Greenville, S.C. – On Earth Day Eve, South Carolina State Parks and Duke Energy are opening a new trail that increases access to Lake Placid at Paris Mountain State Park for visitors with mobility impairments. The new trail runs from the park’s Visitor Center down to the lakeshore, giving more visitors easier access to fishing, birdwatching, and fun on the park’s iconic lake.
Last year on Earth Day, the Duke Energy Foundation awarded the park $25,000 for this project as part of their $400,000 monthlong campaign focused on supporting sustainability and environmental efforts across Palmetto State. Duke’s grant funded the construction of the framing, subsurface, and paving for the trail, as well as a picnic pad that includes tables and grills specifically for visitors with wheelchairs.
“As Earth Day is observed around the world tomorrow, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the incredible sights and beauty we have right here in South Carolina – and to reflect on how important it is to protect and share those places,” said Paul McCormack, director of South Carolina State Parks. “We are so grateful for the support of Duke Energy who made this project possible, and to our hardworking staff who brought the project to life. We are thrilled that more people will be able to access and enjoy the shorelines of Lake Placid thanks to this new trail.”
Thrive Upstate, the largest and oldest provider of services to people with disabilities in Greenville County, participated in April 21 ribbon cutting. “We value partnership and collaboration with private and public organizations as we work to best meet the needs of the people we support,” said Tyler Rex, executive director of Thrive Upstate. “We’re excited for the opening of this new trail and the ability for people with disabilities to experience one of the best landmarks in the Upstate.”
“We think it’s important to work alongside community partners to ensure the natural beauty of South Carolina can be enjoyed for generations to come," said Linda Hannon, director of government and community relations for Duke Energy. “Duke Energy is proud to support the work of South Carolina State Parks to create accessible structures to allow everyone the opportunity to experience the state’s natural beauty.”
Conveniently located in Greenville’s backyard, Paris Mountain State Park is one of South Carolina’s original state parks, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It has grown from a rural retreat to one of the most popular recreation areas in the region. Lake Placid, one of the most beloved and picturesque areas of the park, was previously only accessible by stairs from the park’s Visitor Center. The new trail will make it easier for visitors in wheelchairs, families with strollers, and more, to enjoy time on the lake.