Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Velo Fellow and Cedar Falls Park

It’s always fun to visit new places, and between the hiking with kids playgroup we’ve started attending and the Annual Park Hop Scavenger Hunt (more information below) we are visiting new parks at the rate of at least one a week. I’ve found motivation to drag a reluctant crew out to try a few new restaurants as well.

Last week was no different with our trip to Cedar Falls Park, followed by dinner later in that evening at the Velo Fellow, located downstairs from Mellow Mushroom (the pizza place). Modeled on the British publick house tradition, the pub serves appetizers and fish-and-chips type dishes to complement a selection of craft beers. We liked the vibe immediately upon walking in, the reclaimed wood tables and booths looking just as inviting as the leather couches and chairs or a spot at the bar (with a barman who looked the part of a publick house barman with his beard and hat…).

The food was a hit, although my husband later remarked that he hasn’t eaten that much fried food in one sitting in quite some time. We started with fried green tomatoes with garlic pimento cheese. The tomatoes were done well, crisp not slimy, and the cheese was flavorsome and not overwhelming. Before we had finished the appetizer our meals were already coming out, and if I have one complaint about the experience it would be that I felt slightly hurried with all the food arriving almost simultaneously. I should have stuck with my gut and ordered the fish & chips, as my husband’s cod was light and moist with a complimenting flavor I attribute to the beer batter. The chips were not fries, instead they were thin slices that had been fried and somehow managed to walk the line between greasy and delicious. My pecan crusted trout was served with salad and a side; the filet was from NC and tasted fresh, the crust was well done and the sides were better than average pub sides. I enjoyed the recommended beer, and the atmosphere was kid-friendly even without a kid’s menu and crayons. With the friendly service, this pub gets two thumbs up from me and I’m certain we’ll be returning as it provides a slight deviation from the standard Greenville fare.

The Velo Fellow on Urbanspoon
Rewinding to earlier in the day and our visit to the Cedar Falls Park! Historically a hunting site of the Cherokee and Catawba Tribes, the park offers a number of walking and nature trails that lead to a dam and the falls on the Reedy River. The park has several distinct sections with two main parking areas splitting access to the north and south parts. This turned out to be a long drive even without traffic (30-35 minutes) as it is a ways off the beaten path. We parked in the north section next to the children’s playground, enjoying some time on the swings and slide before heading south into the woods with the group.

This map of the falls area shows the location of the various dams and past structures

There are several trails in the park. The main trail is paved and leads through an upland forest, another unmarked trail takes hikers along Reedy River upstream of the falls. The southern portion of the park is the falls area, and several informative placards explain the history and significance of the region. Farthest upstream is the 1910 dam, followed by the 1800s dam and a natural waterfall. The water flows through a series of shoals over 50 feet wide, dropping about 12 feet total. This area has an industrial history much like other sites along Reedy River, as the shoals were used as early as the 1820s to power mills. In the early 1920s an electrical power plant was built on the site, and various foundations remain from the plant and the general store that was located between the dam and Cedar Falls Road.

The boys next to what used to be the generator

Nowhere near as well known as the other falls on the Reedy River, the site was only developed a couple years ago. Seeing the beauty of the waterfall I can understand why it is one of the 17 Greenville area parks chosen for the first-ever Park Hop Scavenger Hunt. LiveWell Greenville is sponsoring this adventure designed to help Greenville County residents discover parks in their community. Using a “park passport” participants find answers in each of the parks, and at the end of the summer the passports can be traded in for chances to win prizes.  To sign up and download a copy of the passport click here.

Lauris and the river below the falls

After exploring the falls and finding the scavenger hunt clue we headed back to the northern portion of the park, enjoying snacks at the picnic shelter before giving the playground another go. Although we probably will not be visiting this park again in the near future due to the distance from our home, I am glad we had the opportunity to see the falls. If you decide to visit yourself, I hope you enjoy your visit!

The shoals at Cedar Falls
Note: Please be aware that the poison ivy is everywhere, even in mowed areas and especially surrounding the falls. Poison ivy can be a problem in parks in our area, but in the park it was everywhere, posing a real problem for parents with children who like to explore. Luckily we escaped unscathed...

The dam at Cedar Falls


  1. You seem to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and parks. Lovely to be able to take your children to so many new areas.

  2. Thanks for joining us, we are glad to have youanytime


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