The centerpiece of this park is the amazing waterfall on the Reedy River. For many decades this waterfall was hidden by a bridge that had been constructed in such a way that it was almost impossible to view the waterfall. In addition, the area was surrounded by light industry and warehouses and the neighborhood was decaying and unpleasant. The only people I knew in the 90s who were aware of the waterfall were people who obsess with visiting and photographing waterfalls of note. They would find a place to park their vehicles and then scramble down the weed-choked banks to creep under the bridge to take their photos and then beat a hasty retreat.
Fortunately, the City of Greenville had some far-sighted citizens who worked to change the sad fact that all of this beauty was hidden and otherwise blighted. Beginning in 1967 these people began to work to change things. The Carolinas Foothills Garden Club started the process by reclaiming 26 acres and worked with Furman University, and the City of Greenville to begin improvements. As the years and decades passed the park began to form and in 2002 the Camperdown Bridge was finally removed, allowing citizens to once again see the falls.
Millions of dollars in donations and tax levies later, the Falls Park is an absolute delight to see and experience. There are trails, a unique pedestrian bridge that allows unparalleled views, gardens, monuments, and lawns. All around the park retail and restaurants, hotels and real estate have flourished. Having visited Greenville in the past before the park was created, and today, I can say that I have never seen an urban area more rewarded and invigorated by something as simple as the establishment of a park.
But this is no ordinary park. It is, in fact, worthy of being a vacation destination. One can spend a day or two moving just around the park and its periphery and the place will never fail to excite.
If you've never visited Falls Park, I highly recommend a trip. If you have, then you don't need me to tell you how great it is or that you need to return. You've probably already revisited it many times.
|The author of the experience.|
|This old warehouse/factory was re-purposed to dramatic effect.|
|Roots of a tenacious beech tree.|
|The Falls for which the park was created.|
|The unique curved suspension pedestrian bridge.|
|Wonderful infrastructure everywhere you look.|
|Typical scene around the falls and river.|
|For the people.|
"Let's go back!"