Hey, anyone from South Carolina and paddled in the Congaree Swamp National Park?
I am from North Carolina
and have paddled the congaree several times. I have even sacrificed a pair of specticles and a paddle to the river gods in the swamp! It is a beautiful and enchanting place to wander. I go back every year or so. Just don’t go in the buggy season! It is the home of pogo (we have met the enemy and he is us) and worth the drive from most any where in the south east!
Congaree Swamp National Park
Check out this link: http://www.nps.gov/cosw/coswcan.htm
I and two other paddlers (swedge and sandyaker) paddled there the Friday after Thanksgiving last year. We put in at the Cedar Creek landing with the intent of traveling down Cedar Creek to the Congaree River, paddling the Congaree River to the confluence with the Wateree and turns into the Santee River. We were going to camp on the banks of the Santee and paddle through the upper Santee Swamp to the takeout at Packs Landing on Lake Marion.
Paddling Cedar Creek is a scenic, one way trip, but there were several gut busting portages up and down steep banks, through the woods while dragging our kayaks which were full of gear. Note on the link the massive log jam where Cedar Creek meets the Congaree River. The bank is too steep to get out and drag around, so we went over the top and through it! What we thought would be a two hour trip to the Congaree River took 6 hours.
I would recommend calling the park and checking if the creek from Bannisters Bridge to Cedar Creek landing is clear. When I called the park after our trip to complain, the ranger said the Bannisters Bridge to Cedar Creek water trail is kept in better shape than the route we took.
Hehe…we had planned to do that section that Tripp and Swedge did…but after hearing their story first-hand around the camp-fire we decided to wait until we got an “all clear” report from the Park Rangers down there…lol…
Sounded like a battle rather than a paddle…hehe…although I can’t think of a better pair to have tackled it…! I’m surprised he didn’t bring along some bangalors to demolish those logjams! Hehe…
Well supposedly it was cleaned up. But Ivan deposited a few more trees, but they said it was still clear. But I would definitely call first… The short trail that meanders through the main part of the park is open.
2nd TrippS about calling ahead…
He’s not kidding about the condition of Cedar Creek. It is a scenic paddle, but can be very difficult. Here’s a link to some pictures that I took when we did it last Thanksgiving.