Lower Saluda Scenic River

Trail Activities: t

  • Water


9.50 miles


One Way



Difficulty: Difficult

Trail Features: t

  • Point of Interest
  • Water Launch
  • Parking
  • Fishing
  • Fee
  • No Camping


The Saluda Scenic River (commonly known as the "Lower Saluda") is recognized as an outstanding recreational resource. The tailrace waters from Lake Murray reservoir provide a cold water fishery and varying river flows for recreational boating. Popular activities on the Lower Saluda include fishing for trout and striped bass, whitewater and flat-water paddling and tube floating.

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Starting from either Saluda Shoals Park or Hope Ferry Landing, you will have an easy float until you reach the rapids at Riverbanks Zoo (approximately 1.5 miles from the I-26 overpass) where you can experience some of the best whitewater paddling in South Carolina. These rapids can be dangerous and depending on water flow can range from Class 3 to Class 5, so that unless you are a very experienced paddler, you should take out at the SCE&G Landing on Garden Valley Road (3.5 miles). You can take out on the right and portage around the rapids at the zoo, but you will encounter rapids again near the Senate Street take-out and some expertise is recommended.

The water level can vary a lot, and since the water comes from the bottom of Lake Murray, it can be cold year round. Life jackets are recommended anytime you are on the river.

Fees: There is a per car access fee at Saluda Shoals Park.


Access Points (mileage and GPS coordinates are approximate and for reference only):

Mile 0 - Saluda Shoals Park - From Exit 104 on I-26 (Piney Grove), drive west on Piney Grove Road and turn right onto St. Andrews Road. At the traffic signals turn left onto Bush River Road. Drive approximately 1.6 miles and turn left into the park.


Mile 0 - Hope Ferry Landing - From SC 6 at the Lexington side of Lake Murray Dam, drive east on Corley Mill Road for approximately 2.0 miles and turn left at the sign.

Mile 3.5 - SC&G Put-in - From Saluda Shoals Park, turn right onto Bush River Road. Turn right onto St. Andrews Road, drive to the third traffic light, and turn right onto Bush River. Turn right again onto Garden Valley Road and continue to the landing.

Mile 5.7 - I-26 Overpass - If you are inexperienced, this is a good turn-around point.

Mile 7.2 - Portage - On the right along the power line corridor.

Mile 9.5 - Senate Street Landing - From Garden Valley Road, turn right onto Bush River Road and drive to I-26. When I-26 turns to the right, continue on I-126 to the Huger Street Exit. Drive south on Huger to Gervais Street and turn right. Turn left onto the last street before the bridge (Gist Street) and the landing is one block on the right.

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SC Department of Natural Resources - Scenic Rivers | 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29202 | (803) 734-9096

Download Coordinates
KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 34.02975409032370
Long: -81.12225900707925