Countdown Greenville

34°50'49.14"N, 82°25'56.03"W

Distance from downtown Greenville: 1 mile.

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Gorges State Park

A new state park is in the process of opening in North Carolina. Gorges State Park borders South Carolina near Lake Jocassee. The park staff opened one trail this past week called Rainbow Falls trail. To reach the trail, enter the park from Hwy 281 in Sapphire, NC and drive a couple miles to the parking area.

In addition to Rainbow Falls (pictured above) this 1.5 mile trail will take you past three other waterfalls. Rainbow Falls is easy enough to find. You can't miss it. Afterward climb the trail running to the top of the falls which will take you to two smaller falls. On the way back, you will pass two small unmarked trails on your right about half way back. Take the second one to Stair Step Falls.

I spoke to a park ranger who said they expect most of the park to be opened in two weeks. By the end of the summer a primitive campground featuring six campsites will also be opened as part of another four falls trail system.

A map of the area is available here from the Romantic Asheville website.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 62 miles.

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Turkey Pen Gap

Located in Pisgah Forest, Turkey Pen Gap offers camping, hiking and mountain biking along the South Mills River. Horses are also allowed along some of the trails. Despite a rather treacherous road into the area, there is plenty of parking for single vehicles and horse trailers.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 52 miles.

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Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail - Update

Without a doubt the Google search that brings the most people to this blog is "Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail" so today I decided to follow up on a post I made here about a year ago. On Friday the Swamp Rabbit had it's official opening kicking off the event with a 5K run.

So today my youngest son and I decided again to see if we could get from our house to Traveler's Rest via the trail. I mentioned in a previous post that the last time we came to a dead end in the Cripple Creek community when we reached this point.

I had been told by someone who should know better than anyone that the trail continued on Washington Street, so we attempted the route shown below. We also met a nice couple who had run the 5K on Friday and were as eager as we were to find the path to TR.

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At first this lead us through a narrow foot path where we came across the abandoned building below. The couple plowed on and and a few minutes later we followed.

Eventually we came to Hwy 183 (Pete Hollis Blvd.) and we all decided it might be best to take it back to Main St. as there was no sign of where the trail might continue.

In our various adventures, my sons and I have come across a lot of interesting things from bears, to alligators, to weirdo cults and there's hardly a weekend during the the summer months we don't see a snake or two, but I don't think I'll be taking them back on this path for awhile. Although I suspect I'll be attempting it again myself before long. Perhaps I'll start from the TR end.

Best Pubs in Western, NC

This excludes the pubs in the city of Asheville, which can be found here.

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