Float Down the Lynches River

By:Marie McAden

Date:9/6/2012


It might not get the fanfare of the Chatto​oga River or some of South Carolina’s other popular waterways, but the quiet, unassuming Lynches River has some serious bragging rights of its own. It is the longest scenic river in the state with 111 miles of pristine, postcard picture-worthy blackwater winding through the deep swamp forests of the Coastal Plain.

Not only is the Lynches River one of South Carolina’s best-kept secrets, it’s the easiest float trip you’ll ever take in a canoe or kayak.

Moving at a steady one- to two-miles per hour, the lazy river pushes boaters along with very little effort. The five-mile section I kayaked recently was a good 30 feet wide with virtually no strainers. Not only did I drift most of the way down, I hardly had to steer.

And the setting couldn’t be prettier. Huge bald cypress and tupelo trees line the banks creating a canopy over the tea-colored water, tainted dark by the tannins in the leaves. During our 2.5-hour trip, I saw few signs of civilization. Mostly, it’s dense forest up both banks of the river.

The Lynches’ unspoiled beauty is surpassed only by its historical legacy. Once traveled by Native Americans who built settlements on its bluffs, the river is named after Georg​etown rice planter Thomas Lynch Jr., the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. It later served as a hideout for slaves during the Civil War and as the site of the state’s last duel.

Traveling almost 175-miles from just above the South Carolina border through Lee, Darlington, F​lorence and Sumt​er counties, the Lynches empties into the Great Pee Dee River near Johnsonville.

General Francis Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox”, had a base camp on Snow Island located at the confluence of the two waterways. The river also was the battle ground for other Revolutionary War skirmishes between General Thomas Sumter and the British.

We hooked up with River Rats Canoe R​ental near Indigo Landing in Scranton to take us to the river. For $25, this friendly, family-owned and operated outfitter will rent you a kayak and shuttle you to a private put-in five miles up the river. An 11-mile trip starting at the Highway 52 Landing is $35.

If you have your own boats, they’ll shuttle you for a small tip to cover the cost of gas.

“We want to get people out on the river to experience it,” said owner Barry Frick. “The more people who enjoy it, the more of a voice we’ll have in protecting it.”

The family’s 16-acre riverfront homestead offers campsites, a volleyball court, clean bathrooms and a sandy landing to put in or take out your kayak. On the Saturday we were paddling, Barry and his wife, Marie, were on hand to help us load boats onto the trailer. After hopping aboard their comfortable bus, we made the short drive to the put in where they helped us launch into the water.

This inviting river quickly worked its magic on me. I was swept away by the serenity of flowing with the slow-moving current. With little paddling or maneuvering to worry about, I was able to soak in the beautiful wooded surroundings. The cypress trees in some sections of the river are simply magnificent. One had a large opening at its base big enough to fit a family of six.

The five-mile paddle passed all too quickly. Even with a short break at a sandy beach along the river, we were back at River Rats in about two and a half hours.

If you’re interested in booking a trip, call Barry at (843) 687-1673 or click ​here. You won’t be disappointed.

Related Content

Hop Across Rocks at Ware Shoals
At the town of Ware Shoals, a section of the Saluda River flows for several hundred yards over water-sculpted granite outcrops and scattered shoals. Bring your fun-loving spirit and enjoy the chance to hop across the river from bank to bank.
Edisto River Treehouse Adventure
If you're searching for a one-of-a-kind South Carolina adventure, look no further than the Treehouses on Edisto River.

Featured Products

City of Georgetown
Coast

Georgetown

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
First settled in 1526 by the Spaniards, Georgetown was the first settlement in North America. The settlement failed because of a hurricane and Indian attacks and was late ...
Pee Dee Tourism Commission
Midlands

Hamer

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
This seven-county region, named for the original Native American Pee Dee Indians who inhabited it long ago and subsequently the Pee Dee Rivers, still offers the natural ...

Featured products and attractions in "Float Down the Lynches River"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

River Runner Outdoor Center
Midlands

Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Guided canoe and kayak eco-tours of the Saluda, Congaree Swamp, Broad and other rivers statewide. Personal and group tours available. Call for rates and reservations. ...
Blackwater Adventures
Coast

Pinopolis

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Offers more than 30 unique, informative and scenic, zero-octane paddle tours in coastal South Carolina. From the vast, open waters of Lake Marion and Moultrie, to the pea ...
Wildwater
Mountains

Long Creek

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
The Chattooga River, best known as the location for the movie “Deliverance," is Wildwater’s most popular rafting trip. This National Wild and Scenic River with spectacula ...
Saluda River Resort
Midlands

Silverstreet

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Camping sites; general store with bait and tackle. Located on the Saluda River. ...
Riverbanks Zoo And Garden
Midlands

Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Riverbanks is home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation's most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. The lush 170-acre site f ...
Riverfront Park & Historic Columbia Canal
Midlands

Columbia

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
This 167-acre park was the site of the original waterworks for the City of Columbia. This was also the site of the world's first electrically operated textile mill and t ...