Broad River

Area Status: Open

The Broad River flows along the eastern side of the Enoree District within the Sumter National Forest. Called the Broad River since 1745, the river once was a boundary between the Cherokee and Catawba Indian tribes. The river runs through a millrace at Lockhart leaving the riverbed virtually dry for more than a mile. The best points to get onto the river are five miles down river at the Broad River boat ramp or Woods Ferry Recreation area. The 16.6 mile float to Neal Shoals Dam is primarily flat-water with a few riffles. There is a small inlet to the river on the east bank where you can portage around the dam. Once around the dam the river passes under Highway 72/121 (no access). The Sandy River flows into the Broad from the east, and there is an access point just around the bend of the confluence. South of the Sandy River is the liveliest part of the trip. Riffles and ledges are present but the paddling is not difficult. The next landmark is Shelton Island, stay to the right channel. Henderson Island is next, a nice place to stop to take a break. The unusual stand of hardwoods covers a steep cove on the west bank. Take the left channel. As you travel under the bridge for Highway 34, you are leaving the forest.

Click here for a printable guide and vicinity map.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Call the Enoree Ranger District Office for the latest conditions at (803) 276-4810.
Permit Info: Primitive camping is allowed on national forest land along the river by permit only. Contact Enoree District Office for more information. A valid South Carolina fishing license is required to fish on the national forests. The U.S. Forest Service does not issue any licenses or permits for hunting or fishing. Please visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Web site for license and regulations information.
Open Season: All year
Restrictions: From Woods Ferry to the Neal Shoals Dam, small boats with motors may be used. Canoes and rafts are better for the remainder of the river. Neal Shoals Dam is about two miles down stream. Watch for seasonal flooding and fallen trees. Check local weather forecast before your trip. Study maps of the area and learn the terrain. Know the access points as some are NOT visible from the river. Low water levels may make some ramps inaccessible. Pack it in, pack it out. Portage around dam is .4 miles.
Water: Bring water for trip.

General Information


Broad River Access Points

Broad River Boat Ramp

From Highway 49 and 215, Monarch Mills, on 215 drive southeast 1.7 miles. Turn left onto Secondary 389 and drive 7.5 miles. Turn right onto Secondary 86 and drive .1 miles. Turn left on State Road 389 and drive to the end.

Woods Ferry Boat Ramp

From Hwy. 72 - From Hwy. 72 and Leeds Rd., County 12-25, drive north 1.8 miles. Turn left, at Leeds Rd. County 12-25, and County Rd. 49 drive 0.1 mile. Cross over railroad tracks and drive north to Park Rd., County 12-574, 3.4 miles. Turn left onto Park Rd., County 12-574 and drive 3.6 miles to the end of the paved road and a Visitor Information Board will be on your right.

From Hwy. 9 - From Hwy. 9 and County 49, drive south 5.6 miles. Turn right at Park Rd., County 12-574, Woods Ferry Recreation Area, drive 3.6 miles to the end of the paved road and a Visitor Information Board will be on your right.

Neal Shoals Dam Canoe Access (portage) - From SC 9 and SSR S-12-49 drive south 5.6 miles. Turn right onto Park Road, County 12-574, and drive south, turn left onto Neal Shoals Road, Forest Service Road 304, and drive .6 miles and take right fork to end of road. Boaters can expect to portage their boat from the end of the road to the base of dam.

Sandy River Boat Ramp

From Hwy. 72 and Hwy. 215 intersection in Carlisle, drive east on Hwy. 72, 3.3 miles, road 406 will be on right side just after crossing over bridge. Turn right on Forest Service Road 406, Store Road. Drive 1.1 miles. At fork turn right, Forest Service Road 406A and drive 0.9 miles to Sandy River Boat Ramp.

From Newberry, take Highway 34 to State Highway 55, about seven miles. Turn left until you get to State Highway 45, about four miles. Turn left and drive about four miles until you see State Highway 54. Turn right and go about one mile. Look for the Broad River Scenic Area sign on the corner of State Highway 702. Turn right and look for Forest Road 402, about one mile. Road 402 is a graveled road, and the access to the river is at the end of the road, which is about three miles.

Strother Boat Ramp

From Newberry, take Highway 34 and cross over the bridge on the Broad River, about 14 miles. Once you pass over the bridge the next road to the right goes down to the boat ramp. There is a sign on the highway for the boat ramp.

General Notes:

Low water levels may make some ramps inaccessible.

For real-time data on water levels, check out the U.S. Geological Survey Web site. There you will find real-time water levels for the Tyger River near Delta, S.C., the Enoree River at Whitmire, S.C. and the Broad River near Carlisle, S.C.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


River and Stream Fishing

Boating - Motorized

Boating - Non-Motorized

Travel Time: 11 hours, depending on paddling speed and the number of stops along the river
Size Restrictions From Woods Ferry to the Neal Shoals Dam, small boats with motors may be used. Canoes and rafts are better for the remainder of the river.
Type of Craft motor boat, canoe, kayak
Water/Flow Level Reels and ledges south of Sandy River Boat Ramp. Portage length around dam.
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
32 miles

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