at our campsite tired and ready for dinner. 

A crackling campfire, hotdogs cooked over coals, baked beans, doritos, s’mores, ghost stories,  a chapter from Thorton Burgess Animal book – and even an unwelcome visit from a pesky raccoon who walked right up to our campfire twice (the nerve!) – rounded out our first night at Paris Mountain State Park. 





Published by Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.

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