Upstate residents rediscover things to do in their own backyard
Tim Todd has spent the past 30 years inviting people to discover the Upstate region of South Carolina. And while the coronavirus pandemic has slowed tourism in many parts of the country, it has spurred a rediscovery of South Carolina’s upcountry.
“It’s not just people from the outside the area, but people who live here and may have lived here for a long time are discovering that they’ve got a state park or a county park, or these great waterfalls or lakes like Jocassee, Keowee or Hartwell basically in their backyard,” Todd said. “Of all the bad things that have come out of (COVID), I think there have been some good things like people who now realize how many things are available to them just within a short drive.”
A native of Walhalla SC, Todd graduated from nearby Clemson University and has spent the past three decades with Upcountry SC. Established in 1978, the regional tourism development and promotion agency serves Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg counties.
A region known for its numerous outdoor and nature-based activities such as waterfalls, rivers, lakes, hiking trails, state parks and national forests, the Upstate is the perfect spot for those looking to places where they can socially distance and be in the great outdoors, Todd said.
One of the area’s best-known assets, Todd says, is the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway. At 118 miles long, the byway starts in Cherokee County and runs along SC Highway 11 through Spartanburg, Greenville, Pickens and Oconee counties. The majestic Blue Ridge Mountains become clearly visible to the west of the Town of Chesnee and remain dominantly present until you have driven past the Town of West Union in Oconee County.
“This time of year, it’s very beautiful,” Todd said. “You can go horseback riding, whitewater rafting or out on a lake, hike or just drive to see all the beautiful fall colors we have in late October and early November.”
For more information on things to see and do in the Upstate region of South Carolina, visit upcountrysc.com.