Thursday, March 20, 2008

Trips and launch sites

The Congaree River Blue Trail offers excellent paddling opportunities for both day and overnight trips. A trip from the West Columbia Landing or Senate Street Landing to Rosewood Landing will take 2 to 5 hours depending on your ability level, water levels, weather conditions, and other activities you may enjoy such as picnicking, or fishing. You may extend your trip a few miles to the Cayce Landing.

Warning! The Cayce Landing is the last public access point before the 601 Bridge, 45 miles downstream. If you continue past the Cayce Landing, be prepared to camp at least one night.
The following is a brief description of the public access points that can be used for day trips:
  • West Columbia Landing is located on the west side of the Congaree River at the Gervais Street Bridge.
  • Jordan (Rosewood) Landing is located on river left roughly 0.5 miles below the Cayce Lock. Beware of the low-head dam directly below the railroad trestle. It is difficult to see from the river. Avoid the dam by using the lock on the river right.
  • Newman (Cayce) Landing is located on river right roughly 2 miles below Rosewood Landing. Warning! This is the last take out before the 601 Bridge, 45 miles downstream.

Overnight trips are popular along the Congaree River Blue Trail. Most paddlers can make the trip in two days, but the trip can be extended to 3 to 4 days. There are numerous sandbars to camp on below Columbia, but beware of fluctuating river levels due to precipitation and upstream hydropower operations. If you camp on a sandbar, camp as high on the sandbar as possible and tie down your boat. Better camping options are in Congaree National Park, 25 miles downstream of Columbia. Camping is permitted in the park with a free backcountry camping permit. Learn more about camping and permitting in Congaree National Park.

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