Access to beautiful Saluda River to increase soon, with new pathway
Their newest project is a trail stretching from I-26 to the Broad River, providing three miles of scenic Saluda River views, wheel-chair accessible walkways, and river access at almost any point on the path. At the end of the path, where the Saluda and Broad come together, there will be a 105-foot steel bridge connecting the trail to Boyd Island, a six-acre piece of land that will be used as a preserve.
According to the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Dawson, the Saluda River Greenway development is anticipated to be finished by the end of September. And the plan is based in conservation. Dawson said the pathway’s positioning was purposefully created to go around as many of the large preexisting trees as possible.
“There are some areas where we’re just scooting between two massive gorgeous trees,” he said. “The trail is set up to go around the trees, and to follow the river.”
He said the Alliance wanted to put the trail as close to the river as possible, but far enough away that it won’t get flooded after a storm. There are multiple small bridges on the trail, allowing streams to feed into the river. The pathway is one three-mile stretch of almost total level ground.
The money for the project is being allotted from the Richland County Penny Tax. And Dawson said the project has been well-received by not just Midlands residents, but the community leaders as well.
“All the elected officials have really gotten behind this stuff. They really support it,” he said.
After the money and permits were obtained, Dawson said the excitement finally began.
“Building it is the easy part, and the fun part,” he said. “We ended up putting this as a specified high-priority project.” The building and construction of the newest pathway has been underway for about a year.
The entrance to the new path will be accessible from the Greystone Boulevard exit off of I-26. Instead of turning left into the zoo, turn right onto Candy Lane, according to Dawson. There will be public bathrooms and parking available. The new path also allows for kayaks and canoes to be walked into the river at just about any point.