› Blogs › Admission ›Top 10 Things to Do in the Greenville Outdoors
Hopefully you’ve been following along with our counselor blogs and are beginning to get a sense of the wonderful experience that four years on Furman’s campus can be! You’re excited about small class sizes, accessible professors, and the possibility of being a part of a close-knit and supportive campus community. You’ve researched your major of choice, explored some internship possibilities, and started brainstorming a topic you’d like to research alongside a Furman professor. Hopefully, you’re also getting a sense of all that Greenville has to offer to the Furman family. You’re already crafting a list of restaurants to try, events to attend, and shows to see. How could it get any better? Well, I think it can. Surrounding Furman (and the Greenville area in general) are an endless supply of opportunities for adventure. I just wanted to take a moment to showcase a few of my favorite things in this area’s great outdoors. Serving as a perfect home base, Furman sits right in the middle of all kinds of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. If hiking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors are your passions, the Greenville area is a perfect place to call home!
1. Visit a Pretty Place– Never has a location been so aptly named. (And pretty is putting it lightly!) Located inside the YMCA Camp Greenville, the Symmes Chapel (more often referred to as “Pretty Place”) overlooks a gorgeous expanse of mountains. You can visit any time of day, but any Furman student can tell you that sunrise is best. Grab some friends, and make sure to have lots of coffee on hand… there has never been a better reason to wake up at 5 am!
2. Hop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail– The Swamp Rabbit Trail used to be a railroad, but is now a paved path that runs straight from the heart of our campus to the heart of downtown Greenville! It also connects Furman to the small town of Traveler’s Rest. If you are hoping to go for a run or a bike ride, your dorm room is just seconds away from this smooth and scenic path. When you’re ready for a break, stop for a scone at the Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery!
3. Fall in love with Falls Park– Whether you are studying for a biology exam, throwing a frisbee with your roommate, or discussing the latest episode of Scandal with a group of friends, Falls Park is the place to be. The view of the downtown waterfall is breathtaking, and there is never a shortage of things to do! Take a walk through the shops downtown, grab a cup of coffee from your favorite café, and then spend some time relaxing in the grass in the heart of downtown.
4. Seek out the best Waterfalls– There are over 35 accessible waterfalls in the upstate of South Carolina, with drops ranging from forty to seven hundred feet! Visiting some of them will require that you hike several hours into the woods, while others will barely require you to get out of your car. See how many of them you can collect throughout your time as a Furman student!
5. Go wild at the Greenville Zoo– Over 300 animals call the Greenville Zoo home! Spend some time exploring the exhibits and getting to know the lions, tortoises, and orangutans. Be sure to say hello to Kiko, the newest addition to the giraffe family!
6. Track down the best Parks and Hiking Trails– If hiking is your passion, you are in just the right place. Furman is located very close to the Foothills Trail, a seventy-seven mile trek through the gorgeous upstate of South Carolina. One of my favorite things about this area is the vast number of hiking trails. There are far too many hiking opportunities for me to even begin to name them all. Sassafras Mountain, Whitewater Falls, Table Rock, Jones Gap, and Caesar’s Head are just a few of my very favorites. This list should get you started, and then you can begin to build your own list of favorites!
7. Spend a lazy day at the lake– Furman has its own lake, but it might not be quite big enough to accommodate all of your swimming and boating needs. Luckily, Furman sits less than an hour from three beautiful lakes – Hartwell, Keowee, and Jocassee. Go for a swim, lay on the beach, and spend a day in the sun.
8. Celebrate fall at the Apple Festival– Every fall, Hendersonville plays host to the NC Apple Festival. After you’ve driven the short thirty minutes to the festival, spend the day mixing and mingling with Furman students and community members of all ages. Dance to the live bands, drink some apple cider, eat some apple pie, and be sure to go home with a basket full of apples for the week ahead!
9. Take a trip to Asheville– Less than 45 minutes away, the city of Asheville has all kinds of opportunities for fun. You may find yourself drawn to the area for any number of reasons – a chance to go white water rafting, the opportunity to have dessert at the Chocolate Lounge, or an offer of tickets to a show at the Orange Peel. Asheville is also home to Biltmore Estates, the famous former residence of the Vanderbilt family. Be sure to tour the house and learn about the history of the mansion and its expansive grounds. In the spring, admire the endless gardens, or in December, marvel at the Christmas trees. (How do they get that forty-foot tree inside?) The Furman University Student Activities Board raffles off fifty pairs of tickets for a trip to the Biltmore every December. If your number is called, you’ll receive transportation, a delicious buffet dinner, and a chance to tour the house!
10. There’s no place like Furman– From the moment I stepped onto Furman’s campus as a prospective student, I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of Furman’s 750 acre campus. Walking with friends became one of my very favorite things to do. I found that the very best conversations took place on those walks around the lake and through the Furman Mall. Forbes named Furman one of the most beautiful college campuses in the nation. I think that title couldn’t be more deserved. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect college home.
Elizabeth Hawthorne ’14