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

Upper Saluda River: Maddox Bridge Road (Unofficial) to Ware Shoals Dam

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Upper Saluda River: Maddox Bridge Road (Unofficial) to Ware Shoals Dam

Skill Level: Moderate
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Rapids: Class I , II
Length: 2.8 miles
Duration: 1 - 1.7 hours
Portaging: Yes
What to Expect

There are a few Class I and II rapids along this stretch, but as the river nears Ware Shoals, the channels become clear, wide, and still, impounded by the downstream Ware Shoals Dam.

Access
Put in:
Maddox Bridge Road River Access and Roadside Parking (Unofficial)
 599 Maddox Bridge Road, Ware Shoals, SC 29692
Access Details

Very limited parking (~2 cars) is available along the side of Maddox Bridge Road, north/upstream of the bridge on river-left. A trail leads from the road to the river. This access is unofficial but widely used. Use at your own risk.

Take out:
Ware Shoals Dam River Access and Parking Area
 Power House Road, Ware Shoals, SC
Access Details

Avoid the dam entirely!  After crossing below the State Hwy 252 bridge, stay to the left side of the river. Take-out is on river-left about 300 feet before the dam and buoy line. Parking is available in the dirt clearing east of the dam. Portage around the dam is available, but is 0.15 miles long and strenuous. Using a vehicle to shuttle boats to the downstream put-in is recommended.

Trip Details

The Ware Shoals Dam take out and dam portage is located a short 10 minute drive from Maddox Bridge Road. Very limited roadside parking is available along Maddox Bridge Road, upstream river left. A short trail leads from the road to the river. Once on the river, paddlers will encounter several Class I-II rapids and shoals. As the river nears Ware Shoals, the river slows to flatwater. After crossing under the State Hwy 252 bridge, stay to the left side of the river. Take out is river left, about 300 feet before the dam and buoy line. Parking is available in the dirt clearing east of the dam. Portage around the dam is available, but is 0.15 miles long and strenuous. Using a vehicle to shuttle boats to the downstream put in is recommended. For more information see The Upper Saluda River Blueway map.

Waterway: 

Comments (1)

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Brandon Burdette
Jun 29, 2017 10:03 pm EDT
A few small rapids at the very beginning then flat water the rest of the way.
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Saluda River at Maddox Bridge Road (Credit: Upstate Forever)
trail leading to river at Maddox Bridge Road (Credit: Upstate Forever)
approaching the Ware Shoals Dam (Credit: Upstate Forever)
small parking area next to take out above Ware Shoals Dam (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Sand Dredge Over The Saluda River (Credit: Brandon Burdette)
Flat Water Paddling (Credit: Brandon Burdette)
A Skidish Heron (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