Home>What it Means for the South Carolina Revolutionary Rivers Trail to Become a National Water Trail

What it Means for the South Carolina Revolutionary Rivers Trail to Become a National Water Trail

This month the 60-mile South Carolina Revolutionary Rivers Trail on Lynches River became a National Water Trail in an effort spearheaded by the local Friends of Revolutionary Rivers group that promotes the trail.

The national announcement, made on National Trails Day, serves as a means to share the message about the trail to paddlers and kayakers nationwide.

But…what it does mean exactly for a trail to be added to the National Trails System?

There was a vision for “Trails for All Americans” that inspired the National Trails System Act of 1968, which became the National Recreation Trails Program that supports designated trails with benefits such as promotion, technical assistance and networking (the program is co-sponsored by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and American Trails, the program’s lead non-profit partner).

More specifically, the perks include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Inclusion in an online searchable database of trails that includes descriptive information, maps, and pictures
  • Eligibility for the annual NRT Photo Contest sponsored by American Trails that attracts hundreds of entries nationwide
  • Use of NRT logos
  • Inclusion in email groups, newsletters and other media promoting the trails
  • Potential letters of support for fundraising and trail protection efforts

Probably the standout perk of that group is the first one, being added to a national database that basically acts as a beacon for your trail, which is well known and used by people and groups interested in traveling the country to check out the nation’s outdoors.

“This is a big deal,” said Holly Beaumier, Executive Director of the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau. “As a paddling trail we will be drawing in paddlers and boatmen from across the U.S. We’re on a list, a short list, of 42 trails that have reached this designation.”

The trail, depicted here on the National Recreation Trails site, is an asset on multiple fronts, namely as a recreational outlet, a stop for history buffs and a stunning window for nature enthusiasts. Potential visitors use the program’s resources to research the options.

Peter Bonsall of the National Trails Program sent a letter to the Friends of the Revolutionary Rivers commending the efforts to provide “high-quality recreation opportunities for your community.”

“Your trail is a great addition to the network of trails that make up the National Recreation Trails and National Water Trails,” he added.

The SC Revolutionary Rivers Trail follows the always beautiful Lynches River from Lynches River County Park to the cypress and tupelo populated waters where Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion became the “Swamp Fox” for repeatedly razing British forces and disappearing safely by the river. The river trek, detailed in maps here, is quiet, lush and scenic year-round, also giving paddlers a unique chance to view an impressively diverse catalog of wildlife detailed here.

The trail also offers a large collection of short excursions detailed here and also overnight rustic camping opportunities, which includes an opportunity to literally stay overnight right on the water immersed in nature at a platform campsite, available through Friends of Revolutionary Rivers here.

There are also self-guided driving tours to remote Francis Marion Trail sites available here.