Exploring Jones Gap State Park
Jones Gap is a hidden gem nestled in the valleys of upstate South Carolina
Nestled within the valleys of upstate South Carolina is the hidden gem of Jones Gap State Park. The park is often overlooked by its popular neighbors, Table Rock State Park and Caesars Head State Park, which offer mountain-top views of the upstate. However, down in Jones Gap, you get to focus on the details of nature and enjoy the smaller moments. The Middle Saluda River is the heart of the park; carving a tranquil escape into the valley of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. There are dramatic waterfalls, cold trout water, and scenic hiking trails that allow for hours, or even days, of adventure. Located about a half hour from Greenville, Jones Gap is the perfect day trip from the city. The drive from Greenville includes charming farms in the valley and makes the adventure even more enjoyable.
We have many fond memories of hiking to Jones Gap Falls, flying fishing for rainbow trout, and stargazing around our campfire.
One year we spent New Year’s Eve camping next to the Middle Saluda River within the park. It was absolutely freezing outside, but we hauled in plenty of firewood and way too many blankets. We bundled up and sat around the fire enjoying cheap wine and cheese as we watched the stars brighten into a new year. It was complete bliss.
- Cost: $5 per adult, $3 children (Cash Only)
- Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday 8 AM – 6 PM (Get there early – parking is limited)
- Address: Jones Gap State Park, 303 Jones Gap Rd, Marietta SC 29661
- Trails: 60+ miles including the Palmetto Trail
- Food or Beer Nearby: Aunt Sue’s is down Highway 11 and is a great stop for ice cream and snacks. If you’re feeling fancy, then check out Victoria Valley Vineyards.
- Camping: There is a handful of back country camping sites. Plan on reserving them in advance because they can fill up quick.
How to Get There:
If you are coming from Greenville, then you will take 276-West for 19 miles until you reach the F-Mart where you will turn right onto River Falls road. The state park is another 5 miles down the road. It is down the road from River Falls Lodge which is a popular contra dancing location.