Saluda River Rally coming to Pelzer


Launching from M. J. “Dolly” Cooper Park in Powdersville and ending at Piedmont Dam or the Timmerman Jr. Kayak Launch Facility in Pelzer, participants can enjoy one of the area’s most underutilized natural resources. The 9 or 15 mile paddle trip includes shuttle service from the landing sites back to Dolly Cooper Park. The event will also offer camping at Dolly Cooper Park June 2nd and 3rd. Pre-registration is required. The rally will combine the best aspects of the event in years past into one day.

Feedback from previous years led rally organizers to revamp the event to give more people more time to enjoy longer trips on the river.
Based out of Andover Massachusetts, EGP-NA manages the Piedmont hydropower plant located along the route, which is adjacent to longtime rally partner Saluda River Grill.
“We are thrilled to support such a wonderful community event. EGP-NA recognizes the impact of paddle-friendly waterways for the community and we are happy to make this possible by providing safe passage to portage around the Piedmont dam.” – Beth Harris, Manager of EGP-NA, Southeast Hydropower Operations and Maintenance NR_SRR
The event provides exclusive access to the river and access points, for not only beginner and experienced kayakers, but disabled kayakers as well.
Since its inception in 2008, the rally’s primary purpose continues to promote kayaking, Saluda River recreation and Anderson County’s 48-mile ADA accessible corridor along the river. The event also serves as a Special Olympics Area 14 fundraiser to send Special Olympics athletes to the National Games.
Among the many public and private partners for the event are: Anderson County Council, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Anderson County’s Legislative Delegation, Duke Energy, Anderson County Special Populations Recreation, Grady’s Great Outdoors, Sunrift Adventures, SC Kayak Fishing Club, Senior Solutions, Upstate Forever, Saluda River Grill, Save Our Saluda, Touch the Future, Woods and Water Outdoors, Blue Lion Digital, The Angler Magazine, Piedmont Fire Department and Powdersville Fire Departments, as well as many local residents who return each year to volunteer their time.
“Due to the growth in the event we are no longer able to provide complementary kayaks,” said, Anderson County Parks & Recreation Manager  Matt Schell.
“If you are interested in the 9- or 15-mile experience you will need to provide your own kayak and personal floatation device. Additionally, in order to host this rally event, a nominal registration fee will be required to continue connecting people to the river. Rally partners and sponsors contribute generous donations and resources as well to make this event possible.”
Councilman Ken Waters, Anderson County District 6 said, “I am excited to see the growth in this event. This 15-mile paddle trip is going to be huge. I am proud each year to participate in this event and see familiar faces.” –
Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, Anderson County District 7 said, “This will prove to be an asset to all of our riverside towns and communities in Anderson County. Witnessing the development of the Upstate SC 48-mile Blueway expand downstream is a dream come true.”