South Carolina’s Waccamaw River has earned National Water Trail status, a designation bestowed on less than 20 other river trails in the country.
To protect what is considered one of the finest black water rivers in the Southeast, American Rivers, the Waccamaw Riverkeeper and the Pee Dee Land Trust joined forces in 2009 to create the Waccamaw River Blue Trail. The passage begins near the Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve and connects urban and rural communities to the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge before ending at Winyah Bay.
“This is a great prestigious award for us,” Riverkeeper Christine Ellis said. “It recognizes the fact that this is a very important recreational river, it's important for it's natural resources, natural heritage as well as it's cultural and historical heritage.”
The trails are designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service.
“It's a huge honor, the first one in South Carolina and one of only a dozen or so in the country,” Staci Williams, the American Rivers Waccamaw Blue Trail coordinator, said.