New Twelve Mile River recreation area planned

COUNTY — Pickens County Council announced plans last week to develop a recreational area on the Twelve Mile River near Cateechee.

According to a news release, council has been working with Hulsey McCormick and Wallace Inc. (HMW) to design and secure funding for the project.

The Twelve Mile River is a tributary of the Seneca River within the Savannah River Basin in South Carolina.

The project 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 picnic facilities. Hiking trails will allow visitors to appreciate the scenic beauty along the river and lake.

The project will consist of two parks: the Norris Highway Recreational Area, which will serve as the whitewater “put-in,” and the Madden Bridge Road Recreational Area, 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,” county councilman Trey Whitehurst said. “It is good that clean-up funds from the Lake Hartwell Natural Resources Damages Settlement will bring this project to the Cateechee area.”

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 increased demand for retail sales employment in convenience stores, groceries and outdoor recreation stores. It is forecasted that more than 96,000 people, paddlers and recreational fishermen will visit the parks on an annual basis.

The Twelve Mile River Recreational Area project cost for survey, engineering design, bidding and construction of both parks is $1.89 million. The Lake Hartwell Natural Resource Trustee Council has committed $1.49 million out of the Lake Hartwell Natural Resource Damages Settlement. An additional $403,060 is requested from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The public is invited to hear an overview about the project presented by Wes Hulsey of Hulsey McCormick and Wallace Inc. as part of next Monday’s county council meeting, which will begin at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of the administration building at 222 McDaniel Ave. in Pickens.