Paddling the Congaree Swamp

7 thoughts on “Paddling the Congaree Swamp”

  1. Great account. Made me want to get the kayaks out. I live only about 20 minutes from the put-in you described and have paddled various stretches of Cedar Creek. At one point I thought I could talk the rangers into a remove-the-deadfall plan but they didn’t go for it. It seems to me by taking out the portages they could increase access. But they didn’t go for it.

    The only thing missing from the account: Wildlife. Any birds?

  2. I thought about that after writing this, Trey, and I did leave out wildlife descriptions. There were several ducks and a couple of kingfishers. I heard some palliated woodpeckers, but could only get a glimpse. Heard lots of barred owls.

    To be honest, we were so busy paddling we didn’t take as much time to look as I would have liked. I had binoculars and a telephoto lens with me, but it seemed like we were paddling like crazy downstream to get to a certain point, then paddling like crazy just to make it back before dark. I prefer a more relaxed trip.

  3. Hey Tom!
    I recently paddled Cedar Creek in my new kayak (12′ pungo), and was looking for narratives just like this one to describe conditions one might expect downriver from South Cedar Creek Road landing. We paddled upstream for about an hour and a half (did this after work), with only one portage. Curious – are the trees as big and mysterious downstream from the bridge? Also, did you see anything that might work as a campsite along the way? Tempted to go on a solo yak-packing adventure this weekend to test out the new boat!

    1. Patrick – depending on the water levels, the route is more open in some places, and can be completely blocked in others. There were sections where we were able to paddle multiple routes between huge cypress. Then there were some sections where we just couldn’t get through.

      I know there are camping spots along the route from the Cedar Creek Landing to US 601. You would almost have to do that as an overnighter. I’m just not familiar with them.

      Congrats on the new kayak! We’ll need to do some paddling together soon!

  4. Hey Tom, you that man. Do you know what the minimum water gage levels would need to be to paddle this creek? Also, by the sound of your stroy, which I liked, there must not have been any rapids to be paddling back up….?

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