5 Fun Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors in Spartanburg

By:Marie McAden

Date:4/29/2015

Tucked among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Spartanburg, South Carolina has no shortage of opportunities to get outdoors for a little fun time. You won’t have to travel far from its historic downtown to paddle a river, hike through the woods, bike on a rail trail or take a leisurely walk in a beautiful urban garden. It’s no wonder the “Hub City” has been described as one big playground.

Here are five great ways to enjoy the outdoors in Spartanburg:

1. Paddle the Pacolet River and Lawson’s Fork Creek Blueway.

This 50-mile scenic stretch of river features a section of Class I and II rapids, along with plenty of slow-moving water for those who prefer an easy float trip. The best place to launch is at Clifton Park and Beach located just below the Clifton Mill No. 2 dam. Its sandy shoreline is popular with both kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders.

2. Visit Croft State Park.

The park’s 7,000 acres of rolling, wooded terrain feature 35 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The two-mile Nature Trail loop takes you to the picturesque rocky shoals of Fairforest Creek where you can wade in the water or enjoy a picnic lunch.

3. Venture along the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail.

Once part of the old Norfolk Southern railroad line, this 1.9-mile urban multiuse rail trail passes restaurants, shops and recreational facilities, such as the Pine Street YMCA and Hot Spot Skate Park, on its way to downtown Spartanburg. Bike rentals are available from the B-cycle bike share station at the trailhead on Union and East Henry streets.

4. Stroll through Hatcher Garden.

Take a break from the city center and enjoy a leisurely stroll through 10 acres of beautifully maintained woodlands. Paved and natural paths allow visitors to explore a collection of specialty gardens featuring conifers, wildflowers, medicinal plants and hostas.

5. Explore the Glendale Shoals Preserve.

The centerpiece of the 13-acre park is Lawson’s Fork Creek and the dam that sends water tumbling over the rocks scattered shore to shore. Rock outcroppings near the dam are so wide and flat; you can walk within a few feet of the waterfall. A shady walking trail runs along the north bank of the creek. 

Related Content

10 of the Best Bike Trails in South Carolina
Whether you’re in the South Carolina mountains or along the coast, there are lots of great bike trails for you to follow. And don’t think you have to leave the kids behind, either. These paved bikeways are smooth enough for everyone.
5 Kick-Butt Mountain Biking Trails
Long climbs, steep switchbacks and tricky creek crossings are some of the challenges you’ll find on five of the toughest mountain biking trails in South Carolina.
Pacolet Blueway Offers Fun for Every Level of Paddler
The new Pacolet & Lawson’s Fork Blueway offers paddlers 50 miles of scenic waterway through rural Spartanburg County. While most of the river is slow moving, there is a fun section of fun Class II rapids.
Enjoy a Quiet Day at Hatcher Garden
Hatcher Garden offers visitors a lovely spot to read a book, have a picnic lunch or get lost in nature. Benches sit throughout the preserve - along soothing streams and under the shade of trees - to rest and enjoy Mother Nature’s handiwork.
Recreation at Croft State Park
Walking along the rocky shoals of Fairforest Creek in Croft State Park, it’s hard to imagine it was once a military training field. Today, visitors enjoy hiking, biking and horseback riding on the park’s wooded trails and fishing in Lake Craig.
South Carolina gardens offer beauty, serenity, blooms
With an abundance of days that are warmed by the golden Carolina sun, the state is a haven for horticultural enthusiasts. Thanks to the regional enthusiasm for flowers and shrubs there are many public gardens to enjoy around the state.

Featured Products

Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve
Mountains

Spartanburg

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
This 10-acre public garden features a series of ponds, walking trails, and an abundance of perennials and shrubs. The garden also has two quarter-mile paved paths that ar ...
Croft State Park
Mountains

Spartanburg

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Croft State Park is a big park with lots to do. A green retreat in the heart of fast-growing Spartanburg County, the park offers more than 17 miles of bik ...
City of Spartanburg
Mountains

Spartanburg

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Spartanburg is known for its Revolutionary War battles, as well as a rich textile and agricultural history ...

Featured products and attractions in "5 Fun Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors in Spartanburg"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}