Duke Energy to spend millions on Wateree

LAKE WATEREE – Enhanced recreation options are on the way to Lake Wateree by the end of 2019.

As part of Duke Energy’s recreation management plan filed with federal regulators, three sites are slated for upgrades. They include the Colonels Creek, Taylors Creek and Molly Creek access areas, all on the western boundary of Lake Wateree.

Duke submitted the management plan in 2016. Following some revisions, most not directly impacting Lake Wateree, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, signed off on the document in December 2017.

“Specifically, the plan includes provisions to maintain existing project recreation sites and construct the required enhancements at both existing project recreation sites and new recreation sites,” the plan states. “All construction is to be completed in 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-year intervals, with the majority of the recreation facilities and sites completed within five years.”

Fairfield County Administrator Jason Taylor likened the Lake Wateree possibilities to similar amenities found at the Lake Monticello Park off S.C. 215, near Jenkinsville.

County leaders are confident the park facilities will become a major draw locally and regionally.

“It’s going to [mean] millions of dollars,” for Fairfield County, County Councilman Jimmy Ray Douglas said. “You’ll get a lot of people from Winnsboro. This is really a big project.”

Taxpayers shouldn’t incur any extra expense for the recreation upgrades. Douglas said Duke plans to handle the bulk of upkeep itself, and was also hopeful the state would lend some assistance.

“It won’t cost the county a penny. They (Duke) are going to do all the work themselves,” he said.

The Lake Wateree upgrades and others are spelled out in the management plan that Duke submitted. The vast majority of recreation enhancements are along the Catawba and Wateree rivers.

New or upgraded sites are planned in Fairfield, Lancaster, Kershaw, York and Chester counties in South Carolina, as well as numerous counties in North Carolina, according to the 39-page document.

“Further, the plan provides for enhancements at existing recreation sites and development of new recreation sites, and reserves sites for future use as needed,” the plan states. “The plan will meet foreseeable recreation demand, includes monitoring provisions over the term of the license, and is supported by the consulted entities.”

In Fairfield County, the sites lie along the western boundaries of Lake Wateree. Here’s a list of proposed amenities by site, according to public records.

  • Molly Creek Access Area – Approximately 100-acre site with a swimming area, paved parking, restrooms, trails, bank and pier fishing; picnic facilities, and trailered boat access.;
  • Colonels Creek Access Area – Courtesy dock; swimming area; restrooms; picnic shelter; additional paved parking.
  • Wateree Creek Access Area – Fishing pier, picnic facility, restroom, and 10 gravel parking spaces;

Additional expansion at Taylors Creek is possible, as is an RV campground and boathouse at Molly Creek, documents state.


  1. William Hinson says

    I think this is a great idea but why is there not any up grades going on for the other side of the lake witch is all ready over crowed with only two public access’s and the largest one is always full with no parking. Just don’t under stand why all the money is going to places where hardly no one puts a boat in….

  2. Rosemarie Wright says

    1. Duke is currently requesting a rate hike. Duke customers are paying for it.
    2. Duke currently uses an outside contractor to clean up the boat landings, so they are not doing the work themselves. Which probably means they will be hiring outside contractors to maintain the new access areas, hence the request for a new rate hike.
    3. Molly Creek is not located where it is indicated on the map. That location is off Rockbridge Road, Island Road.

  3. Scott Robinson says

    That’s great….but they are all on one side of the lake!

  4. Too bad they won’t be accessible all the time as they will be under water every time it rains up north.
    Seems to me the priorities are a bit mixed up. Why wouldn’t you want to control the water level better so that these new facilities could be used all the time?
    Just thinking out loud as I sit here watching the rain and rising water.

  5. Jacki R Madewell says

    This lake is overcrowded on weekends and holidays with boaters from Columbia, Charlotte, Sumter, etc. and the proposed recreational “enhancements” will only make that worse. A lot of these people have never taken a boater’s education class and show no courtesy to other boats or to the homeowners who’s docks are destroyed by high waves during peak season. Sure, the law says no wake x number of feet from a man-made structure, but DNR refuses to put up buoy signs designating no wake zones at the entrance of narrow coves. When I requested one for my cove, I was told it was covered by the law. What a joke! Duke doesn’t need a rate hike, they haven’t trimmed the trees in my area in more than seven years so our power is frequently out. We call them “Fluke Energy.” You folks on the Camden side are welcome to all the landings and recreation areas–homeowners don’t want them on the Lugoff side!

  6. Jay Galante says

    Why doesn’t duke clean up the toxic algae that’s in the lake if they’re so concerned about recreation?

  7. L. B. says

    Taylor’s Landing is too close to the houses. This is a safety issue for swimmers and boaters. There is no room to expand Taylor’s Landing. Taylor’s Landing has lots of car break ins too. It should be closed not expanded!

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