If you are traveling to South Carolina or a current resident, and are looking for great rivers to do a little paddling, look no further. In this South Carolina Kayaking article, we go over all the best places to get out on the water.

There are many options for water in our state, from lakes and rivers to smaller creeks with deep enough water to navigate through. Below we talk about the various bodies of water to explore on your next adventure.

South Carolina Kayaking Guide
Kayak Camping

Kayak Camping as seen above has become a very popular activity among kayakers throughout the world. Rather than the traditional backpacking, campers take to the water with a full kayak of gear for a night out by the water. Kayak camping is said to have gained popularity through many popular YouTube Channels. So where are the best places for kayaking in South Carolina?

Edisto River

South Carolina Kayaking Guide - Edisto River

The Edisto River is known as one of the longest flowing blackwater rivers in all of North America, with more than 250 miles of beautiful countryside. This river is a very popular destination among paddlers in South Carolina and for good reason. Most of the river is wide and calm, with an abundance of wildlife and gorgeous Lowcountry land.

For all the reasons above, the Edisto River is perfect for those that want to paddle or camp along the way. We recommend using Google Earth to plan your trip in addition to other websites offering a ton of useful information.

Saluda River

South Carolina Kayaking Guide - Saluda River

With this river being just over 200 miles long and traveling through much of South Carolina, there are many options for either the leisurely slow stroll or the adventure seeking rapid warrior. The Saluda river has calm waters for those that just want a nice relaxing float, or you have sections that have some pretty tough rapids for the more experienced paddler.

Check online for websites or outfitters offering information to carefully plan your trip down the Saluda River.

Chattooga National Wild & Scenic River
South Carolina Kayaking Guide - Chattooga River

Chattooga River stretches from Jackson County, NC and ends in Oconee County, SC. This river has multiple class 4 and 5 rapids perfect for the experienced paddler. Although much of the river is best suited for the novice kayaker, there are calmer sections of the river to accommodate even the newcomer.

As with any new river you are planning to explore, its best to do thorough research before hitting the water to ensure safety for all involved.

Waccamaw River Blue Trail

Waccamaw River Blue Trail - South Carolina Kayaking Guide

The Waccamaw River Blue Trail meanders for more than 100 miles through beautiful hardwood swamps in the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. The river passes through the cities of Conway and Georgetown near the Grand Strand. The river features many extremely rare species of plants and animals, many of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.

This is a great choice for new boaters just starting out, as the river is very slow moving with many places to stop along the way. Before you adventure out on any river, be sure to check conditions before heading out.

Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell, South Carolina. South Carolina Kayaking Guide

Lake Hartwell is one of the Southeast largest recreational lakes with miles of shoreline to explore. In addition to the miles of shoreline, the lake features hundreds of small islands just waiting to be explored and for this reason, it should come as no surprise that we featured Lake Hartwell on our South Carolina Kayaking list.

One thing to remember when kayaking on a large populated lake, always be visible and aware of your surroundings, as there are many large boats on the water with you. We recommend hitting the water during the week to avoid heavy lake traffic.

You can check our Travel Guides section for more stories like this one.