Wambaw Creek is a black water tidal creek located in the Francis Marion National Forest. It meanders through the Wambaw Creek Wilderness Area created in 1980. This trip can be run either upstream or downstream using the tide direction.
Parking on road leading to landing.
Landing is gravel rock with no restrooms.
Located entirely within the boundaries of the National Forest, wildlife is abundant along the Wambaw Creek. The area is heavily populated with whitetail deer. The illusive Carolina panther and black bear have also been sighted along the trail. A quiet paddler will greatly increase his odds for sighting some of the abundant wildlife. The primary growth on the higher ground is loblolly pine, and cypress is the predominate growth along the creek. Many of the cypress trees along the banks are quite large and were there when Brigadier General Francis Marion and his Brigade roamed the area terrorizing the entire British Army in South Carolina. Francis Marion and his troops would then vanish ghost-like into these swamps, explaining Marion’s well-known nickname of “The Swamp Fox.”
It is important to remember that the Wambaw Creek is tidal, so planning your trip to coincide with the tidal flow will make the trip easier. For those desiring an overnight adventure, primitive camping is permitted at Elmwood Landing.
In the 1700s, settlers used slave labor to convert parts of this swamp into rice fields and harvest timber and you can still see remains of long-abandoned canals and rice-field dikes along the way. Although the surrounding land is a dull loblolly pine forest (large timber companies took most mature trees by the 1930s), there’s a chance you may see rare swallow-tailed kite, black-crowned night heron, and red-shouldered hawk.
This paddling trip brought to you by Berkeley Blueways.