After a spring full of multiple paddling trips, some on consecutive Saturdays, we finally had a weekend to ourselves with no paddling trips planned. Well, actually, I could have gone with my Lowcountry Unfiltered friends to Little Tybee Island on Saturday, but Laura and I really needed a weekend to ourselves at home. Even so, paddling still entered the picture.
I got a call from a friend saying that she wanted to take her boats out for the afternoon, and was looking for some good local venues. She had paddled Lakes Saluda, Robinson, and Cunningham, and was looking for something else. As I described some locations for her, it occurred to me that I don’t have a good collection of local venues. That started another quest.
When Laura and I got our kayaks nearly 15 years ago we would often take off up to Lake Cunningham above Greer. We could be there and on the water within 30 minutes, so it was a great quick escape. However, there are others about as close.
So, describing a few places to my friend on the phone, I set out to to make a list of local paddling venues. My locations had to have the following criteria:
- Close – within an hour or so from Greenville
- Easy access – a boat ramp or some other easy way to get to the water, no steep throw-ins.
- Out-and-back – in other words, flat water. Simple is better, and a shuttle requires more than one vehicle.
- Suitable for solo paddling – This also eliminates shuttles. Although solo paddling isn’t really a safe thing, I was still looking for simplicity.
I created a Google Map showing the locations of various access points. I came up with quite a few, some I had paddled, and some that I haven’t had a chance to explore. I haven’t listed all of the boat ramps on Lakes Hartwell and Keowee, but there were a couple that bore acknowledgment. These venues included the following:
- Saluda River
- Lake Lyman
- Lake Cooley
- Lake Jocassee
- Lake Oolenoy
- Lake Adger
- Parr Shoals
- Monticello Reservoir
- Lake Croft
- Lake Julian
- Lake Greenwood
- Tugaloo River
…and several others.
The map is editable by the public. I’m taking suggestions for other locations I might have missed. Consider this a work in progress.
View Local Paddling Venues in a larger map
Also see Paddling South Carolina’s Rivers.