| 162 ha|
| +1 864-277-2004|
| Greenville County, South Carolina|
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville County Recreation District
840, Mauldin Rd, Greenville, SC 29605, United States
Swamp Rabbit Trail, Paris Mountain State Park, Roper Mountain Science, Falls Park on the Reedy, Upcountry History Museum
Lake Conestee Nature Park Wikipedia
Lake Conestee Nature Park, opened in 2006, is a 400-acre (160 ha) park along three miles of the Reedy River in Conestee, South Carolina, with 12 miles (19.3 km) of trails, more than 6 miles (9.7 km) of them paved and 1 mile (1.6 km) of boardwalk. The park contains both hardwood and evergreen forest, extensive wetlands, and a rich diversity of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Over 190 bird species have been reported by the Greenville County Bird Club, and the National Audubon Society has designated the park as an Important Bird Area of Global Significance. In 2016 the state of South Carolina made the privately owned facility a wildlife sanctuary.
Lake Conestee was created when the Reedy River was dammed at the Conestee Mill in about 1892. At its largest extent, the lake covered about 130 acres (53 ha), but years of upstream industrial waste and discharge filled about 90 percent of the lake with sediment so toxic that the lake was classified as a Superfund site. In 2000 the Conestee Foundation, a 501(c)(3) conservation organization, was formed to lead the revitalization of the lake as a wetlands through the development of the nature park, and the foundation used settlement funds from a June 1996 Colonial Pipeline spill to purchase the lake and the dam. Once safety studies of the brownfield were complete, it was determined that no harm would result if the toxic sediment were left in place.
In December 2016, inspectors from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control rated Conestee Dam, which is not keyed into the bedrock, in poor condition due to deterioration of mortar and water seepage.