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Upper Saluda River: Irvin Pitts Memorial Park to Beacham Road

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Upper Saluda River: Irvin Pitts Memorial Park to Beacham Road

Skill Level: Difficult
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Rapids: Class I , II , III
Length: 1.7 miles
Duration: .5 - 1 hours
Portaging: No
What to Expect

This trip is characterized by the granite outcrop shoals along the Irvin Pitts Memorial park. Paddlers can expect to utilize their technical maneuvering skills to navigate this exciting and heavily bouldered area. There are sections of flat water mixed in with rapids making this stretch of the river an exciting challenge.

Access
Put in:
Irvin Pitts Memorial Park
 Power House Road, Ware Shoals, SC 29693
Access Details

This park borders the beautiful shoals for which the town is named and is characterized by the granite rock outcrops, sculpted by the constant flow of the river. This park provides a great place to wade, picnic at the nearby tables, and generally enjoy the river. Paddlers should put-in at the far east end of the park to avoid the shoals. In low water, paddling down the shoals may be difficult.

Take out:
Beacham Road / Ware Shoals Community Foundation River Access and Parking Area
 Beacham Road, Ware Shoals, SC 29692
Access Details

From US Highway 25, turn west on to Beacham Road. Continue for 100 feet, then bear right into a dirt parking area. From the parking area, a trail leads 300 feet through the woods to a small beach along the river. The river is flatwater from this bridge in to Lake Greenwood.

Trip Details

The Ware Shoals Community Foundation River Access off of Beacham Road/US Hwy25 is only 5 minutes away from Irvin Pitts Memorial Park. Paddlers should put in at the far east end of the park to avoid the majority of the shoals. In low water, paddling down the shoals may be difficult. Once on the river, paddlers will experience Class I-II rapids and a few exciting small drops. The US Hwy 25 bridge is the first road crossing. To get to the access, turn west onto Beacham Road off of US Hwy 25. Continue for 100 feet and then bear right into a dirt parking area. From the parking area, a trail leads 300 feet  through the woods to a small beach along the river. Paddlers will see a set of stairs leading from the river to the trail, river right, and should exit here before reaching the US Hwy 25 bridge. Once on the river, paddlers will cross immediately under the US Hwy 25 bridge. This is the only bridge/road crossing along this trip. As the Saluda River enters Lake Greenwood, the channels become very wide and the water stills. Souls Harbor, a one lane boat ramp, is located straight ahead as paddlers enter Lake Greenwood, before the lake turns 90 degrees and flows east. Parking is available along the shoulder of Ridge Road. Overnight or extended parking is not recommended. For more information see The Upper Saluda River Blueway map.

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Irvin Pitts Park (Credit: Upstate Forever)
shoals at Irvin Pitts Park (Credit: Upstate Forever)
approaching the Highway 25 bridge, just below the Beacham Road access (Credit: Upstate Forever)
stairs leading down to Saluda River at Beacham Road access (Credit: Upstate Forever)
trail leading to Beacham Road parking area (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Amazing Dam View (Credit: Brandon Burdette)
Hunting Heron (Credit: Brandon Burdette)
Sunning On The Rocks (Credit: Brandon Burdette)
Trip Resources
River Flow (CFS)
Discharge flow information
CURRENT CFS
Flows for safe padding (cfs)
MINIMUM
800
MAXIMUM
4000
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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