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

Upper Saluda River: Saluda Dam Road to Dolly Cooper Park

Scroll down for more details
Legend
Hide All
No More Parking @ Dam
Paddlers are no longer able to use the parking area below the dam to launch boats, due to private property concerns. Please use the Saluda River Yacht Club as an alternative put-in!

Upper Saluda River: Saluda Dam Road to Dolly Cooper Park

Skill Level: Moderate
Loading 
Rapids: Class I , II
Length: 6.5 miles
Duration: 3.5 - 5 hours
Portaging: Yes
What to Expect

This trip is great for novice paddlers, or beginners who are looking for a bit more action than flat water. There are a few Class I and II rapids along the way. This river section is highly utilized and popular.

Access
Put in:
Saluda Dam Road River Access and Parking Area (Unofficial)
 4014 Saluda Dam Road, Easley, SC 29640
Access Details

The Saluda Dam Road River Access and Parking Area is located river-right north of the bridge. There is a small dirt parking lot and a fairly steep path leading to the river, downstream of the Saluda Lake Dam.

Take out:
Dolly Cooper Park
 170 Spearman Circle, Greenville, SC 29611
Access Details

This Park offers an ADA accessible floating boat launch, allowing for easy access to the river for all. Additional features include ample paved parking and a grassy picnic area.

Trip Details

Dolly Cooper Park is a 15 minute drive from Saluda Dam Road, so shuttling cars could take a half hour or more. Only access the river from the upstream river right side of Saluda Dam Road and be sure not to block the utility gate. Once on the river, paddlers will immediately encounter some Class I-II rapids as they float under the railroad bridge. There are two more road crossings before Dolly Cooper Park. About halfway through the trip, the river will slow to lake-like paddling conditions, however could become swift at high water levels. Alternative river access is located at the Saluda River Yacht Club. This access may be used by obtaining a free membership at the Yacht Club. For additional information see The Upper Saluda River Blueway map.

Waterway: 

Comments (1)

Please Sign In or Create Account to add your photo to this trip
Eric Glazier
Sep 09, 2019 11:09 am EDT
Canoed this with my 4-year-old son this past weekend. It was a good time! Not the prettiest river (lots of tires, etc in the water). Took us about 5 hours with a snack break. There are 2 rapids in the first stretch (before you get to Saluda River Yacht Club) that could flip an inexperienced paddler, but it would be easy enough to get back in the boat in the water after. There were a couple places with fallen trees across the entire river where we had to get out (sat on the logs) while I hauled the canoe over the trees. The dock at Dolly Cooper park made takeout easy!
Please Sign In or Create Account to add your photo to this trip
ADA Kayak Launch at Dolly Cooper Park (Credit: Upstate Forever)
trail leading down to Saluda River below Saluda Dam (Credit: Upstate Forever)
small beach below Saluda Dam (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Saluda River below Saluda Dam (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Saluda River at Saluda River Yacht Club (Credit: Upstate Forever)
Trip Resources
River Flow (FT)
Discharge flow information
CURRENT FT
Flows for safe padding (ft)
MINIMUM
2.2
MAXIMUM
8
X Close
Skill Level
Easy
Moderate
Difficult
Advanced
Learn more
X Close
Flow Level
Runnable
Above Runnable
Below Runnable
No Information
Learn more
X Close
Skill & Flow Level
Easy
Moderate
Difficult
Advanced
Runnable
Above Runnable
Below Runnable
No Information
X Close
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