ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)– If you’re looking to hit the water this Summer, you can now paddle away at a new kayak and tubing launch in Anderson County.
The revolving tubing and kayaking loop is at the Dolly Cooper Park. You can experience the adventure for free.
Anyone can take their flotation device out on the water, at the northern launch and sail away down the Saluda River to the new southern launch.
“Currently where we’re standing is the northern launch at Dolly Cooper. We travel a quarter mile down the stream to the southern launch which creates a paddling loop for people in tubes or kayaks, that don’t want to leave a park, but yet still enjoy the river,” said Matt Schell, Parks Department Manager for Anderson County.
The second launch was made possible with a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy.
“So the distance between the two launches is both a quarter mile by river, and a quarter mile by ADA accessible trail,” Schell said.
First you start at the northern launch, which has been there since 2013. Then you sail away downstream to the new launch about a quarter mile away.
“Yeah, it’s really nice because usually we would have to go like 30 minutes away to like go and tube and you still have to pay for it and stuff. Here we can just come, like get on your tubes and just float down,” said Ally Godfrey, tuber.
Schell said this looping trail has been a seven year goal for Dolly Cooper Park.
“The looping trail here at Dolly Cooper has been a seven year goal of Anderson County. And just recently with the grant award from Duke Energy, we’re able to install the second launch,” Schell said.
Some said before the looping trail, the park lacked fun recreational activities.
“There wasn’t much to do. It was just trails to walk on, that was pretty much it,” said Anna Garrick, tuber.
“They can bring their lunch, bring their kids and just enjoy the time on the river. There’s fishing. You can fish along the river. There’s a lot of fishing that’s done from the banks,” Schell said.
Others said they were able to explore the wildlife of the Saluda River during the approximately 25 minute adventure.
“You’re kind of away from everything. It’s really peaceful and it’s like a really pretty view. You get the trails,” Godfrey said.
“So this tube and kayak short loop, the quarter mile loop that we have is a game changer for Dolly Cooper. It’s a game changer for Powdersville and Upstate South Carolina,” Schell said. “So the economic impact of this quarter mile revolving paddling tubing loop is already making a difference here in Anderson. The weekends are filled with tubers and kayakers, and this as an event, is something annual. It’s not something seasonal. It’s open year around,” he added.
Schell said Anderson County will also host the 11th Annual Saluda River Rally this weekend. Schell said the launch will be the starting point for the event.
“This tubing and kayak loop is going to play a major role in this year’s Saluda River Rally. It’s been about five years since we’ve actually offered tubing on this river, because we used to paddle focus north, we used to shuttle people north and they will float south,” Schell said.