Wandering Around Furman!
Do you love exploring nature? Or love to go on adventures with your friends? Well, Furman University’s South Carolina campus is situated close to many lookout points, waterfalls, hiking trails, and mountains! You probably know that Furman is near the beautiful city of Greenville and a few minutes from the cozy town of Travelers Rest, but you probably don’t know that Furman is also within minutes of numerous amazing natural attractions! Whether you enjoy getting your feet a little dirty and going on a hike, or just taking a quick drive up a mountain to a lookout point, there’s something for you. We even have a mountain right in our backyard! I’ll give you a few of the “secret” spots in nature that Furman students love; let’s get wandering!
Paris Mountain State Park
I mentioned that Furman has a mountain in its backyard, and it does! Paris Mountain is highly visible from Furman’s campus, and it’s easy to see it from the Furman Mall, Paladin Football Stadium, or even North Village! In addition to being able to enjoy the view of the mountain right on campus, Paris Mountain State Park (Greenville, SC) is a short drive away. It’s very popular for students to drive a short 15 minutes to a stunning lookout point, Paris Mountain Lookout!
From this spot, you can see Furman’s campus — including the famous bell tower — and downtown Greenville all at once. Even if you’re not feeling like getting out and enjoying the view, the Paris Mountain Drive is a Furman favorite; if you’re just want to take a pretty drive and listen to some good music with your friends, take a quick drive up the mountain!
Paris Mountain and Furman (left); the Belltower from Paris Mountain (right)
Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
Another Furman favorite is Bald Rock Heritage Preserve (Cleveland, SC). This is a lookout point about 30 minutes from Furman’s campus. It’s a giant rock you can stand on and see miles of mountains!
Because Bald Rock is in the direction of Travelers Rest, one Furman tradition is to grab food in Travelers Rest — at Sidewall, Farmhouse Tacos, or Swamp Rabbit Cafe for example — and bring it to the lookout point for a picnic! I’ve done this with my friends, and it’s a wonderful experience; you get some good food, some quality time with those you love, and an amazing view all at once! I would definitely say that Bald Rock is very popular among Furman students, and it’s a wonderful place to stop by when the sun is setting, too!
Bald Rock (left); Furman students at Bald Rock (right)
Table Rock State Park
If you’re looking for a bit more of a hiking challenge, Table Rock State Park (Pickens, SC) is the place for you. About 30 minutes from Furman’s campus, Table Rock includes waterfalls, an exciting and beautiful hiking trail, and many different lookout points! Also, you definitely don’t have to do the entire trail; there are many wonderful waterfalls to see and experience along the way!
Pretty Place — officially known as Fred W. Symmes Chapel — is well-known among Furman students and the larger Greenville Community as well. Pretty Place is a chapel and lookout point located about an hour from Furman’s campus in Cleveland, SC. No matter your religious or spiritual affiliations, this is a beautiful spot to witness the mountains and spend time with loved ones; all are welcome! I know this is a popular spot to visit on a special occasion — a birthday, an anniversary, or a club trip! Many Furman students will wake up before sunrise just to see this breathtaking viewTable Rock State Parkwhich says a lot because we’re college students who love to sleep! Definitely check this one out during sunrise if you can wake yourself up in time.
Pretty Place (left); Furman students at Pretty Place (right)
Though there are many lookout points and easily accessible views, there are also many mountains in South Carolina that Furman students have nearby! One such mountain, Sassafras, is the highest point in South Carolina at about 3,554’ in elevation! It’s only an hour away from Furman, and I’ve hiked this with my family before. Would definitely recommend!
One of lookout points on Sassafras (left); Sassafras trip! (right)
Find Your Favorites!
So, I’ve mentioned a few examples of natural attractions, lookout-points, and mountains near Furman’s campus; these are some Furman favorites! But, there are SO many more trails and experiences to choose from, including the Blue Ridge Mountains and Foothills Trail! If you’re a nature-lover — and even if you’re not — I would definitely encourage you to check out all of the nature in and around Furman; it’s honestly endless! And, when you come to Furman as a student, make sure to take the classic Paris Mountain Drive with your new friends. Make sure to find your favorite spots near Furman!
Have fun wandering
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