The often forgotten part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail that runs through Mauldin and Conestee is absolutely outstanding! Lake Conestee Nature Park and Conestee Park are true gems in the city’s surrounding area. Conestee Park provides plenty of family entertainment with trails, open fields, a playground and even a dog park! The nature park is 400-acres of natural awesomeness and it is only six miles away from downtown Greenville. The refuge is a perfect sanctuary for those close to the city who don’t want to travel far to visit nature! There is so much wildlife to explore I could easily spend the whole day here and I will! Come join me as I take you on an adventure through the southern part of the trail by Lake Conestee and Conestee Park. First let’s get some good food your stomach so you have energy for the day of exploration!
Bosco’s Baby’s is right on the way to my favorite remote parking area when I access the trail in the south. That is not the only reason I stop here, this place has a small delicious unique menu that does just as it says “Let our food dance on your taste buds”, believe me it is a happy dance! After you scarf down some food you only have a mile to go to a great drop-in area!
I suggest parking at the Belmont Fire Station Lot, it keeps you away from the crowds of people and provides access to restrooms. This lot also drops you in at the center of the park on a cool unpaved trail which gives you a choice to navigate three different routes. I prefer to take a quick right at the end of the drop-in and head to the final part of the paved trail first. The end of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is only a mile away and your inner self will thank you for taking this option! On a nice summer day the scenic lookouts provide an excellent view of explosive green colors and sky reflections for your viewing pleasure!
Next, I will make the 2 mile journey back towards the middle segment of the park for some off-road riding. This is my favorite part about the Conestee-Mauldin section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. There is a web of interconnected paved and unpaved paths that delivers a terrific riding experience for bikers of all levels. BEWARE if you’re going off-road you should have the right gear and a sufficient bicycle. Ahhh!! I love traversing the different tracks the park offers, it is so nice having this close to the city!
Shredding around the park is awesome, but it is also important to step back and take a few seconds to connect with nature. So take a deep breath, take in the enchanting foliage and appreciate your surroundings!
Your time spent at Lake Conestee can be very educational too! Many of the lookouts within the nature park have excellent information on the history of the refuge as well as the various plants and animals that make it their home. After visiting the multiple stations you can leave with a plethora of conservation knowledge that you never had before your visit!
It is always nice to make a quick stop at the Conestee Park section of the trail. Seeing the families and the dogs enjoying themselves always puts a smile on my face! Unfortunately it looks like I might have some clouds rolling in today so I won’t be able to stay as long as I wanted.
Time to hit the pavement and head back to the parking area, I need to beat this rain out plus I am running low on water and getting thirsty from all this intense riding! I think I know where I can go to refuel!
But before I leave I can’t forget to pay my respects to distinctively scenic Lake Conestee Dam that makes the Nature Park all possible. Without it we would not have this ecological gold mine to enjoy!
It would not be right to top off the day without some good suds to gain back the calories I burned off. Not far from the trail Brewery 85 provides some fantastic micro-brews and it is only a couple miles down the road. If you’re lucky you may catch a food truck or even better some live music! Good music and the outdoors lead to fulfilling experiences, that is what I am all about! BUT tasty beer is always an added bonus!!