Wateree River Blue
Trail Activities: t
Trail Features: t
- Water Launch
- No Fee
Starting near Camden, the oldest inland city in South Carolina, the blue trail offers paddlers opportunities to learn about the area’s rich history along its rocky shoals. Continuing downstream, paddlers cross the fall line and enter the coastal plain known for its countless sandbars, high bluffs, and extensive floodplain.
he Wateree River Blue Trail, near Camden, South Carolina, winds 75 miles to meet the Congaree River Blue Trail at Congaree National Park.
The first section is dominated by rocky shoals and changes downstream as it flows through floodplain forests. Its east bank is bordered by Manchester State Forest and Poinsett State Park for the lower third of the trail. Congaree National Park lies on the west side of the river for the trail’s final 10 miles.
As the result of its dedication in 2010, Kershaw County took bold steps to protect the river and its clean water by unanimously passing an ordinance that protects all rivers and streams by requiring a 100-foot strip of trees and plants along the riverbank to limit polluted runoff that flows into the county’s waters.
The Wateree River Blue Trail connects communities to the recreational, economic, and cultural values of their river and protects its clean water.
The Wateree River Blue Trail asks visitors to follow the National Leave No Trace Code of Outdoor Ethics that promotes the responsible use and enjoyment of the outdoors.Directions:
Lugoff Landing: Located immediatly below Lake Wateree Dam. The landing is maintained by Duke Power Company and is located in close proximity to the City of Camden. This landing is the reccomended starting point on the Wateree River Blue Trail. It is an easy day trip to the Highway 1 Landing and is suitable beginners.
Highway 1 Landing: Located on river right at the Highway 1/601 bridge, this is the reccomended takeout for paddlers enjoying a day trip on the Wateree River Blue Trail. This is the last public landing or takeout for 44 miles.
Overnight trips are popular on the Wateree River Blue Trail. Below the Highway 1 Landing paddlers will enjoy a true wilderness experience. Most paddlers can make the trip from Camden to the 378 bridge in 2 days of hard paddling, but the trip can be extended to 3 to 4 days. Paddlers often use the numerous sandbars to camp below Camden, but beware of fluctuating river levels due to precipitation and upstream hydropower operations. If you camp on a sandbar, camp as high on the sandbar as possible and tie down your boat.
The reccomended last takeout on the Wateree River Blue Trail is located at the Highway 601 Landing on the Congaree River. The 601 Landing is also the end of the Congaree River Blue Trail. Warning! the 601 Landing is approximately 2 miles upstream of the Wateree River and Congaree River confluence. After the confluence, paddlers must head upstream for 2 miles to the takeout. There are several other takeout options below the confluence including Pack's Landing on the Santee River and Low Falls landing in the headwaters of Lake Marion. These takeouts are only reccomended for paddlers familar with the area or for those with advanced skills with GPS.