Best Places To Kayak In South Carolina

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South Carolina is well known as an excellent kayaking destination. There are several hundred miles of natural waterways, rivers, lakes, and man-made dams in this state that are well known among kayakers. However, the wide variety of locations can be daunting, and finding the best kayaking locations in SC can be a challenge. Let’s talk about kayaking in South Carolina.

Kayaking in South Carolina is unforgettable. There are many rivers, lakes, dams, creeks, swaps, and offshore islands to explore. Paddlers of all skill levels will find ideal locations and memorable challenges on the waters of SC. Summer is best, as winter can be cold, and no licenses are required.

Kayaking in South Carolina is something special there is so much here to explore and experience. It is the ideal area to start kayaking and to push your kayaking skills to the next level. Beginners, intermediate, and advanced paddlers enjoy the waters of South Carolina for many reasons. Let’s take a closer look at kayaking in this state and explore the best kayaking location in the area.

Kayaking In South Carolina

Kayaking in South Carolina is home to some of the best kayaking locations in the USA. This state is the location of various whitewater rapids, calm streams and rivers, lakes, dams, and other waterways that all make ideal kayaking water trails and locations.

The wide network of rivers in South Carolina is home to some very easy, smooth flowing waters that are ideal for beginner kayakers or for those lazy paddling days. There are also sections of SC rivers that feature torrents of whitewater, large rapids, and sections of very fast flowing water that is perfect for advanced kayakers.

The lakes and dams in this state are also ideal for kayaking. There are large lakes that give the feel of open water kayaking, with the exception of very smooth water. South Caroline features a number of small lakes that are ideal for beginners as well. Many of these locations offer rental kayaks for those who are just starting out.

The waterways in South Carolina cover many hundreds of miles, which makes kayaking ideal in this state ideal for kayak camping, fishing, exploring, and extended kayaking trips. 

The weather in South Carolina is very diverse, as summer temperatures are very warm and raise the water of the kayaking locations to a very comfortable temperature. Winter kayaking in SC can be a challenge, as some areas within the state get very cold. 

However, other areas closer to the shore remain very temperate in the winter and are suitable for kayaking all year round. There are some rules and regulations for kayaking that are specific to South Carolina, so be sure to check up on all of the local regulations in the regions that you visit.

All paddlers in SC must have a lifejacket with them, and every kayak must have a light if on the water at night, all vessels must have a sounding device such as a whistle, and all motorized kayaks must be registered with the Department of Natural Resources.

Kayaking Locations In South Carolina

South Carolina is known for its fantastic kayaking locations. There are so many to choose from, all of which have their own unique characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and skill level requirements.

There are too many perfect kayaking locations to mention by name in this article, so let’s rather discuss some of the different types of kayaking locations in SC, including rivers and creeks, lakes and dams, and the offshore kayaking locations that are often unknown by most kayakers.

Use this information to determine the type of kayaking you would like to do in South Carolina, and choose your locations based on that information.

Rivers In South Carolina

The rivers in South Carolina are the best places to go kayaking. There are various rivers in this state that allow kayakers to experience South Carlina in a totally unique way.

Some of the rivers in SC are very easy paddling and ideal for beginners and intermediate kayakers, such as the Waccamaw River or Shem Creek. 

Other rivers require more advanced skills to paddle, such as the Chattooga River, which is home to several sections of whitewater, large rapids, and even drop-offs. These rivers should only be used by experienced kayakers, but they do offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, as many of these rivers are untouched by man.

The waterways and rivers in South Carolina are the best way to camp, search for wildlife, and explore the areas within the state. There are water trails that are ideal for family getaways and advanced rivers for serious paddlers. The rivers hold treasures for every type of kayaker to find.

Lakes In South Carolina

There are several lakes and dams in South Carolina that make perfect locations for kayaking. These lakes are pristine, calm, serene, tranquil and make for the ideal spot for a family day or a relaxing getaway.

Lakes such as Lake Tugaloo and Lake Moultrie are ideal kayak fishing locations and span over tens of thousands of miles. These are fantastic areas to explore, take your time, and enjoy from the seat of a kayak.

Practice your kayaking techniques, go fishing, lean-to kayak, go camping, or simply explore the water in the lakes of South Carolina, and you will never forget your time there. These lakes are among the best in the world for kayakers.

Lake Jocassee is SC, is rated as one of the best kayaking locations in the country, and has been given the title of One Of The World’s Last Great Places. This is a truly unforgettable kayaking location in South Carolina.

Offshore Islands In South Carolina

There are two main offshore kayaking locations, both of while must be accessed by kayak or boat, but these locations are some of the most beautiful offshore paddling locations in the country.

The best offshore kayaking locations in SC are Capers Island and Bull Island. Both of these locations are a little way from the mainland of South Carolina and can be a challenge to get to, but for the advanced kayaker, these places are a must-see.

The beautiful beaches, the clear waters, and the easy paddling are only some of the ideal features of these islands. Hiking, camping, mountain climbing, and swimming are all options at these locations, and the best way to reach them is to kayak. 

Take your time to get to the island, enjoy the water, spend time enjoying the location, and paddle back at the end of the day in the glow of the setting sun. This will be a kayaking adventure that you will not soon forget.


Kayaking in South Carolina is some of the best that North America has to offer. This state is home to several locations that are ideal for paddlers of all skill levels, including pristine lakes, interesting swamps, calm creeks, intense whitewater rivers, and untouched waterways.

The kayaking experiences in SC are varied and unforgettable. Take the time to choose the locations that you would like to visit, and be sure to spend real time exploring everything that the location has to offer once you arrive.