Trail running is the perfect evening escape. It allows your mind to wander and it helps you burn the energy of a day at work while being surrounded by natural beauty. In Greenville, we are lucky to have two great trail networks within minutes from downtown. Paris Mountain State Park and Lake Conestee Nature Park both offer well-maintained trails that are ideal for running.
Paris Mountain State Park:
Paris Mountain State Park has been Greenville’s wilderness escape since the 1930’s. It costs a few dollars to enter Paris Mountain State Park, but I suggest getting a state park pass for the year. The park has an easy-to read trail map with trail lengths to help you plan your run. The Lake Placid trail is an easy ¾ mile loop and it is a great starting place for your warm-up (sometimes we stick to this easy trail and run a couple laps). The Lake Placid trail connects to Mountain Creek trail, which goes uphill from the lake for 1.3 miles. There are a couple places along Mountain Creek trail where you can connect to the main road or you can turn around and return to Lake Placid.
Our other favorite path is the Brissy Ridge trail to the Pipsissewa trail which leads to the North Lake. This is definitely more strenuous, roughly 5 miles round-trip with some steep uphills, but the tranquility of North Lake is well worth it.
Running at Lake Conestee feels like a totally different world than downtown Greenville. Lake Conestee Nature Park is located off of Mauldin Rd and it is a lesser known park than Paris Mountain. The nature park has a fairly large network of trails including the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The trails are well labeled and there is a detailed trail map, but they can still be confusing because there are numerous trail junctions. We normally park at off Mauldin Rd by the baseball complex and run over the bridge to River Otter Way. From there we hop onto the Swamp Rabbit trail and connect the smaller side trails until we get tired. All of the trails at Lake Conestee Nature Park are well maintained and reasonably flat minus a few gradual uphills. It is easy to adapt your run to any time frame or skill level since the trails are so inter-connected.
Have fun exploring!