Broad Scenic River

Project Overview

Broad River

The Broad Scenic River flows along the county borders of Cherokee and York in the Piedmont region of South Carolina as it makes its way toward joining with the Saluda River in Columbia to form the Congaree. In May of 1991, the Broad River from 99 Islands dam to the confluence with the Pacolet River was officially recognized by the South Carolina General Assembly as a State Scenic River. Since that time, an advisory council composed of river-bordering landowners, other local citizens, and a representative of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has worked to conserve the river and its valuable resources.

The Broad Scenic River boasts a fantastic stretch of undeveloped riverfront. Only one bridge (SC 211) crosses the entire 15-mile stretch of river. The riparian forest is home to diverse plant and animal life including the state-endangered wild ginger. Eagles, ospreys, and other birds frequent the river corridor. In addition to flora and fauna, the area surrounding the river is rich with historical features from Smith's ford to Native American fish traps.

The purpose of the South Carolina Scenic Rivers Program is to conserve unique and outstanding river resources throughout South Carolina. To accomplish this goal, the program employs a voluntary, cooperative community-based process, which allows landowners, community interests and the DNR to work together towards common river conservation goals.

Leadership for the Broad Scenic River Project comes from the Broad Scenic River Advisory Council, which represents local landowners, river users, community interests, and SCDNR. The first major task of the advisory council was the creation of a management plan, which was completed in 1993. The Broad Scenic River Management Plan was updated in 2004. The management plan is our guide for ongoing activities for the advisory council. (Contact the chairperson if you are interested in receiving a copy of the management plan)

Broad Scenic River Advisory Council, 2009

Mission Statement:

To educate, protect, conserve, and be an advocate for the well being of the river through open communication with interested partners. In our efforts we will work to develop responsible, limited and managed access to the resource and to maintain open lines of communication with other interested groups.

Advisory Council Meetings:

All advisory council meetings are open to the public and are currently held biannually(one in the Spring and one in the Fall). You will need to contact Bill Marshall for the time and place of the meeting.

Voting Members:

Ex-Officio and Committee Members:

River Managment Issues - Broad River Stewardship Plan

In devising an implementation strategy for the management plan, the Broad River Advisory Council decided that the first step should be to work with riparian landowners in a voluntary framework to protect river resources. To encourage wise land management and river protection, the Scenic Rivers Program developed a stewardship program for river users and riparian landowners on the Broad and other state-designated scenic rivers across South Carolina.

The two basic components of the proposed Scenic Rivers Stewardship Program include education/ landowner contact and stewardship. To participate in the stewardship component, a riparian landowner must enter a land management agreement with the Scenic Rivers Program. The landowner can choose among four land management options: land registration, a memorandum of agreement, a conservation easement, and donation of land. This plan outlines the necessary steps for successful implementation of the Scenic Rivers Stewardship Program on the Broad River.

Stewardship goals

  1. At a minimum, all riparian landowners along the Scenic Broad River should register their river-bordering land in the Broad River Land Registry. Land registration involves a simple, written agreement between the landowner and the Scenic Rivers Program whereby the landowner pledges to manage his/her land in concert with scenic river goals, give notice of any change in land ownership or major change in land use, and report any known threats to the resource. Land registration is similar to joining a landowner association for a lake or subdivision it brings everyone together with a common goal to protect the resource.
  2. The advisory council will encourage riparian landowners to consider other stewardship options (memorandum of agreement, conservation easement, land donation) which include specific management guidelines and provide for long-term resource protection.
  3. Areas of special significance (outstanding natural features, historic sites, etc.) will be identified by the Broad River Advisory Council and targeted for additional protection through memoranda of agreement, conservation easements, or donation of land. Particular sites that have already been identified for special protection include the Bowater bluff, Smith's ford, and the York County property.

Recreational Access

99 Island Access is located southeast of Gaffney in Cherokee County just below Duke Power Company's hydropower facility. It is on the east bank of the river. The state-designated Broad Scenic River begins at this point and extends approximately 15 miles downstream to the confluence with the Pacolet River. Access to this boat landing is off of County Road 43.

The next access point is almost twenty miles downstream at Lockhart in Union County. For a shorter trip, boaters should contact river-bordering landowners to arrange for put-in or take-out.


Broad Scenic River Project Manager
Bill Marshall
SC Dept. of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202
Telephone: (803) 734-9096
Fax: (803) 734-9200