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Enjoy nature, get much needed fresh air and exercise while practicing social distancing

The following content was provided by Discover Upcountry Carolina Association.

We’re all trying to figure out what to do during these ever-changing times. Certainly, everyone should follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing.

Being outdoors in nature is a great way to get much needed fresh air and exercise. Here in Upstate, South Carolina we have many options for getting outside.

South Carolina State Parks are open and are taking the recommended precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (SCDHEC). If admission gates are not manned, please pay for admission using the iron rangers and envelopes provided. We recommend that you bring cash to pay admission.

While parks are open, indoor spaces which include visitor and nature centers, and retail locations are closed to visitors. Restrooms in parks will be closed periodically for thorough cleaning and disinfecting.

Photo courtesy of Discover Upcountry Carolina Association

Cabins and campgrounds are open. To minimize contact, visitors are encouraged to pay balances for cabins or campsites by using the website or by calling the call center or calling the park office. If you have a reservation, please check your email for instructions on how to check in.

All park programming and tours, including historic house tours, are suspended until April 1. However, park staff will be working as usual and can be located within the park should you need assistance.

Golfing
Several golf courses are open for business and are taking precautions on their courses, so you may not find ball washers, water stations, or food service, but they would like to have you come play.

Hiking
There are many trails to explore in the Upstate, not just in our state parks, but in county parks, heritage preserves, wilderness areas and national parks. Note: The National Park Service has closed its visitor centers, but trails and restrooms are open.

Raven Cliff Falls. Photo courtesy of Discover Upcountry Carolina Association.

Waterfalls
With more 100 waterfalls in the Upstate, now is a great time to get out and see how many you can photograph. They range in height from 40 to 700 feet.

Most of the falls can be found in the area’s parks and are easily reached, while others are hidden away and must be hiked to over rugged terrain. Here are three of our favorites:

Issaqueena Falls, located in Stumphouse Tunnel Park near Wallhalla, drops about 200 feet and is very popular. Legend has it that an Indian maiden, Issaqueena, pretended to leap to her death in an attempt to escape hostile pursuers, but actually took refuge on a ledge beneath the falls.

Whitewater Falls, located north of Salem, is a set of two falls and is the highest series of falls in eastern America, plunging close to 700 feet in more than half a mile before emptying into Lake Jocassee.

Raven Cliff Falls located near Cleveland in Greenville County is a 420-foot high cascade in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness and Recreation Area and one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in SC.

Know Before You Go. Please call or visit the attraction’s website before heading out to ensure they are open for business.

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