Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Log Shoals Park, coming soon to Greenville County

There is good news for residents of south Greenville County, as Greenville County Rec has announced that a new park will be opening south of I-185. Currently there is only one park in the area, Southside Park, the next closest parks being Cedar Falls in Fountain Inn, the Piedmont Athletic Complex, and Conestee Park in Greenville.

Source: here
The new park will shadow a bend in the river just south of the Log Shoals Road Bridge, encompassing a scenic portion of shoals at a spot on the river long known to paddlers as a convenient spot to launch or take out. Those kayaking the Reedy River often put in below the dam at Lake Conestee Nature Park for a 4-mile paddle that requires traversing Class 1 & 2 rapids to reach Log Shoals, or they put in at Log Shoals and proceed 2.5 miles downriver to West Georgia Road and the Rocky Creek greenway. A dirt parking lot on the west shore of the Reedy served double duty as an access point for paddlers and the driveway for an adjacent property, but late in 2016 Greenville County finally pieced together the 10+ acres that will form the core of the park, moved the fences to reflect this change in ownership, and finally early this year put up a new sign to replace the former one which went missing not long after it had been installed.

A sign declaring the “Future home of Log Shoals Park” is up at the Log Shoals Bridge 

Opening up this section of the Reedy River could also prove to be key in bringing the Swamp Rabbit Trail further south. Communities such as Long Creek Plantation (situated at the intersection of the Reedy and Rocky Creek just south of Log Shoals) have constructed their own series of trails along the Reedy; Long Creek boasts 40 acres of nature trails and green open spaces that run adjacent to Reedy & Rocky Creeks for nearly 2.5 miles. Although these trails are not open to the public, the Greenville County Master Plan suggests utilizing such existing greenways along the Reedy to connect the cities of Greenville, Mauldin & Simpsonville, the Donaldson Center Area, Southside Park & area schools with a network of trails. The realization of this vision could mean a trail taking cyclists and foot traffic from Lake Conestee Nature Park to Log Shoals and Southside Park, all the way to Cedar Falls and eventually Dunklin Bridge Road. (See Greenville County’s Comprehensive Greenway Plan for more information.)

Old stone foundation visible on creek that empties into the Reedy within Park boundaries

The bad news is that for those thinking of trying out a new swimming hole, you'll want to hold off on that. The primary water recreation at Log Shoals will be boating, as the Reedy River is still not considered safe for swimming. One of Greenville County’s six permanent water quality monitoring stations on the Reedy is located at Log Shoals Road, and testing results at times show extremely elevated levels of bacteria in the water including ecoli and fecal coliform. To stay up to date on efforts being made to improve the water quality and reduce pollution of our hometown river, as well as learn how to get involved in the effort, visit the Friends of the Reedy River website.

A Greenville County source says that as of yet there is no set date for groundbreaking on the new park, nor is there a target date/year to open the park. Seeing the City of Greenville’s focus on parks and recreation in 2018, one can only hope Greenville County follows suit – and opens this beautiful spot to the public sooner than later.

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