Jones Gap State Park

Jones Gap is great place for a picnic, a hike or primitive camping.

The Jones Gap Trail runs along the Upper Saluda River which is a beautiful river and home to brook and rainbow trout. It leads to a small waterfall as well as to a number of other more difficult trails.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 25 miles

View Larger Map

Max Patch

Max Patch is a bald mountain located on the NC/TN border offering 360 degree panoramas. It can be reached through a variety of trails or you can simply drive to it via NC road 148. (Take exit 7 from I40.) It also offers plenty of good camping spots.

The Appalachian Trail runs across the top of Max Patch.

Click image to see larger view of 360 Pan of Max Patch.

Here are two of the hiking options:
From Brown Gap via the AT
To Lemon Gap

There's a nice loop that can be hiked from Brown Gap via the Cherry Creek Trail. Pick up a copy of Appalachian Trail maps #3 & #4 or National Geographic Topo map #782 to find other options.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 105 Miles

View Larger Map

Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park is one of the nicest state parks around. It has two nice lakes with canoes, paddleboats and rowboats for rent. One of the lakes has a small beach and is open for swimming during the summer months.

It also has some great trails of varying degrees of difficulty.

It has two RV/tent campgrounds, as well as primitive walk-in campsites and some very nice (although rustic) cabins for rent. One of the great things about the cabins is that they have large stone fireplaces that (unlike many cabins) burn real wood.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 32 miles.

View Larger Map

Victoria Valley Vineyards

Over the last decade, the Blue Ridge Mountain range has quietly become a home to dozens and dozens of wineries. The highest concentration of Carolina vineyards can be found in the Yadkin Valley. Sadly though most of these east coast wines leave much to be desired and in addition are over-priced. Knowing this, my wife and I didn't expect much when we stumbled across the Victoria Valley Vineyards, but we were pleasantly surprised. We tasted 12 different wines and found them all to be quite good.

They also serve lunch and dinner and host various local musical acts.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 29 miles

View Larger Map

South of the Border

If the words cheap, tawdry, and dayglo fluorescent conjure positive images in your mind, then South of the Border is the place for you. Located just south of the North Carolina Border on I-95, SotB is the prime stop for the best kitsch in the state. From fireworks to bumper stickers to tacos you wouldn't feed your neighbor's pitbull, this place has it all. And if you just can't get enough in one day, a campground and several motels are located within walking distance of the the shops, miniature golf course and amusement park.

View Larger Map
Distance from downtown Greenville: 214 miles.