Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is primarily accessible via the Skyline Drive, which is sort of like the Blue Ridge Parkway except there is a fee to access it. If you want to see wildlife, this is the place to see it. The deer are so friendly they sit within a few feet of the trails. The bear are also abundant but a bit more shy..fortunately. If you want a good meal and a good beer check out Big Meadows Lodge or Skyland Resort.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 400 miles

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Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls, located just a few miles from Tallulah Gorge makes for a great easy little hike. The trail follows Panther Creek passing several smaller falls along the way. There are also several great campsites located by the creek. Following the trail past the falls is also a nice but much more strenuous.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 82 Miles

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Clingman's Dome

Clingman's Dome is the second highest peak east of the Mississippi (next to Mt. Mitchell) and the highest peak in Tennessee. Located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you can drive within a half mile of the lookout tower at the summit, although that half mile is a doozy. If you would like a little more scenery and solitude on the way up, the Appalachian Trail runs just below the lookout. (I started at Indian Gap, six miles north on the AT, and found it to be a beautiful section.) This is also the beginning of North Carolina's Mountain's to Sea trail. There are a couple of shelters within 2-4 miles available for camping although, one of them (Mt. Collins shelter) is currently closed due to "aggressive bear activity."

On the way out of the park I was fortunate enough to see two elk, a rare sighting in this part of the country.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 129

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Saturday Afternoon Ghost Hunting

After posting my trip to the haunted "children's" graveyard, I've continued to receive hits from others interested in the ghosts of the Carolinas. This has piqued my interest in the topic.

My pal Tom over at Random Connections, read my post then did his own investigation of the graveyard, posting a much more detailed analysis. (Tom and I have never actually met but we share a lot of the same interests.) Yesterday Tom posted a review about a new book by local author John Boyanoski titled More Ghosts of the Upstate. This is a sequal to his first book Ghosts of the Upstate. I picked up the sequel last night, not having read the original. Despite being a total skeptic (and a bit of a cynic) about such things, today I decided to go check out some of these so-called haunted sites for myself, partially using the book as a guide and in large part using the Google Earth KMZ file created by Tom.

It was an enlightening day. The creepiest location by far was the Alston/Honour House, primarily because the ghost of Aaron Burr's daughter who inhabits the residence appears to have really odd taste in landscaping and she apparently collects ice cream trucks as well. The top image is the site of the lynching of Willie Earle. He supposedly haunts the area, but I didn't see him.

The second image is from the Colony Theatre in Easley. I didn't see any ghosts there either but I did pick up Boyanoski's first book at a swanky little bookstore nearby. I didn't realize Easley had anything that was swanky, but across the street from the book store I also discovered a really nice little pizza joint.

In Abbeville I discovered the best evidence yet for the existence of ghosts. I didn't actually see any but Abbeville itself is a virtual ghost town. I've never understood what keeps it going. Practically everything was closed, which is typically the case when I'm there, and many buildings are vacant, yet somehow the town lives on. I had hoped to have a beer in the tavern located in the basement of the Belmont Inn (seen on the left) but it was closed...on a Saturday night. The Belmont is supposedly overrun with ghosts. Maybe they don't like to work on Saturday evenings.

From there I ventured over to the Abbewood Bed and Breakfast which supposedly has a ghost who was released after a hidden room in the inn was discovered. But it appeared to be a private residence so I wasn't able to enter it either. I also snapped a shot of the Abbeville Opera house which supposedly houses a mysterious patron who materializes in the upper balcony.

On second thought, maybe the dozen or so people I saw walking around the square in Abbeville were all spirits from beyond.  Wow, they looked so real, well except for one guy.

By far the most interesting place I explored was the Fox & Hound Pub located in the Inn on the Square in Greenwood. I was pleased to find that this pub had a great atmosphere with paneled walls, leather chairs, good food and a full bar. According to Boyanoski's latest book, the inn is haunted by Bill, a real prankster. Unlike most ghosts, Bill doesn't know how to walk through walls so sometimes he gets locked in the pub causing him to bang on the doors. Rumor has it that Bill likes to tap newcomers on the shoulder and watch them jump, so I was a bit disappointed that by the time I finished my dinner Bill had not bothered to introduce himself to me. Turning to leave though I discovered the most chilling sight of my day. Before me, larger than life, was solid evidence that things were oddly amiss in this dark little pub. A strange glow was coming from one of the pub walls. I started to dismiss it as the work of an overactive imagination, but as I looked closer I could not deny what I saw coming from the glowing object. Flordia 30 - Tennessee 6.  If strange things were not afoot in that little bar then someone please explain to me how a washed up team like UT managed to score against the Gators.

I must admit, I'm now a little less skeptical.

Distance from downtown Greenville:
1-60 miles.

Asheville Pub Crawl

If you like good craft beer, Asheville not only has a great variety but it's a great place to wander from pub to pub.

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Distance from downtown Greenville: 63 miles.

Greenville Skate Parks

Unlike cities such as Nashville, Austin, San Antonio and even Saluda, NC, Greenville has no public skate parks.  But there are a couple of really nice privately own indoor skate parks

Skatepark of Greenville is located in the Mauldin area.

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No Name Skate Park is located in the Roper Mountain Road area.

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