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Outdoors with Mac Stone: Five reasons to embrace the rain

(All photos appear courtesy of Mac Stone/Mac Stone Photography). (All photos appear courtesy of Mac Stone/Mac Stone Photography).

By Mac Stone, Naturaland Trust Executive Director:

It's not always sunny in northern Greenville County, but when the forecast promises a wet weekend don't let it keep you indoors. Here are 5 reasons to make rain plans.

1. Waterfalls

Anyone who has walked across Liberty Bridge in downtown Greenville after a spring shower knows how quickly a slow trickle can turn into a raging torrent. The same goes for the many rivers, creeks, and cascades in the mountains, making them particularly photogenic. Fortunately, the protected forests surrounding many of the waterfalls in the Upstate ensure they still run crystal clear, even after a heavy rain. Here are three easy-to-access waterfalls to visit next time it rains: Wildcat Wayside, Jones Gap Falls, Raven Cliff Falls.

2. Your Personal Playground

Looking for a little solitude? Here's a pro tip: watch the radar and go when the forecast shows rain; you'll likely have the trail/river/forest/granite to yourself.

3. Watch Mountains Breathe

After a rainstorm the mountains often appear to exhale, affording incredible views from elevated places like Bald Rock Heritage Preserve or Caesars Head. Why? Well, when water vapor condenses into the atmosphere it gives the appearance of rising smoke. Our densely forested mountains accelerate this through transpiration, which increases the humidity in the local atmosphere. Pretty cool, huh?

4. The Colors

Do you want that Instagram-worthy shot? Get outside when it's raining, bring an umbrella, your camera, and a polarizer filter. The polarizer will help reduce the glare created by the wet leaves and allow those greens and reds to really pop.

5. Why Not?

If you're getting this right now, you probably don't need 5 reasons to get outside and enjoy the Upstate's public lands regardless the weather. But, just in case you're looking for an idea when the skies open up and it's dreary in the city, remember you have places to roam.

(For more local outdoor destination ideas, visit the Tribune's Outdoor page here.)

(Photo credit: Mac Stone Photography | Mac Stone Photography on Facebook)

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