Columbia, SC (WLTX) - On Saturday, rivergoers had to find an alternate route to get on the Saluda River because the Riverbanks Zoo has put up a fence to block people from entering the river from their parking lot.
"When you don't have the beach, why not come to the river with its icy cool water and cool yourself down," said Sarah Player.
"Sure everyone is going to be upset because they can't come down here anymore but the zoo has been warning us this was coming," said Jim Scott.
Zoo President and CEO Satch Kratnz says last year 20,000 people parked in the zoo's lot to access the river, leaving behind trash and leading to public drinking.
"I feel we are barricaded," said Chad Thomason.
Thomason says that fence makes it difficult to get to the water
"From the zoo you have access to the whole river, from this point you are at the top of the river and walk yourself all the way down," said Thomason.
Since the Zoo has blocked access for many rivergoers they are left to park on the side of the road near Candi Lane in Columbia and find an alternate route to the Saluda River.
"I don't like it, I want to come out here and go paddling and I am worried about trespassing over here," said Scott.
Sarah Player thinks the good are paying the price for others behavior.
"When you have all these people that come down here and cant behave themselves and they trash the place and they bring glass, I don't blame the zoo at all for shutting it down," said Player.
Jim Scott thinks the city should find an alternate route to access the river.
"If they were to build a walkway and parking lot like Cayce and West Columbia have done and then patrol it, all of this would go away," said Scott.