Greenville’s Root Tree Is Mother Nature’s Work of Art

By:Marie McAden


The beautiful Reedy River Falls may be the centerpiece — and namesake — of Greenville’s Falls Park, but a common American beech is making a play for the park’s photo hot spot.

Precariously perched at the top of a steep embankment, the tree has held its ground for some 70 years by extending its roots all over the hillside like wavy locks of hair. The twisted, thick tendrils have earned it the moniker of Medusa tree after the beautiful priestess in Greek mythology whose golden hair was turned into snakes. But most people just call it the root tree.

By any name, it’s a natural attraction that has quickly gained star status. With its exposed roots extending to the sidewalk below, it serves as a popular backdrop for selfies and family photos.

On weekends, it’s not unusual to find a crowd gathered in front of the arboreal artwork, marveling at Mother Nature’s ingenuity. Located alongside the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail, the tree draws more than just park visitors. Runners and cyclists often stop and pull out their cell phones to take photos of the crazy root system.

You’ll find the root tree on the south side of the river near a pedestrian bridge connecting to Furman College Way.

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