Paris Mountain State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of South Carolina, located five miles (8 km) north of Greenville. Activities available in the 1,540-acre (6 km2) park include hiking, biking, swimming and picnicking. The 13-acre (52,609 m2) Lake Placid offers swimming and fishing.Canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats are seasonally available for rental; private boats are not permitted.Camping is allowed and campsites range from rustic, back country sites to paved sites with water and electricity hook-ups. The park’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structures, including the Camp Buckhorn lodge, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. m.
Cherokee Indians once dwelled on Paris Mountain, before European men began to colonize North America. The first white man settled in what is now known as Greenville County in 1765. He was an Scots-Irish man from Virginia named Richard Pearis. He married a Cherokee woman and became close to the Cherokee tribe. The Indians continually gave Pearis land until his property extended 10 square miles (26 km2). Richard Pearis is the source of the name “Paris” Mountain. In 1775, a letter from the superintendent of Indian affairs, Jonathan Stuart was written to the Cherokee Indians chastening the Indians for selling their lands to white men. In one part of the letter, Stuart writes, “You are constantly listening to Richard Pearis, who cheats you of your lands.” Some of the land which Richard Pearis possessed contained the mountain known today as Paris Mountain. Therefore, the name “Paris” is a construed form of “Pearis”. A legend surrounding the mountain speaks of the first white men to visit the mountain. The chief of the indwelling Cherokee tribe tried to protect the mountain, and when he grew old, he passed on the responsibility to his daughter and her husband. The husband failed in this task and sold the mountain; in anger, the daughter of the chief killed her husband.
One of the earliest uses of the mountain by the city of Greenville was as a source of water between 1890 and 1916. Numerous lakes and dams in the park were built in 1890 by the Greenville City Water System as part of the reservoir. In 1928 Table Rock Reservoir was put into service, and the use of Paris Mountain as a water supply declined.
The mountain also had other uses. In the 1890s, a popular resort resided on Paris Mountain named Altamont Hotel. However, the resort failed and was sold to N. J. Holmes, who in turn, founded a Bible institute on the site. The institute was first known as Altamont Bible and Missionary Institute and later as Holmes Bible College. The college opened its doors in 1898. The institute was later sold to another citizen, and the building later suffered a fire in 1920.
The state park on Paris Mountain was built in the 1930s by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Sixteen other parks in the state of South Carolina were also created due to the work of the CCC. The land for the park was acquired in 1935 from the city of Greenville.
The nearby liberal arts college, Furman University, founded in 1826, is located near the foot of the mountain for which the park is named.