Groundbreaking held for Belton Landing upgrades

The City of Belton held a groundbreaking event at Belton Landing on the Saluda River on Wednesday, (Sept. 11) to celebrate the start of a major redevelopment effort at the facility.  The landing will be at 2520 SC Hwy 247, Belton.
The redevelopment efforts at Belton Landing are the result of an ongoing partnership between the City of Belton, Anderson County, the Duke Energy Foundation, and the Anderson County Legislative Delegation.  The project recently received a $100,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation’s Water Resources Fund and a $35,000 grant from the SCPRT Parks and Recreation Development (PARD) program.  Improvements at the facility will include improved parking and access as well as the installation of an ADA-accessible kayak launch.
The improvements at Belton Landing represent the third major improvement project along the Anderson County portion of the Saluda River Blue Trail over the last 36 months. Conceived by a consortium of public entities, private sector interests, advocates for the physically-challenged, environmental groups, and other stakeholders, the blue trail enhances water recreational access for six South Carolina counties along the Saluda River. Along with its two sister sites in Powdersville and Pelzer, this improved facility will promote and preserve our local natural resources by creating river access and resource awareness.
Belton Landing serves as the southern anchor of a 20-mile segment of the Blue Trail that begins at Dolly Cooper Park in Powdersville. The Belton Access is located about 3 miles south of Duke Energy’s new 750-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant at the W.S. Lee Station.  Over one million people live within 50 miles of the Belton Access. The site’s convenient location make it an attractive destination for kayakers, anglers, wildlife watchers, and those seeking more passive recreational interests.
Belton Mayor Wendell Page said, “The Saluda River Blue Trail attracts nature-based tourism from around the globe, and we fully expect the Belton Landing project to bring substantial tourism-related economic benefits to our community.  Belton Landing will enhance access to and awareness of one of South Carolina’s most important natural resources, and we are proud to serve as the host site for this major expansion of recreational opportunities in our region.”
Anderson County Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson said, “We are excited about our partnership with the City of Belton and the Duke Energy Foundation.  Duke Energy has been a wonderful steward of hydroelectric power and recreational resources on the Saluda River, and we very much appreciate their high level of positive participation in our region.”
Belton Landing is owned and operated by the City of Belton and currently serves as an informal public access point.  The City will continue to own and operate the facility after improvements are completed.
“The City of Belton has been working very hard to attract cultural and nature-based tourism to the community, and this announcement is yet another sign of their success.  I am very proud that Anderson County is able to partner with the city on developing the Belton Landing site, and I am confident that the Saluda River Blue Trail will continue to grow into a beloved and nationally-recognized regional amenity.”— Anderson County Councilman Ray Graham
Senator Mike Gambrell, South Carolina Senate District Four said, “The Saluda River Blue Trail directly serves hundreds of my constituents and benefits several cities, towns, and unincorporated communities in our region.  On behalf of the Anderson County Legislative Delegation, I am proud to offer our full support to the City of Belton in their efforts moving forward with this major project.”
Representative Jay West, South Carolina House District Seven said, “It is hard to overstate the importance of the Belton Landing project to our community.  The facility serve will not only to improve river access and provide economic stimulus to the Belton area, but will also raise awareness to the fundamental importance of preserving our pristine natural resources.”