After we spent months at home we were ready for a mini adventure. The South Carolina State parks system proved, once again, to be a wonderful outlet for our family. Even during the strange quarantine/lockdown time of the global pandemic we were afforded the opportunity for a mini adventure at Jones Gap State Park. IT is life giving to get outside and enjoy nature together as a family. It is who we are.
Jones Gap State Park is located in the upstate of South Carolina, approximately 25 miles North West of Greenville, SC. We planned this particular daytrip with NO stops and we packed a picnic lunch and snacks to take with us. If there is not a global pandemic you should plan a wonderful morning or afternoon inside the park and lunch or dinner in downtown Greenville, which would be ideal. There are campsites available via reservation, but not every campsite allows fires so research accordingly.
The Best Hike In Jones Gap State Park
Jones Gap State Park is an incredibly well maintained park with beautiful shaded trails alongside the ambling Middle Saluda river. If you have the legs and the time we highly encourage you to do the 4 mile roundtrip hike up to Rainbow Falls. You will be in the forest with shade the entire time. It is a beautiful hike, but rated moderate as you will traverse some steep sections with steps. We had our pup with us and he was leading the way with such excitement that we made it to the top in less than 2 hours.
The falls were running really good due to recent rains so we weren’t able to go across them to the other side. We spent about 30 minutes at the falls taking pictures, eating snacks and climbing around reveling in the beauty of the nature around us. We had the falls to ourselves because the park system was regulating entrance into the park, but this is a very popular hike with lots of visitor traffic.
The Jones Gap State Park Visitor Center
The visitors center is a lovely log cabin where you can get trail information, check in for your campsite or get a souvenir from your mini adventure. Here are a few quick facts for your reference, but check out their fabulous website for more thorough information.
- 18 Campsites
- 60 miles of trails
- $6 entry for adults, $3.75 for seniors, $3.50 for children 6-15, FREE for children under 5
- pets allowed ON a leash at all times
- under COVID regulations, parking reservations are required Friday, Saturday, Sunday for $5
- under COVID regulations, park hours are limited to 9 am – 6 pm.
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