Saluda Lake on a Fall Saturday

Alan at Lake Saluda

It seems like it has been ages since I’ve been out on the water. When Alan suggested a quick paddling trip for today, I jumped at the chance. His daughter, Caitlin, and her boyfriend, Ben, were in town while Furman is on fall break, so we were looking for a quick trip somewhere close by. Saluda Lake fit that bill nicely.

There are two public access points for Saluda Lake. Saluda Landing is on the Greenville side, and is a privately owned boat ramp and marina. On the Pickens side there is a relatively new public park. The last time we were there, Saluda Landing charged us $3 per boat to launch, whereas the Pickens park charged $3 per car parking fee. So, the question was, is it worth $6 for the convenience to Furman and a launch closer to where we wanted to paddle? We decided it was, and agreed to meet at Saluda Landing. However…

Saluda Landing Fees
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More Saluda Lake

Saluda Lake Dam Panorama

Having never been on Saluda Lake before this summer, I’ve now paddled it three times in four weeks.  I’m actually surprised at how it’s become a nice quick paddling destination for when we want to get out on the water.

Friday Alan and I headed out and launched from Saluda Landing at the end of Motor Boat Club Road.  Once again we paid the steep access fee for our two little kayaks.  The more I think about this, the more I realize what a rip-off this is for kayakers.  Motor boats can launch for $8, but kayaks and canoes are $5 each.  A motor boat usually can carry more than one person, so it works out to be a better deal.

Again, we had the annoyance of having to paddle south to avoid the silted-in portion of the lake.  This time, though, we kept paddling south, out toward the main portion of the lake.  This would be new territory for us. Continue reading “More Saluda Lake”

Saluda Lake, Take Two

Saluda River

When Alan and I came out to Lake Saluda last week, I wasn’t feeling so hot. Well, actually, I was too hot – heat exhaustion plus a fever of over 100. Couple that with the fact that we missed the channel we were supposed to be taking, and it wasn’t an ideal trip. So, when Dave Freeland called and wanted a close paddling venue that would be good for his 13 year old son, Zach, I suggest heading back to Saluda.

We made our way back down Motor Boat Club Road to Saluda Landing. Personally, I would love to find some other access point. These guys charge per boat, so to launch our three kayaks was $15. I don’t mind paying a parking fee, but the per boat fee is a bit steep. However, they have a monopoly on lake access, and they know it.

Zach and DaveZach Launches

We paddled out, then southward to avoid the silted spit, then turned upstream. This time we hugged the right channel toward the river, rather than being tempted by the more open water of the west arm of the lake. Continue reading “Saluda Lake, Take Two”

Paddling Lake Saluda

Saluda Lake Siltation

When I mention Saluda Lake to my acquaintances, many don’t even know it exists. They usually reply, “Don’t you mean the Saluda River?” Or, they try to correct me by naming one of the many other lakes fed by the Saluda. Most don’t seem to be aware that there is a rather large lake on the west side of Greenville with that name.

I can see why Saluda Lake is overlooked. While it’s a nice lake, the banks are almost completely built up, and there is very little public access. There is limited access right at the dam, but no place where one could easily launch a boat. The only boat ramp is on the north end of the lake on Motor Boat Club Road. It’s privately owned, and the signs make you think the owners are somewhat less that friendly.

And we mean it!

Despite the limited access, Alan and I decided to give it a shot. The lake is relatively close, and I’d never been on it. The plan was to put in at the one boat ramp then paddle north up the Saluda River to at least Farr’s Bridge on Highway 183. For a variety of reasons, we didn’t quite make it that far.

Continue reading “Paddling Lake Saluda”