Whether it’s a couple or a large group of people ready for an excursion that can travel back through time, the South Carolina Revolutionary Rivers Trail offers fun for the beginner as well as the experienced paddlers. To celebrate July as SC Paddle Month, the Friends of the Revolutionary Rivers will host a fundraiser from 1 to 6 p.m. July 30 at Venter's Landing in Johnsonville. There will be opportunities to go on a swamp exploration, casually paddle at the landing, and water games at the landing. Call the visitors office at 843-664-0330 for more information.
The SC Revolutionary Rivers Trail follows the Lynches Scenic River from Lynches River County Park to the cypress and tupelo-laden stomping grounds of celebrated Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Francis Marion. The fact Marion and his band of militia simply could be chased for a marathon of miles by British cavalryman Banastre Tarleton and disappear into the cypress swamplands earned him the name of the Swamp Fox.
The 66-mile nature-based tourism trail offers paddlers a unique experience of floating through swampland that was once traversed by Patriots engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Loyalists. The trail also features a series of short excursions and overnight rustic camping opportunities.
The Lynches River meanders through a wide flood plain as it flows across the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Although it’s a flatwater river, the Lynches River has a zippy current, and beginning paddlers are encouraged to navigate the river with an experienced guide. The lower end of the river is physically and mentally challenging and better-suited for those who can maneuver safely in river currents and meandering channels that contain fallen trees and logs.
While out on the river, there’s plenty to take in – from the flora and fauna (look for the water hyacinth and water primrose) to the peacefulness of being on the river. The river supports many mammal species such as river otters and beavers. Most of the land adjacent to the river is privately owned and maintained as parcels of contiguous flood-plain forest, which results in less fragmentation and improved wildlife habitat. Common sights include the wood ducks that inhabit the area year-round as well as warblers, great blue herons, and great egrets.
There are several excursions to choose from if you’re interested in paddling with outfitters and guides. Among them are trips from Venter’s Landing to Snow’s Lake; an overnight weekend trip near Pamplico; Indigo Landing gatherings; Persimmon’s Bluff to Snow’s Lake; and an overnight near Johnsonville.
Enjoy paddling through history.
Before heading out, call these outfitters and guides for excursion reservations:
RiverRat’s Canoe Rentals
2740 Indigo Landing Road, Scranton
Swamp Fox Canoe Rentals
Swamp Fox Adventures
P.O. Box 549 Scranton, 29591
Lynches River County Park
5094 County Park Road, Coward
Park open daily 9 a.m.-sunset
2519 W. Palmetto St., Florence
Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.