Discover Nature Paris Mountain State Park

Paris Mountain State Park is located six miles north of downtown Greenville. It encompasses 1,700 acres of forest, streams and lakes, including Lake Placid, which was created in 1898 to provide drinking water for the city of Greenville. Most park structures were created in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The park is designated as a Discover Carolina site, making education a top priority, and recognizing that the park’s location in the city of Greenville makes it an ideal destination where students can learn about our natural world. The efforts of the Paris Mountain State Park Friends make much of this possible.

The programs have been awarded their Discover Carolina designation by national board certified teachers, in cooperation with the S.C. Department of Education. Ranger Cathy Taylor is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Greenville County Science Teachers Association.

Program Goals

  • Foster understanding of S.C. science standards through hands-on STEM-based learning that is fun!
  • Include students in real field studies of Paris Mountain, where data collected is shared with other scientists.
  • Foster an understanding of and appreciation for the natural resources found in the piedmont of South Carolina.
  • Help students make connections between the natural world and themselves.
  • Encourage creative thinking using a problem-solving approach.
  • Encourage stewardship of South Carolina’s natural resources.

Contact Details

Cathy Taylor, Interpretive Ranger
(864) 244-5565
ctaylor@scprt.com

Field Trips

Programs are available Monday through Thursday, Sept 4—November, and March 1—May.

  • Life Cycling - 2nd grade

Standards: 2.L.5 (2.L.5A, 2.L.5A.1, 2.L.5A.2, 2.L.5A.3). 2.L.5B 
As ‘Biologists,’ students conduct life cycle field investigations in a creek and on land, as they collect animals, measure water/air temperature and measure the length of animals from the creek. To collect animals, students wade into Mountain Creek while wearing rubber boots. In the park lab, these animals are made larger than life with the park microscopes. Emphasis is on classifying and comparing animals according to life cycle stages, metamorphosis, and the need for habitat in all stages of life. Program length: 2 hours. In addition to this program, students will go on a 1 1/2 hour Life Cycling Hike around Lake Placid. Available for 1 or 2 classes per day, with picnic lunch time between programs. Total time at park: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

  • Aquatic Ecology and Forest Ecology - 5th grade

Standards: 5.L.4 (5.L.4A, 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4A.2), 5.L.4B (5.L.4B.1). 
As ‘Aquatic Ecologists,’ students conduct field investigations to determine water quality in this forested watershed. To investigate biotic factors, students wear rubber boots, and collect organisms in Mountain Creek. Students also measure the abiotic factors of temperature and pH. In the park lab, the class will view their creek finds under the microscope, and use all their data to assess the water quality at Paris Mountain State Park. Program length: 2 hours. In addition to this program, students will go on a 1 1/2 hour hike around Lake Placid as ‘Forest Ecologists,’ culminating with a one-square meter investigation of the forest. Available for 1 or 2 classes per day, with picnic lunch time between programs. Total time at park: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Cost

  • 1 - 25 students - $125
  • 26 - 40 students - $200
  • 41 - 50 students - $300

How to Book

Registration takes place the first Monday in August. Email Interpretive Ranger Cathy Taylor any time from the Saturday prior until 9 a.m. on the first Monday in August.  The schedule will be made based on the emails that have come in during that time period.

Please provide the following information:  how many classes, estimate of how many students per class and preferred date range. 

After that day, email ctaylor@scprt.com to inquire about registering, or call the park office at 864-244-5565.

Chaperones

One chaperone per five students is recommended.  There is no set minimum or maximum.

Directions to Field Trip Location

Paris Mountain State Park is located at 2401 State Park Road, Greenville, SC 29609, six miles north of downtown Greenville.  We meet at the picnic flats parking lot (first lot that is on the left).

Facilities Available

Students who come to Paris Mountain State Park will have access to the picnic flats for lunch, restrooms, and Park Center which includes an ecology lab and exhibit hall.

What to Wear

Dress for the weather and wear closed-toe shoes.