Paris Mountain 7K

The Paris Mountain 7K is coming up next Saturday August 9th. It's the next race in the Greenville Dirt Series as mentioned below.  I did the Paris Mountain 12K back in May and it was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to this one. 

Surviving the Overmountain Victory Trail

Three weeks ago I was deathly ill after suffering from a bite of some sort, most likely from a brown recluse, so when I decided to tackle the Overmountain Victory Trail I had no idea that neither remnants of that illness nor the copperhead on the trail would be the least of my worries.

The Overmountain Victory Trail is a 330 mile trail that starts in Abingdon, VA and traverses through Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina before winding back into North Carolina where it ends at Kings Mountain. It marks the route taken by American patriots in 1780 who traveled from Abingdon on horseback in the dead of winter to fight, and win, the Battle of Kings Mountain. One portion of it runs near Tryon, NC where a vineyard is named over it.

For the most part, IT IS NOT a hiking a trail, but rather a path made up of roads and unmarked trails through private land, however there is a small section that can be hiked.  

I've written previously about hiking the Appalachian Trail through Roan Highlands which is one of my favorite places, containing large balds, stunning views and boreal forests due to the high elevation.

To reach the Overmountain Victory Trail, park at Carver's Gap near the top of Roan Mountain. Travel northbound on the AT about five miles at which point you will find that the Overmountain Victory Trail crosses the AT (at Yellow Mountain Gap). From there, turning left onto the OVT will take you through a long descent of single track for about a mile and a half, before it then opens up to a double track that runs through a number of horse and cow pastures.

At times the trail is poorly marked and very much overgrown. Many of the signs have been knocked down. Just keep in mind that you need to stay close to the sound of the river and you'll be okay. Once you reach mile 3.5 or so (which would be 8.5 miles from Carver's Gap) you'll walk past a few homes, the first of which is clearly deserted (despite the fact that someone was boiling something in an old fifty-five gallon drum in the front yard). You'll then come to a paved road. This is the Hampton Creek Cove Recreation Area and it contains a small parking area. It also contains some locals who will eyeball you suspiciously from inside their trailers. 

At that point you have a couple of options. Turn around and hike back, or continue walking the OVT, which is now completely unmarked and follows a series of paved, and poorly marked, roads.  You could also start your hike from here if you don't mind walking up hill for three and a half miles. 

Camping is allowed on the trail but the forested area of the trail is very much overgrown and it would be difficult to pitch a tent. The pastured areas are also largely overgrown with black berry bushes and make for a less than ideal campsite but would work in a pinch.

What my two companions and I ended up doing was continuing to walk down the road a couple of miles to Hwy. 143 where we hitched a ride to the Roan Mountain State Park campground and spent the night there. While there we learned from the forest ranger that the locals are not fond of hikers and that the area is a den of methamphetamine production. That might explain the enormous number of viscous dogs along the path.

However should you decide to follow in our footsteps, here are the directions: From the Hampton Creek Cove Recreation area, turn right onto Hampton Creek Road. (It's not marked but it's the only road you'll see at that point.) Walk about a mile and you'll come to a crossroads. The road to the right is called Teaberry Road but isn't marked. On our map it said that it was  called Teaberry on both sides but to the left it's actually marked (sort of) with a sign that says "Dark Hollow Road." Both Dark Hollow Road and Teaberry Road have rather interesting ghost stories attached to them. There is a large unmarked grave off of Teaberry where supposedly a witch was buried and now haunts the site.  So don't go that way. Instead turn left on Dark Hollow where you will pass a cemetery that is also supposedly haunted by a woman who was murdered by the local wives who thought she was sleeping with all their husbands.  We didn't catch a glimpse of her though.

Follow that road until you get to another crossroads. If you go straight, you'll be on Sugar Hollow Road. If you turn right you'll be on Sugar Hollow Road. Yes you read that correctly. Go right, on Sugar Hollow, not straight on Sugar Hollow. Sugar Hollow to the right will take you to Hwy 143 and you'll see an RV park on your left. Unfortunately, as we discovered, they won't let backpackers stay there. So from there, turn left onto 143 and walk about a mile and a half to the state park campground located on the right side of the road.

For one more option to the trailhead, see the comment from Brenda W. below.

Despite the reputation of the area, we actually had nothing but pleasant interactions with people. A kid on an ATV stopped to give us directions. A guy on a tractor gave us even better directions. A guy on a riding lawn mower stopped mowing to try and help but actually gave us bad directions. A lady sitting on her porch offered us water. A guy on a homemade motorcycle with no brakes stopped as well. He had to use his feet to stop. He also gave us bad directions but not intentionally. Then a nice guy gave us a ride the last mile and a half and even gave us some ears of corn from his garden. Once we made it to the state park, a ranger gave me a lift back to my car and refused to let me pay him for his time and another camper gave us hamburgers for dinner. It was a hell of an adventure. Wish I had time to write about all the other things we saw, like the thousand or so centipedes that invaded our campsite the first night.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 126 miles

Scott Towers Demolition

Conestee Ice Breaker 8K

Date: January 25, 2014

Race Start: 9am

Lake Conestee Nature Park
840 Mauldin Rd.
Greenville, SC 29607

Course: 8K Trail Run on mix of dirt, gravel and pavement

Beneficiary: Conestee Foundation

Entry Fee: $20 pre ($25 day of) registration

The Ice Breaker 8K is the first race of the Greenville Dirt Trail Run Series. The rolling course winds its way through the beautiful Conestee Park and features a mix of dirt, gravel and pavement. Greenville County Rec has been working hard to make Conestee one of the best facilities in the county, and this is a great opportunity to see all the fantastic improvements that have been made to this wonderful outdoor oasis. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Conestee Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing Lake Conestee Nature Park and contiguous community lands into a nature park and wildlife sanctuary for public recreation.

2014 Greenville Dirt Series

Presented by:  Greenville Rec, Square One Events, and the Greenville Track Club

What is it:    A collection of 6 trail races over 10 months held at 2 different parks crowning one champion.  The races covering distances from 5k to 16k are designed to test your trail running skill and show you 2 of the most beautiful parks in the Upstate of South Carolina.

When:  Below are the 6 races that make up the 2014 Series.
•    Ice Breaker 8k            January 25th        Lake Conestee Nature Park
•    Easter Bunny Trail Hop 5K    April 19th         Lake Conestee Nature Park
•    Paris Mountain 12k        May 31st        Paris Mountain State Park
•    Paris Mountain     7k        August 9th        Paris Mountain State Park
•    Get Out Greenville 10k        October 4th        Lake Conestee Nature Park
•    Paris Mountain 16k        November 1st        Paris Mountain State Park

How it Works:    If you compete in a minimum of 4 races you will be in the running for the Series awards.  At the end of the 6 races we will take your 4 best results and add up the points. The first 8 finishers in each age group qualify for points. Awards will be given out for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for the entire Series, as well as for each age group winner, male and female for each division. Special recognition will be given to folks who run ALL 6 races!

Signing Up: You can visit for info and registration for each race. If you have questions please contact Joe Lanahan: or 864-288-6470.
10 months, 6 races, 2 parks, 1 Champion!


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Susan G. Komen

This Saturday, the Susan G. Komen race for the cure for breast cancer returns to the Greenville Drive stadium.  This is a short fun walk or run, whichever you choose that runs through some areas of town that are being revitalized.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 0 miles

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Greenville and Spartanburg

We're proud to bring the SYRCL Wild and Scenic Film Festival back to the Upstate for the second year in a row. On September 25 the festival will be at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg and on September 27 in Greenville at the Children's Museum of the Upstate. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for you to meet sponsors and register for door prizes and drawings throughout the evening. Movies will start at 6:30 p.m. and will have a running time of two hours. More information about ticketing will be available on our website soon and movie trailers will be posted on our Facebook page so be sure to "Like" us and check in often.

Thu Sep 25 6pm – 8:30 pm Eastern Time
Chapman cultural Center

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Thu Sep 27 6pm – 9pm Eastern Time
Greenville Children's Museum

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Greenville Triathlon and Paris Mountain 7k

Well the Paris Mountain Tri was cancelled at the last minute last weekend due to weather, but two other events of a similar nature are occurring this weekend. 

Saturday the Paris Mountain 7K takes place at 7 AM.

Sunday, the last tri event of the season in the Greenville area takes place at the Westside Aquatic Center with the Greenville Triathlon

Grandfather Mountain Trails

One of the best hikes I've ever experienced occurred recently at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC.

I started on a trail called the Profile Trail. The image to the left demonstrates why it's called that. Near the top there is this view that looks like the profile of an old man.

The Profile Trail is beautifully constructed with lots of large boulders, moss covered stones, a couple of creek crossings, and some great views.

This trail goes up hill to the Grandfather Trail which is where it really gets great.

The Grandfather Trail is a ridge trail that requires the use of several ladders, some cables and in some spots crawling on hands and knees.
 There's a short spur trail that leads to a large cave. 

This is not a view from the trail. This is the actual trail.

This is the same section of trail looking the other direction. 

The trail goes all the way to the swinging bridge, so you either have to turn around or catch a ride back down the mountain. If you want to do this same hike, travel through Linville toward Boon on HWY 105 and park at the area labelled "Profile Trail Parking."

Distance from downtown Greenville: 125 Miles

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