Paddle SC

Congaree River

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Congaree River

The Congaree River is formed by the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River in downtown Columbia. It is a large and impressive river that offers a variety of paddling opportunities. As the Congaree makes its way past downtown Columbia, it descends the fall-line over shoals and small rapids. As the Congaree flows southeast out of sight of downtown, it begins to meander and takes the form of a large coastal plain river. Once you have passed Thomas Newman Landing in Cayce, there is not another access to the Congaree River for approximately 46 miles. The paddler will float past large sand bars, high river bluffs, and vast floodplains as they approach Congaree National Park. The Congaree River can be accessed from Congaree National Park via paddling down Cedar Creek. The Congaree River joins the Wateree River to form the Santee River. Soon after this confluence, the Santee River begins to flood as a result of backwater from Lake Moultrie. 

A PDF map of the Congaree River Blue Trail is available through the National Park Service website, at the Harry Hampton Visitors Center at Congaree National Park, and at local outdoors and paddling retailers. Also, see the Congaree National Park website for more information on South Carolina's only National Park!  More information about the Congaree River can be found here.

Suggested Trips (4)

Featured trips for this waterway showing difficulty (circles) and current runnability status (squares). .

Gervais Street Bridge, downtown Columbia (Credit: Palmetto Outdoors)
Sandbar Camping (Credit: Tanner Arrington)
Railroad Bridge near Columbia (Credit: Susan Arrington)
(Credit: Tanner Arrington)
Congaree River sunrise (Credit: TA)
Prevent lyme disease
Avoid walking in long grasses to access a waterway, wear long pants/sleeves, use insect repellents, and check yourself for ticks regularly.
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Skill Level
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Difficult
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Flow Level
Runnable
Above Runnable
Below Runnable
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Skill & Flow Level
Easy
Moderate
Difficult
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Runnable
Above Runnable
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Access Amenities
Parking - Dedicated Lot
Parking - Roadside
Restroom / Toilets
Fee Required
Handicap Accessible
Camping
Paddle SC is presented by
Upstate Forever
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
South Carolina National Heritage Corridor
Rainey Foundation