We left Colleton State Park in Canadys, SC mid morning Thursday Dec. 27th. The river was a little low but had pretty good current. The black water river stayed fairly wide and smooth the first 3 or 4 miles and then it tightened up considerably. It is a little technical in this section, but out of three canoes I was the only one who got caught up in a strainer. I was trying to stay in the fastest water. One word of advice, give this river room. After paddling approximately 12 miles we set up camp. It was a fairly cool day so the fire was the first thing that was started on. After that, tents, then supper. It got down in the mid twenties that night and we were woke a few times by a beaver slapping around on the river. The next morning we packed up and paddled 8 miles to Givhans Ferry State Park and took a break. On the way there we saw several wild turkeys, wood ducks, deer etc. Just before Givhans Ferry the river widens and slows. We were taking out 4 miles below the State Park. The wind was blowing in our faces and the river was whitecapping this whole last section of our trip, definitely the hardest paddling we had.
There are two State Parks that offer camping. Colleton State Park 843-538-8206 and Givhans Ferry State Park 843-873-0692. Givhans Ferry also offers Cabins on a reservation basis. There are also several major hotels in nearby Walterboro SC.
No fees are required just respect the posted signs. There is a lot of Westvaco owned forest on this river and they do not seem to mind anyone camping on their property.
On I-95 take exit 68 and go towards Canadys, SC. There you will find Colleton State Park. Across the river from the State Park you will find a good boat ramp and Carolina Heritage Outfitters. They offer canoe and kayak rental as well as guided trips. There # is 843-563-5051 Their web address is www.canoesc.com.
Paddling South Carolina by Gene Able & Jack Horan.