Around Greenville: Not Your Average Picnic Spots

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Girl reaches into a picnic basket

Greenville’s a beautiful city with amazing places to visit and fun (free!) things to do and great food to eat. But if you’re looking for a winning combo of all three, try a picnic. It’s summertime, the sun is out, the skies are clear, so here’s a list of awesome picnic spots near the BJU campus to take your to-go lunch for a mini-vacation, solo or with friends.

See Also: Around Greenville Series

Timmons Park

Timmons Park is the spot closest to campus on our list. We’ve featured this park in another list, but we’re mentioning it again because of its picnic potential. Timmons Park has a covered picnic space as well as plenty of green space and walking/mountain biking trails through tree stands and along streams. It’s not a very busy park, either, especially on weekdays, so it provides a quiet oasis from the rush of the day.

University Park

University Park is across the street from campus and behind Campus View Apartments. This is the smallest park on our list, and possibly the smallest park in Greenville. Featuring one playground and some picnic tables, University Park sits in the center of a residential suburb, away from traffic and city noise. The park includes a large grassy area perfect for putting down a picnic blanket.

Falls Park

Falls Park is probably the park most Greenvillians think of when picnic-planning. And for good reason! The park features a waterfall, bench swings, a suspended bridge, a river, little streams and lots of open, green spaces and cool shady places to sit. One of Greenville’s better-manicured parks, it’s home to beautiful flowers, carefully maintained landscaping and paved footpaths. It’s also close to amazing downtown lunch spots, so you can grab your lunch in town then bring it to Falls Park for a relaxing meal.

Paris Mountain State Park

Paris Mountain State Park is a perfect choice for more adventurous picnickers. Enjoy a picnic by one of its four lakes, stroll down a walking trail, or rest in one of their six covered picnic pavilions. Paris Mountain is the only park on our list with an entry fee. At $5 per adult, though, it’s a low price for such a beautiful escape.

Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’ve got a full day or full afternoon free, then load your picnic basket into your car and take a drive on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. One of America’s finest scenic highways, the Parkway boasts beautiful views through the Appalachian foothills. While finding designated picnic spots on the BRP is challenging, you’ll find plenty of overlooks where you can pull over, park and eat while admiring the view. The nearest entrance onto the Parkway from BJU is about 60 minutes away, but if you’ve got the time, it’s well worth the drive.


Emma Galloway Stephens is a creative writing faculty member in BJU’s Division of English Language and Literature.