Whether you are new to Greenville, South Carolina or just passing through, the downtown Falls Park is a destination that should be at the top of your list of sites to see. Learning about the cultural and natural history of Falls Park is a great way to get acclimated to the culture and the history of the city. Falls Park hosts a beautiful combination of waterfalls, gardens and architecture that combines with southern charm to perfectly encapsulate Greenville and the Upstate Region. Here is a breakdown of the primary attractions of Falls Park.
Old Mill Ruins
The stone foundations of the historic Vardry Mill are still in place at the southern edge of Greenville’s Falls Park. Built in 1874 by the Vardry McBee family, the mill was the center of a village complete with rental homes, stores and a church. The falls was home to Camperdown Mills, which produced yarn and fabric from 1876 to 1956. There is also an accompanying fern garden at the ruins in memory of Susan Johnson Simpson, a city civic leader and the first female member of the city council. In the early summer, the air in this garden is sweet with the lily aroma coming from nearby flowering bushes.
Reedy River Falls
Reedy River Falls has always been the pride of Greenville, South Carolina. While the rushing water may have supplied power to the all important mills, Reedy River Falls has also the setting of countless weddings, baptisms and baths, as well as the subject of many a fine poem, photograph or painting. Although an extended drought slowed the falls to a near trickle last year, the recent much needed rain has finally restored Reedy River Falls to all its glory for the time being.
Juxtaposed with the dramatic natural settings of the Reedy River Falls, Liberty Bridge provides an architectural metaphor for the entrepreneurial spirit and modern mindset that has transformed Greenville, South Carolina into the city that it is today. The only bridge of its kind in the United States this cantilevered suspension bridge gently sways to the footsteps of crossing pedestrians.
Falls Park Gardens
There are four main gardens of Falls Park: the Pond Garden, the Meadow, Spring Falls Garden and Greenville Arboretum. As there is neither a pond nor a meadow in the gardens,the garden names are likely linguistic shells of the gardens history. The Meadow is a wild and well clipped lawn with an amphitheater for local music and plays. Greenville Arboretum proves much needed shade and is the most secluded area of the busy Falls Park. The most striking garden is that flourishing and blooming along the hillside leading up to South Main Street, a sight to see year round that must require a small army of green thumbs.