The Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area contains more than 12,000 acres of exceptional mountain habitat in northwestern South Carolina and is composed of Caesars Head State Park, Wild Cat Wayside State Park, and Jones Gap State Park. This area of the Blue Ridge Escarpment ends in an abrupt drop of 2,000 feet to the foothills below, where the state’s Piedmont Region begins. The escarpment creates spectacular waterfalls, and provides a protective environment for rare and endangered plant and animal species. Education at this site strives to foster an understanding and appreciation of the Mountain Bridge, the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Through expert instruction and hands-on field experiences, students can investigate the geology, geography and ecology of the area.
Tim Lee, Interpretive Ranger/Naturalist
Phone: (864) 836-6115
Fax: (864) 836-3081
* Cost includes teachers and one chaperone for every ten students.
Reservations can be made beginning the 2nd week of August for the upcoming school year. Maximum number of students cannot exceed 60 per day. Call or email Tim Lee, Interpretive Ranger/Naturalist at (864) 836-6115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
9:30 a.m. - Arrive at park
Ranger safety talk on bus
Unload with all items needed for the day including lunches
Hike to restrooms and Learning Center
Use the restroom
10:00 a.m. - Introduction
Students are divided into two equal-sized groups. Each group may only have up to 30 students.
10:30 AM – 12:00 Noon
Noon - 12:30 p.m. - Lunch
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Group B River Ecology Study
Group A Forest Ecology Study
2:00 p.m. - Depart
One chaperone per 10 students is required and chaperone admission is included in the program cost. Additional chaperones must pay park admission.
The Learning Center for the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area is located at Jones Gap State Park which is northwest of Greenville, South Carolina off U.S. Highway 276.
Jones Gap State Park
303 Jones Gap Road
Marietta, SC 29661
From Greenville: Take Hwy 276 through Travelers Rest, Marietta and Cleveland. Approximately two miles N. of Cleveland turn right at park sign onto River Falls Road. Stay on River Falls Rd. until the name changes to Jones Gap Road. The park is six miles off Hwy. 276.
Park personnel will meet you at the parking lot entrance. Please keep all students on the bus until further instructions are given
The Learning Center includes a large classroom/meeting room and a separate laboratory. Students will hike ¼ of a mile on uneven terrain from the parking area to the learning center. Large, heavy coolers are not recommended. Restroom facilities and a single water fountain are located between the parking area and the Learning Center.
The Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area is a Project Green area. As part of “Leave No Trace”, the park has no trash cans. All park visitors are asked to pack out whatever they bring in. Visiting schools are asked to bring trash bags to take back all of the trash produced from lunch and snacks.
Option: To allow students to participate in a real “Leave No Trace” experience, have students pack their lunches in their backpacks (book bags) and carry their own lunch and their own trash out!
Temperatures at Jones Gap could be 10°F cooler than the Piedmont region. Programs are conducted outside on unpaved surfaces and walking surfaces can be uneven. Participants should dress for the weather and wear closed-toed shoes with socks.
What to Bring to Jones Gap State Park
Additional for Teachers
Fire ants, yellow jackets, mosquitoes and bees are a part of the ecosystem at the park. Teachers should be aware of their presence and bring a first-aid kit with them during their field trip.
While a single water fountain is available on the grounds, we recommend all students bring water bottles.