Noob question about trips

I'm just now getting into kayaking and I have a crazy question. Generally, how do trips work?

If I put in upriver and float down, how do I get back to my car? I live in Fort Mill, SC. It seems like most of the rivers around here do not have any kind of shuttle service and its way too far to walk. Is my only option to have someone come pick me up? It seems like a big inconvenience to have to arrange that every time. How do you guys do it most of the time? I feel like there is something painfully obvious that I'm missing.

Also, if anyone knows of some good trips in my area (NC/SC), let me know. The closest river is the Catawba. I called the park and they don't offer a shuttle, but they said you can get out at the 1.7 mile mark and walk back to your car. That seems like a pretty short trip. :/


Paddle with buddies :slight_smile:
I know it can be a pain. I fortuantely paddle with a small group so logistics are fairly easy.


Tyler, Since you are in the NC/SC area have you paddled Lake Wylie, Lake Norman or Mountain Island Lake? They make for a fun afternoon.

Up stream
A lot of rivers can be paddled up stream, too. It’s a great work out.

Yes - paddle
That’s my usual routine. Usually I try to evaluate the wind direction and the current, then choose upstream or down stream from the launch accordingly. Of course the wind is tricky and can change 180 deg in a very short time.

Open Water Kayaking…
with a Touring Kayak, lakes, large rivers and backwaters of Wildlife refuges offer the best of both…launch and recover from the same spot.

A "park and paddle"
is what I call those kind of trips.

Paddle upstream first
If it’s not WW. In that case, the bike or friend option.

Thanks for the advice.

I wasn’t sure if paddling upstream was an option or not. I’ll have to check places for rapids. I definitely need a workout. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ginger, I live a few miles from Lake Wylie. I’m going to go paddle it as soon as I get the chance. I’ll have to try out lake norman and mountain island as well. Thanks.


Upstream formula
If you use the paddle upstream option first, it generally takes twice as long to go up as to go down. That varies, of course, depending on current and the individual. Another thing to keep in mind, at low water levels, it can be difficult to paddle upstream because you can’t get your paddle deep enough into the water for a good bite, even though the current is moving fast enough to go downstream over shallow spots. (I learned that one the hard way one solo trip.)

Mountain Island Lake
I paddle Mountain Island Lake all the time. It usually makes for a great day on the water, with much less boat traffic than Lake Norman or Lake Wylie. There are 2 nice put-ins, with ample parking, on the grounds of the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. REI just had a paddling demo day at the Gar Creek launch/put-in a few weeks ago, and it was quite busy.

It was nice to see so many locals interested in paddling!