Inspired by A Tidewater Gardener to capture glimpses of a world beyond my own backyard, I chose Greenville’s Falls Park and Liberty Bridge over the Reedy River for my early morning Winter Walk-Off 2013.
If Greenville is the hub of the Upstate, then Falls Park is the hub of Greenville. The park features breathtaking waterfalls, scenic overlooks, landscaped garden areas, nature trails, a pond, and a spectacular land bridge. Falls Cottage (1838) is located within the park along with a historic grist mill. Plaques provide details related to local history and native plant species.
Reedy River Falls is where Greenville’s first European settler, Richard Pearis, established his trading post in 1768. Pearis later built grist and saw mills at this same location and it continued as the epicenter of industry in Greenville until the 1920s. Although you wouldn’t know it now, Greenville was once touted as The Textile Center of the South, with three mills operating on the Reedy River.
In 1967 Carolina Foothills Garden Club, with the support of Furman University, the City of Greenville, and the Planning Commission, reclaimed 26 acres for the current park. The Club remains a driving force in the park’s development, restoration, and preservation.
Liberty Bridge was designed by bridge architect Miquel Rosales of Boston, engineered by Schlaich Bergermann of Stuttgart, Germany, and constructed in 12 months by Taylor and Murphy Construction Co. of Asheville, N.C.
The bridge’s concrete reinforced deck (345 feet long, 12 feet wide and 8 inches thick) is supported by a single suspension cable. The deck’s distinctive curve has a radius of 214 feet and it is cantilevered toward the waterfall from supporting cables on the outside. The bridge deck also inclines 12 feet or 3 percent from east to west over the river.
Today, Falls Park is the location for many public events, from Shakespeare in the Park to Artisphere, and is regarded as a feature attraction of the Upstate.
Details for this post were taken from Greenville’s website FALLS PARK.