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Camping Fee Required Handicap Accesible Parking- Dedicated Lot Roadside Parking Restrooms / Toilets

Pacolet River: Clifton Beach to Goldmine Road (Lawson's Fork Creek)

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Pacolet River: Clifton Beach to Goldmine Road (Lawson's Fork Creek)

Skill Level: Moderate
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Rapids: Class I , II
Length: 4.0 miles
Duration: 2 hours
Portaging: No
What to Expect

This is a very popular paddling trip on the Pacolet River with Class I and II rapids. Paddlers can expect to see a combination of slow slow moving water and short sections of rapids along rural scenery.

Access
Put in:
Clifton Beach
Access Details

Clifton Beach, directly below Clifton II Dam, is a sandy beach put-in located along Goldmine Road. Parking is available across the street in the established gravel lot.

Take out:
Goldmine Road
Access Details

Parking and river access are available downstream of the bridge, river-right. If paddling from Clifton Beach, turn right from the Pacolet River and paddle 0.2 miles upstream along Lawson's Fork Creek to the Goldmine Road Bridge.

Trip Details

Goldmine Road is a short 5 minute drive from Clifton Beach; shuttling cars should be quick and easy. This section features several stretches of Class I-II+ rapids. There are no road crossings along this section. About 0.8 miles into the trip, paddlers will come across two islands; stay to the left of both islands. Upon nearing the confluence of Lawson's Fork Creek with the Pacolet River, there is another small island; stay to the right, and then turn to paddle upstream along Lawson's Fork Creek until reaching the Goldmine Road bridge. In very low and very high waters, paddling upstream may become difficult. For additional information, view Upstate Forever's Pacolet River and Lawson's Fork Creek Blueway Map.

Waterway: 

Comments (5)

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Krzysztof Zaryczny
Aug 10, 2020 11:35 am EDT
Marvin, the water flow was really low, if higher I could see one class II rapid based on several other rivers I have done that are classified Class I-II. Like the map above shows, there was really only one area that would be a class II rapid.
Lacey Tull
Jul 24, 2020 3:02 pm EDT
We Kayaked from Clifton Beach and get out at the Pacolet River dam area, there is a kayak port to get off the river before reaching the dam (if you don't take Lawson's Fork Creek) (there are warning signs before you reach the dam). It's a lot of fun!
marvin phifer
Jul 15, 2020 6:37 pm EDT
Thanks for the info on having to get out of your kayak, I would think 492cfs would have been fine. Guess it needs upper 500's. I do not think there are any class II rapids, do you?
marvin phifer
Jul 15, 2020 4:44 pm EDT
Thanks for the info on having to get out of your kayak, I would think 492cfs would have been fine. Guess it needs upper 500's. I do not think there are any class II rapids, do you?
Krzysztof Zaryczny
Jun 30, 2020 9:58 am EDT
Paddled it on June 28, 2020 at 492 CFS. Had to get out of the kayak to go over the rocks after getting stuck. No problematic trees or anything that isn't easy to get around. Paddling upstream on Lawson's Fork was difficult so we walked that portion as well.
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Clifton Beach looking downstream (Credit: Thomas Constant Jr)
Ledge on Pacolet River (Credit: Upstate Forever)
At the Clifton Beach put-in (Credit: Upstate Forever)
paddling away from Clifton Beach (Credit: Upstate Forever)
take out at Goldmine Road (Credit: Upstate Forever)
parking area atUpstate Forever Goldmine Road
Sandbar Stop (Credit: Chris Kohlmorgen)
Trip Resources
River Flow (CFS)
Discharge flow information
CURRENT CFS
Flows for safe padding (cfs)
MINIMUM
325
MAXIMUM
750
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Skill Level
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Moderate
Difficult
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Flow Level
Runnable
Above Runnable
Below Runnable
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Skill & Flow Level
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Moderate
Difficult
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Runnable
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Access Amenities
Parking - Dedicated Lot
Parking - Roadside
Restroom / Toilets
Fee Required
Handicap Accessible
Camping
Paddle SC is presented by
Upstate Forever
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
South Carolina National Heritage Corridor
Rainey Foundation