Source: Greenville News (April 22, 2018) – Last spring, I invited Dr. Patrick McMillan, Hilliard Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson and Director of the SC Botanical Garden, to speak at one of Upstate Forever’s events. He urged us all to take a moment to be awed by our region’s natural wonders, and to appreciate how beautiful — and unusual — the Upstate truly is.
For instance, anyone who’s watched the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains knows the area is breathtaking. But did you know that the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment may have more species of trees than the entire continent of Europe? Or that it’s home to more trillium, wild ginger plants, and salamanders per square inch than anywhere else in the world?
The Escarpment is an ecological marvel, and it’s right in our backyard. In fact, there are so many gems — hidden or otherwise — within striking distance of Greenville. We’re truly spoiled for choice.
Within minutes, you can travel from the bustling streets of downtown Greenville to Lake Conestee Nature Park and enter a completely different world.
Drive a bit further and you can visit Nine Times Forest, a special place in Pickens County. An ecological jewel, this 1,648-acre property contains stunning granite outcroppings.
If you haven’t spent time on one of our beautiful local rivers lately, you’re missing out. In less than an hour, you can be paddling on the Upper Saluda, fishing in the Broad, or picnicking by the Reedy.
The list of “local gems” goes on. Falls Park. The GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail. Stumphouse Mountain and Issaqueena Falls. Greenbrier Farms. Ramsey Creek Preserve. Berry’s Mill Pond.
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