Relaxing Paddle Through Lake Murray

By:Marie McAden


Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to entail high adventure, profuse sweating or an onerous trek to the wilderness. Sometimes you just want a pretty setting with easy access where you can relax and soak it all in.

A leisurely paddle on Lake Murray is just that sort of outing.

The landing at the SCE&G North Recreational Area puts you in the water near the Dreher Shoals Dam where you can take in a beautiful sunset and watch walkers, joggers and cyclists cruising along the dam’s 1.7-mile pedestrian pathway.

Located just 20 minutes from the capital city of Columbia, it checks off the easy-to-get-to box. The dam — built to harness the energy of the Saluda River — towers 213 feet high, earning it title to the largest earthen dam in the world back when it was built in 1930.

The 48,000-acre reservoir it created certainly qualifies as a pretty setting, especially in the late afternoon when the sun begins its slow creep below the horizon. With summer’s warm weather quickly waning, there isn’t near the boat traffic there was a month ago.

It costs $3 to park at the SCE&G rec area. For directions to the landing, click here.

If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent one from Get Your Gear On. Or better yet, take a 2 ½-hour guided tour with the Columbia outfitter. For details, call (803) 799-0999.

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