Discover the Charm of McPherson Park in Downtown Greenville

By:Marie McAden


By most standards, the historic McPherson Park in downtown Greenville is a neighborhood gem, nestled on 12.5 acres along a wooded creek with scenic walking trails, a nine-hole miniature golf course and shaded playground.

But its proximity to two of the Upstate’s premier urban green spaces — Falls Park and Cleveland Park — makes it easy to overlook.

Greenville’s oldest public park, McPherson has a rich history dating back to 1884, when it was donated to the city of Greenville. For 60 years it served as a venue for political speeches, concerts, cultural events and patriotic rallies. It also was used as a marching training site for Spanish American War and World War I soldiers.

In its heyday as a neighborhood park in the 1950s, it featured a miniature train that carried children around the grounds. The train is long gone, but you can still walk along the paths and narrow concrete bridges once traversed by the railroad cars.

Today, the park’s big draw is the nine-hole miniature golf course, a simple but entertaining carpeted layout shaded by a mix of mature hardwoods. You can bring your own golf club and ball and play any time of the day. Or pick up a loaner from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday from the Sears Recreation Center on the grounds of the park.

McPherson’s outdoor offerings also include two lighted tennis courts, a picnic shelter, a restored bandstand built in the early part of the 20th century and two playgrounds. To get to the shaded playing structure, follow the walking trail along Richland Creek through the woods to the west end of the park.

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