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Pacolet River: Skull Shoals to Lockhart, SC

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Pacolet River: Skull Shoals to Lockhart, SC

Skill Level: Easy
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Rapids: None
Length: 12.0 miles
Duration: 6 - 6.5 hours
Portaging: No
What to Expect

As the lazy, slower moving waters of the Pacolet River encounter the clear, wide channel of the Broad River, paddlers can expect to encounter very rural scenery and a variety of wildlife. This lengthy trip ends in Lockhart, SC along the Broad River, just before the Lockhart Dam.

Access
Put in:
Skull Shoals Road River Access and Parking Area
Access Details

This is the last road crossing before the confluence of the Pacolet River with the Broad River. This is an established parking area and river access, with parking available in a dirt lot on river-left. The next established take-out location is the Town of Lockhart approximately 12 miles downstream (a 4.5-hour paddle).

Take out:
Lockhart Take Out above Lockhart Dam #1
Access Details

Paddlers should use caution when approaching the Lockhart Dam. The take out is located river-right, before the first dam. Access to the parking lot requires a short walk. The Lockhart Canal is formed by the two dams located north and south of the Town of Lockhart. Swimming and boating are not permitted within the Lockhart Canal. Paddlers wishing to continue their trip downstream should use the phone in a box on the side of Lockhart Power's building, which is connected to Lockhart Power's control room, to call (864) 545-2580. Lockhart Power will bring a truck and portage you to the put in downstream river-left, east of Lockhart Power's Hydropower Plant and Dam.

Trip Details

The take out at Lockhart Dam is 15 minutes from Skull Shoals Road, so shuttling cars could take a half hour or more. Once on the river, there is not a road crossing. The Pacolet River converges with the Broad River about 2/3 of the way into the trip. The waters of the Broad River may be swifter moving than the Pacolet. Upon approaching the Lockhart Dam, take out is located river right 300 feet before the dam. Paddlers should use caution when approaching the Lockhart Dam. This dam is large and poses significant hazard to paddlers. Use caution at all times when paddling nearby and avoid the dam and its facilities. Swimming and boating in the Lockhart Canal is prohibited. Portage boats 800 feet to the gravel parking area. For additional information, view Upstate Forever's Pacolet River and Lawson's Fork Creek Blueway Map and Broad River Blueway Map

Waterways: 

Comments (1)

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Jim Hannah
May 03, 2020 8:11 pm EDT
Great trip with beautiful scenery. Put in at Skull Shoals was easy. Strong flow in early May 2020 made for an easy paddle. Take out at Lockhart is in rough shape and very difficult to take out. Probably due to recent storms. Take out at Lockhart could use some work and clean up to make it safe.
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Lockhart Dam #1 (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Parking Area below Lockhart Dam #1 take out (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Trip Resources
River Flow (CFS)
Discharge flow information
CURRENT CFS
Flows for safe padding (cfs)
MINIMUM
325
MAXIMUM
750
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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