Looking for the next best adventure? Want to enjoy a float down one of the most beautiful creeks in South Carolina? Look no further! Let’s learn and talk about Wambaw Creek!
Hello adventurers, and welcome back to the Coastal Expeditions blog! Have you been itching to go beyond your normal hiking trails and find a trail a little more exciting? Why not turn your hike into a float? Enjoying seeing the Lowcountry on the water while riding comfortably and smoothly in a kayak? We have the perfect tour for you! The Wambaw Wilderness Kayak Tour! This special tour is a Coastal Expeditions guide favorite! Some of the oldest bald cypress line the edges of this beautiful creek and wildlife like otters, turkeys, and white-tail deer are never too far off. A tributary of the Santee River, Wambaw Creek is nestled into the Francis Marion National Forest and is a perfect trip for families or small groups. The area is also very rich in history, which in the past was dominated by rice culture. Our guides will take you back in time as they share stories about the plantation life that shaped the way our ancestors once lived! Wambaw Creek has been named one of the 14 best places to canoe or kayak in a National Forest by the National Forest Federation, and will always be a “don’t miss” adventure! Interested? Let’s learn a little bit more about this beautiful 5-mile stretch of creek!
The beautiful black water tidal creek flows through the Wambaw Creek Wilderness Area which was created in 1980. The entire area that this beloved creek runs through in Berkeley County holds a lot of history. The Battle of Wambaw happened on February 24, 1782, very close to our beloved creek. The British Army defeated an American force of dragoons, and they claim to have killed 40 Americans and captured 4. Not the best day for Americans in the Revolutionary War. However, some of the American history books tell a much different story. Some say that no American lives were lost, instead, they say they lost 35 horses that day. This land in the Francis Marion National Forest was also home to beautiful plantations and farming land, rice being one of its primary crops. According to SCtrails.net
, settlers used labor to change parts of the swamp into rice fields and areas to harvest timber in the 1700s. To this day, you can still see the remains of canals and rice-field dikes along the way as you float down the creek.
The creek provides a very easy and calm 5-mile float that is tide-influenced, and there are no rapids, making this particular trip perfect for everyone at every level of kayaking. The creek will have you float through one of five federally designated wilderness areas in South Carolina. The Wambaw Creek Wilderness is a total of 1900 acres. The creek itself has two public landings that provide access to the creek, one at Still Landing and the other at Eldwood Landing. Still Landing is a public landing on Forest Scenic Road FR 2UB. Elwood Landing is a primitive campsite and public landing near Hampton Plantation State Historic Site. You can enjoy the creek and the Francis Marion all year round, however, it is best if you check in with the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Center for its current conditions before you plan your next trip. You can camp in the National Forest, but because the area around the creek and swamp are stream banks, camping is not very suitable in these areas.
If you are looking for one of the best ways to enjoy the creek, you can join us on our five-hour excursions (which includes instruction, prep, creekside picnic, and on-water time). You can even schedule a private tour to see this special place with us! Also, fun fact, the trip can be run either upstream or downstream following the direction of the tide! Close by is the Wambaw Swamp. If you ever get close enough to see or experience the swamp, make note of the area around you. There are no trails through the swamp, there is very little dry ground, and it is called one of the least visited spots in South Carolina by wilderness.net
. Thanks to the fact that you can’t canoe or kayak through the camp itself (unlike Wambaw Creek!) and the amount of muck, snakes, insects, and no dry campsites around, most people avoid it!
Good news for Wambaw creek, it has a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and is one of the top twenty things to do and experience in Berkley County. If you arent enjoying the creek with us on a Coastal Expeditions outing, there are a few things you’ll need to remember before you plan your solo trip!
SUP and all paddleboards are not recommended.
You’ll need to use a kayak or canoe that is 10 feet or longer.
There are no fees or permits needed to use and enjoy the creek.
It is very heavily tidal influenced and is about two hours behind the tide table at Charleston Harbor.
Log jams can happen after heavy storms, please be alert when you’re on the creek after a storm.
During hunting season, please wear brightly colored clothes to be on the safe side.
Wasps nests and other insects could be living and laying low in low-hanging branches, please be advised when you’re on the creek.
We can tell you time and again how special this trip is, but you’ll just have to come and experience it for yourselves, adventurers! Make sure to book your next tour with us very soon before all spots fill up! You know how hot it can get here in the Lowcountry. There is no place cooler than floating under the thick foliage of Francis Marion National Forest during a Lowcountry summer. We can’t wait to explore with you soon!