Imagine excusing yourself from a meeting gone way too long, going down the hall, down the stairs — then hopping into your playboat for some Class II and III fun? That’s a reality for folks working in downtown Columbia, S.C., where the Saluda River provides a long run of fun on the Mill Race Rapids.

“Mill Race rapids is great fun and easy to get to,” says our Charlotte store staff of the remains of a one-time coffer dam. “It offers a variety of challenging, fun rapids. It’s just across the boarder in Columbia, South Carolina.” (About an hour and a half drive from downtown Charlotte.)
More info: The South Carolina Insider, at

Getting there from downtown Charlotte


Rating: Class II-III
Length: play area in downtown Columbia, SC
Put-in: from I-126 take the River Bank Zoo exit. Go left at the stop sign and continue toward the zoo. Take a right into the Zoo parking lot, cross the railroad tracks and take another right. Look for the trail leading to the river.
Drive: 1 hour, 30 minutes from downtown
Latitude: 34.0055
Longitude: 81.0442
Take-out: same
Time to complete: 1 hour
Gauge: USGS Saluda River below Lake Murray Dam Near Columbia
Minimum flow: 350 cfs
City: Columbia
State: SC