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GoPaddleSC website connects people to state waterways

The new www.GoPaddleSC.com website was unveiled by a coalition of South Carolina conservation groups at the Glendale Outdoor Leadership School in Glendale June 28.

The website features an interactive map of blueways (river trails) in South Carolina that allows users to easily search for a water adventure based on criteria such as skill level, location and duration of trip. The online map includes listings of waterways and potential paddling trips across South Carolina. Other resources include helping paddlers learn practical skills such as navigating coastal tides and understanding the meaning of river-flow gauges.

The website will be updated with additional content on a regular basis. It currently includes an impressive array of descriptions of 63 waterways, 108 trip listings, 390 points of interest and 612 river accesses.

To commemorate the website launch and encourage increased use of local natural resources, Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed July as South Carolina Paddle Month. The proclamation was read aloud at the launch event by Maj. Jamie Landrum of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Also speaking at the event were Tanner Arrington, GIS manager at SCDNR, who provided much of the technical expertise for the website, and Bill Marshall, who works in SCDNR’s Scenic Rivers program.

Other speakers for the event included representatives from Upstate Forever, Palmetto Conservation Foundation, the Callie and John Rainey Foundation and the town of Lockhart.

The www.GoPaddleSC.com website is a part of Upstate Forever’s four-year “Reconnecting People to Rivers” initiative and was developed in partnership with SCDNR, the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the Callie and John Rainey Foundation (which provided initial funding), along with the assistance of many organizations.

Upstate Forever also unveiled the Broad River Blueway map and the Twelve Mile River Blueway map, the fifth and sixth maps to be printed out of a planned series of 10 waterproof blueway maps. The maps are available free of charge at Upstate Forever’s Greenville and Spartanburg offices, local bookstores, and local outdoor outfitters. Downloadable map versions are available at both the Upstate Forever and www.GoPaddleSC.com websites.