This year’s trip to South Carolina included a kayak swamp tour. George and I met our guide at the Dennis Boat Landing on Wadboo Creek in Monck’s Corner SC. This was the site of a cotton plantation established in 1683. It was also where the Revolutionary war hero, General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, fought his last battle of the Revolutionary war by kicking some British butt.
We paddled through some giant Cypress and Tupelo tree forests of the old plantation. The swamp was connected to an old, 12,000-acre plantation owned by James Colleton. Because he was a loyalist and after the war in 1783, the plantation was confiscated and divided into 500-acre tracts and sold. The acreage was turned into rice fields thereafter.
We passed the site of an old church built on a limestone bluff where a tunnel was drilled down to the creek which served as an escape route for slaves. We saw plenty of gators and ospreys but only evidence of wild hogs, beaver and deer. Wild roses and swamp lilies were everywhere, and their fragrance filled the air as we paddled past. We wanted an adventure, not just a tour so we asked our guide to lead us off the creek and into overgrown rice field canals. There was a very slight path through the weeds and old wild rice, and we paddled ahead until we could go no further becoming engulfed by the weeds. Wild rice and hundreds of spiders fell down on us, so we had to pole our way backwards out to the creek. The guide was apologetic, but George and I had fun.
I later discovered that the low country of South Carolina has over 175 miles of kayak trails. Next time we’ll rent our own and create our own swamp adventure. (Please click on any picture to enlarge to see slide show)