MARIETTA, S.C. – A 139-acre mountain landscape just south of Jones Gap State Park in northern Greenville County has been protected from development and is now open to the adventurous for exploration.
Part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, the remote tract – Green Mountain – was made possible through the efforts of Naturaland Trust, a Greenville-based conservation group.
The forested sanctuary is located off Oil Camp Creek Road near River Falls and boasts springs, a trout stream, wildlife, and a stand of mixed hardwoods harboring a variety of flora and fauna.
With the help of private, local and state funding, Naturaland Trust acquired the property in the hopes of eventually connecting it with other protected lands in the area, according to the group's website.
Video by Mac Stone.
Founded in 1973 by Greenville attorney C. Thomas ‘Tommy’ Wyche, Naturaland Trust is one of the Southeast’s oldest conservation land trusts. The nonprofit has been involved in the preservation of tens of thousands of acres of foothills and mountain land, mainly along the South Carolina–North Carolina border.
On the Web:
Once on River Falls Road, turn left onto Oil Camp Creek Road. Follow Oil Camp Creek Road for 8/10 mile to parking area/gate on left. (Google map here.)
Access to the Green Mountain tract is through a small strip of land off Oil Camp Creek Road. The entrance is lightly used, so be prepared to walk through vegetation until reaching Oil Camp Creek. The right-of-way (an old road bed) adjoins private property. Be respectful of the surroundings and stay on the access easement.
The bridge is out at the creek, so you'll have to cross on foot. Once on the tract, the old road bed is visible, but there are no marked trails.
If you head out to explore the area, appropriate preparedness is recommended and reliance on cell phones is not encouraged.