Planning a summer trip to the South Carolina mountains? Dial up the fun with a vacation classic - lake paddling.
At Table Rock State Park, you can try out a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or kayak on the peaceful 67-acre Lake Oolenoy the third Friday of every month from May through October. Choose a boat or board and park staff will provide basic instruction to get you off and paddling.
Participants should meet at 10 a.m. at the Lake Oolenoy boat ramp across the lake from the park visitor center. Sessions last two to three hours, depending on the number of paddlers.
Cost of the program is $20. Park rangers recommend you wear swimming attire and bring a towel, water, sunscreen, hat and footwear that can get wet. Registration deadline is three days before each event. Call 864.918.8475 to schedule your session.
If you already feel confident in your paddling skills, you can rent a canoe or kayak and take to the water on your own. Rentals are offered year-round at the park headquarters or seasonally at the Lake Pinnacle boathouse from March 1 through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for $5 per half-hour.
Set off early in the morning on the 36-acre Lake Pinnacle and venture into quiet coves in search of waking wildlife. Among the inhabitants you may spot are great blue herons, water snakes, bull frogs, snapping turtles, deer and maybe even bass swimming in the water.
Near the end of summer and early fall, Joe-Pye weed and goldenrods may be starting to bloom along the shore. Paddling to the far end of the lake, you'll be able to see above the tree line and get a nice view of Pinnacle and Table Rock mountains.
Be sure to look for one of the park's historical landmarks - the dam built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
For more information on the SUP and kayak paddling tryouts or boat rentals, call the park office at 864.878.9813 or click here.