Symmes Chapel at Pretty Place

By:Page Ivey


Symmes Chapel at Pretty Place offers visitors breathtaking views of the Carolina mountains. It is a church with regular Sunday services, but because of its open-air venue, it really is one of a kind.

The sanctuary sits atop Standing Stone Mountain in Greenville County. The vista it offers is the rolling hills of the Carolinas. It is just past the YMCA camp in Cleveland (100 YMCA Camp Road) and is open daily for those hardy enough to brave the twists and turns of a gravel mountain road.

Built in 1941 by Fred Symmes, the chapel was donated to the YMCA Camp Greenville and is open to the public on most days. It seats about 300 worshippers and is used for services for campers.

It is a very popular place for weddings because of the stunning backdrop behind the altar, so it is booked most Saturdays. Worship services are held here on Sundays. The chapel also is closed for special events, so you might want to call ahead if you are going to be sure it is open because it is a bit of a drive.

Most folks come up to commune with nature, pray, meditate or simply get some fresh mountain air. Please remember to be respectful of those around you while you visit. And, no smoking, alcohol or pets are allowed. It is a church, after all. (Note: There are no restroom facilities available at the chapel from Nov. 1 thru March 24.)

For more information or to make sure the chapel is open to the public, call (864) 836, 3291, Ext. 100, or email.

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