Twelve Mile River runs through the lower part of Pickens County, beginning just north of Pickens and ending at a confluence with the Seneca River and forming Lake Hartwell. The river was previously dammed in several locations, many of which have been removed and the river is now being developed into a recreational area.
The future recreational offerings will provide a river put-in for whitewater kayaking through the Twelve Mile River Gorge with a take-out five miles downstream. Visitors will be able to enjoy fishing along the river and lake as well as one of the picnic facilities. Hiking trails will allow visitors to appreciate the scenic beauty along the river and lake.
The location of the project is near the towns of Norris and Central, South Carolina and a short drive from Clemson and Southern Wesleyan Universities. The project will consist of two parks: the Norris Highway Recreational Area (located on SC 137) which will serve as the whitewater put-in and the Madden Bridge Road Recreational Area (near R.C. Edwards Middle School) which will serve as the whitewater boating take-out and lake access for sport fishing and flat-water paddling. Parks will be constructed with ADA compliant facilities and access for the disabled.
“I am excited for the people of Cateechee; who were affected by the PCBs. It is good that clean-up funds from the Lake Hartwell Natural Resources Damages Settlement will bring this project to the Cateechee area” said Pickens County Councilman Trey Whitehurst.
The economic benefits of the project will be seen in the creation of a projected 80 jobs in the areas of natural resource guides, recreational outfitters, shuttle services, and increase demand for retail sales employment in convenience stores, groceries, and outdoor recreation stores. It is forecasted that over 96,000 people, paddlers, and recreational fishermen will visit the parks on an annual basis.