The landscape is scenic, with more than 50 waterfalls and countless forested hills, and the moderate climate is ideal for a wide range of activities. There are numerous campgrounds, 12 state parks, golf courses, lakes, and hiking trails. You can even do a little ice-skating, although it's indoors at the Pavilion in Greenville.
The best places to enjoy unspoiled nature are the state parks and the areas surrounding the region's lakes, which offer lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. One of the most popular spots is Lake Hartwell, where you can fish, camp, picnic, boat, hike, or swim. Another excellent choice is Oconee State Park, where a mountain lake offers cool swimming on a hot day.
Golf courses range from the Verdae Greens Golf Club in Greenville to the Cotton Creek Golf Club in Spartanburg. Campgrounds vary from primitive to RV sites with hookups and all amenities. Several are located along the Cherokee Scenic Highway, including the campsites at Caesars Head, Keowee-Toxaway, and Lake Hartwell State Parks.
Anglers can do their fishing free at state parks on reservoir lakes, park lakes, and rivers. Savvy locals prefer to head for the larger lakes, such as Jocasse and Hartwell.
Hikers flock to the Foothills Trail, which offers some of the most rugged and scenic territory in the Southeast. The 85-mile trail begins at Table Rock State Park and concludes at Oconee State Park. There are many lonesome trails for equestrians, especially Rocky Gap Trail in the Sumter National Forest, which joins up with the Willis Knob Horse Trail in Georgia. The Rocky Gap portion is 12 1/2 miles, but if you continue into Georgia, the total length is 26 miles.