Jones Gap State Park is located in the Blue Mountain region. The Middle Saluda River is a really significant river in South Carolina because It's one of the few rivers within South Carolina that's still a free-flowing river in the mountain area. The river is a cold water habitat. Cold water habitats are only found in the mountain region.
This river is used as a learning center for South Carolina school kids in a program called "Discover Carolina." Students get a chance to collect different animals and observe them in the laboratory.
The Jones Gap is along the Eastern Continental Divide. The Middle Saluda River and the rivers that drain on this side are headed to the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 300 miles by land, until they empty into the ocean.
Jones Gap had South Carolina's first cold-water hatchery from 1931 until 1963. It currently has several nationally endangered species, such as the green salamander. The greatest diversity of salamanders in the world are right here in the southern Appalachians. There is also an environmental marine center that is used only for education and research.