I & some friends have run this stretch several times. Right below the Columbia Canal diversion dam (which has been run many times on RR side--NOT recommended at very low or very high spillover levels), there's a river-wide shoals that contains some good play waves at favorable levels, then a stretch of flat water to the U.S. 176 bridge. Right at the bridge there's a river-wide "ledge", of sorts, that was formed by rubble & debris dropped into the river when the bridge was widened from 2 to 4 lanes. It's runnable, but watch for sharp rocks & rebar at low levels. After this the next feature is Earlewood Shoals, a class 1 rock garden where the river constricts but there isn't much gradient. After this, the next rapid starts at the approach to I-126 bridge, where several good surf waves form at the right water levels--class 2 at low flows & class 3 at higher flows. At the pool below this drop is the Saluda confluence on far river right, but the river is a half mile wide at this point. Staying left, the next rapid is Water Works (class 2+), a boulder garden with a few feet of gradient. The final rapid before the take-out at Gervais Street bridge is the class 2 Jailhouse Shoals, so named for the former state penitentiary that was located here. Overall, it's a good beginner- to intermediate-level run at moderate flows; a more serious run at higher flows.
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Last Tuesday the Waterkeeper Alliance board of directors approved an application for a new riverkeeper for the Columbia, South Carolina area. The riverkeeper will act as an advocate for the Saluda, Congaree, and Broad rivers. Knowing that rivers need all the help they can get, AW wrote a letter of support for the riverkeeper position earlier this month.
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