If you followed the old rivers of South Carolina all the way to the coast, you would come across at least 12 state parks. In addition to being great places to camp and picnic, parks alongside the rivers provide views to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty in the state. Seven of the state parks provide river access for guests, and each location offers a different experience and scenery.
This Piedmont River flows from North Carolina, down to the coast, flowing through Landsford Canal State Park, where it provides a habitat for the rare Rocky Shoals Spider Lily. During May and early June, paddlers can access close up views of the flowers from their canoe or kayak. Fishing for bass, bream, crappie, catfish and gar is also permitted from the banks or paddle boat.
The Edisto River is the longest, free-flowing blackwater river in North America, and flows for more than 200 miles through South Carolina. A 56-mile stretch along the main stem of the river, designated as the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail, connects Givhans Ferry and Colleton state parks. Favorite activities along the Edisto include day-long river floats among cypress trees and fishing for bream, catfish and redbreast from the boat or the banks.
The Enoree flows past Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, offering not only a look at the natural scenery, but a look into South Carolina’s Revolutionary War past as well. Glimpses of the river can be seen from the park’s interpretive trail, and along the southern bank of the Enoree sits the former property of Edward Musgrove, briefly occupied by British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Recreational activities along the river include fishing and boating.
Little Pee Dee River
Little Pee Dee State Park takes its name from the river running through it. Originating in the Appalachian Mountains, the Little Pee Dee River is a blackwater river that runs past Carolina bays and sandy beaches on its way to the coast. A vast array of wildlife inhabits the waters and banks, and the river provides an abundance of top-notch fishing spots.
This designated state scenic river travels through Lee State Park on its way from the Piedmont region to the sandy, coastal plains of the Lowcountry. The river boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna and plentiful spots for fishing for redbreast, sunfish and catfish. River access is limited within Lee State Park, but several access points are nearby.
Middle Saluda River
The state’s first designated scenic river, the Middle Saluda River, runs through Jones Gap State Park and offers some of the best trout fishing South Carolina has to offer. This beautiful mountain river also provides breathtaking scenery, a backdrop for your picnic and a place to cool off during the hot summer months.