This is a wilderness paddle through Congaree National Park to the Congaree River. Approximately 6 miles of this paddle are on Cedar Creek through Congaree National Park, with the remainder of the trip on the Congaree River. This trip is best completed as an overnight, though it is possible to do it in a long day.
Gravel parking area with a hand-carry boat launch.
Developed motor boat launch under the Hwy-601 Bridge on the Congaree River.
This trip allows paddlers to explore the wilder eastern section of the park and float down the Congaree River. As the creek winds its way towards the Congaree, it travels through some of the oldest forest remaining in the park. Here you can see immense bald cypress and towering tupelos dripping with Spanish moss. Cedar Creek makes a sharp bend to the left where Horsepen Gut enters the stream, approximately four miles from the landing. Three miles beyond this point is Mazyck's Cut, where Cedar Creek enters the river. A wooden sign post points the way and three trail markers guide paddlers to the river. Once on the river, you can make a leisurely float downstream to the Route-601 Landing, passing the banks of the park on river left. Camping is available within Congaree National Park with a backcountry camping permit. Camping is also possible on sand bars along the Congaree River at lower stream flows. Some trees may be fallen across the stream, requiring portage. Use caution when navigating or portaging around fallen trees. The Congaree National Park website has more information on the park and the paddling trail. You can call (803) 776-4396 for current conditions in the park. The Cedar Creek USGS streamflow gage gives current flow conditions, which can be compared to this chart for expected conditions. The float time is highly dependent on the flow conditions and the number of obstacles required for portage.