COLUMBIA, S.C-On a mild flowing day, the Saluda Shoals River can soothe the senses with sounds of fresh water softly rushing over rocks.
However, the soothing flow of the river “can change drastically within a couple of hours because of releases from the hydroelectric power facility at Lake Murray” according to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) website. The change, according to SCDNR, can range from water flow of 400 to 20,000 cubic feet per second to daily river levels ranging from 2 to 10 feet.
The river water is clean and cold year round. The water comes from the bottom of Lake Murray. The river was deemed a scenic river by state legislature in 1991 and the 11-mile river stretch remains mostly undeveloped, which makes the river a prime place for leisure time.
The cold waters are favorite habitats for trout and striped bass fish, according to SCDNR’s website. Whitewater and flatwater paddling are well-enjoyed on the river. There are over a handful of river access points for leisure activities.
One access point is Saluda Shoals Park-a 400 acre park located on the bank of the river. The park provides visitors educational programs in a large education center, a state-of-the-art conference facility, paved or unpaved trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, boat ramp, canoe and kayak rentals, picnic shelters, playground, and splash pad during the summer.