Paddling South Carolina includes paddling destinations that are only be rewarding but also would be exemplary paddles of the Palmetto State. In the Upstate, paddling destinations can be found in lakes and rivers. Paddle the still waters of mountain-rimmed Lake Jocassee to visit waterfalls. Shoot the rapids of the famed Chattooga (Yes, there is a not-too-rough section most folks can paddle) or the milder rapids of the upper Saluda just outside Greenville, or make a fun float down the upper Pacolet.
And what good is a South Carolina paddling guidebook without including South Carolina’s contribution to great rivers of the world — the Congaree. This river flows through the botanically rich heart of the Palmetto State. On the Congaree, you can run rapids downtown Columbia then enter a remote stretch bordered by great sandbars backed by even great ancient hardwood forests with a high canopy unseen elsewhere in the world. Goodale State Park offers the Big Pine Tree Creek Canoe Trail, where you twist and turn among the cypresses rising in an old mill pond. The Edisto River makes a serpentine course through the back of beyond. Explore the old rice field canals along Wadboo Creek. Wambaw Creek courses through a coastal wilderness in the Francis Marion National Forest. It is something you must experience for yourself – with the help of this guidebook of course. Then, when you cobble the paddling destinations together, this book presents a mosaic of Palmetto State beauty and biodiversity that is hard to beat! As you may guess, the hardest part of writing this book may have been picking out the paddling destinations. With each of these waterways, I sought out a combination of scenery, paddling experiences, ease of access – including shuttling when necessary, and a reasonable length for day tripping. Now it is your turn – get out there and paddle South Carolina!