Just Add Water

Message From The Director

Summertime is here! Well, not officially, but the warm temperatures and the crowds at the parks tell us that it is indeed that time of year! So, it’s time to plan for that trip to one of your state parks. Whether it’s an overnight trip or just a day trip, remember to pack those little additions that help make a trip into a memory - sleeping bags, flashlights, fishing poles, hiking sticks, cameras, marshmallows and trail mix! And when you add a little water, you’ve got all the right ingredients for a perfect trip.

With 71% of our planet being covered by it, water plays a critical role in our everyday lives. Why should it be any different with a trip to a state park? Adding water just makes sense.

So let’s add some water with the obvious. Boating, kayaking, fishing and swimming quickly come to mind. The splashes, those unforgettable sounds and that ever-present urge to get wet! And did I mention the memories you’ll make. Then there’s the not so obvious.

Those activities or moments that when we add water, make all the difference in the world. Like a walk to find Greenville’s first “watershed” at Paris Mountain State Park. This walk has a unique way of putting things into perspective. Just 15 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Greenville, you can quickly understand the importance of adding water.

On your hike, the noise you will hear is not that of cars or traffic but of a forest alive with the soothing sounds of birds, crickets, and the active streams of the mountain. Your walk takes you through a tunnel of mountain laurel, hickory, oaks and maples. Suddenly, through the soft sounds of the forest comes the thunderous, unmistakable sound of falling water. Then you see it, a cascading canvas of whitewater that surely must be a hidden waterfall.

Upon further inspection, you realize that it is not a waterfall at all, rather the spillway of a dam, the spot of Greenville’s’ first reservoir. What an ideal spot to reflect on the importance of water while enjoying a walk in the woods.

Not far from Paris Mountain is Caesars Head, where water seems to be in abundance. From the overlook, if you listen very closely, you can hear the sounds of Raven Cliff Falls where the waters drop over 420 feet into Matthews Creek below.

While streams and waterfalls define this park, so does the lack of groundwater for wells. Working with the community, the park has implemented several water conservation measures including the installation of a rainwater collection system that is used to reduce the amount of water used in the park’s restrooms. This program and others like it enable us to continue to provide great memories and experiences at Caesars Head.

There’s just something about water. Its benefits are immeasurable. Its calming effect on us - unmistakable.

Activities at a state park are enhanced when we add water. Like those moments of reflection that seem to mean so much more when water is involved --sitting by the mighty Atlantic at sunrise or watching the tide change along the marsh.

It’s summer. Feel the awesome power of nature as you stand before the calming waters of a state park.

See you in the parks!