Answers to River Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Guidebooks & Maps: Where can I get the best information to prepare for a river trip?

South Carolina Atlas and Gazetteer
Detailed shaded relief maps of the state, with major and minor roads, lakes and waterways, boat ramps (not all ramps are shown), fishing spots, golf courses, wildlife viewing areas and much more in a friendly, full-sized book format. 48 quad maps include a grid system to use the atlas with GPS receivers. Gazetteer adds tips on places to stop and activities to enjoy. It is also available at many bookstores.

Paddling South Carolina - A Guide to Palmetto State River Trails, by Gene Able and Jack Horan, undated/republished in 2005 by Sandlapper Publishing, Inc. This book is a comprehensive guide to paddling most of the state's rivers. It is also available at many bookstores, outfitter stores, and in local libraries.

The Scenic Rivers Program's Favorite Canoe and Kayak Trails of South Carolina
South Carolina river trips are described in this addition to the Palmetto Trails Guide Series. This compact 27-page guide provides good maps and descriptions of 12 selected river sections offering day trips and extended overnight adventures. It also describes river access points, river mileage, and local contacts for information. Copies of the guide are available from the SCDNR for $5.50 (postage included) payable to SCDNR. Send requests to SCDNR - River Conservation, PO Box 167 COLUMBIA, SC 29202. Proceeds from all sales go to the Scenic Rivers Trust Fund to assist river conservation in South Carolina.

Topographic Maps by the US Geological Survey
If you are looking for detailed maps of a river, the best available are the standard U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic (topo) maps. River travelers usually have to piece these maps together to make a river map. Topo maps are available from the S.C. Geodetic Survey, 5 Geology Road (off Broad River Road), Columbia, SC 29210; (803) 896-7700. There may be other sources for topo maps near you, so check the phone book or search the Internet; try

Nautical Charts by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Nautical Charts are useful for navigating rivers at the coast or traveling the Intracoastal Waterway. Copies may be obtained from the S.C. Geodetic Survey, 5 Geology Road (off Broad River Road), Columbia, SC 29210; (803) 896-7700 or from sources described at NOAA online at

NAPP Color Infrared Aerial Photography
NAPP aerial photos are very useful and are available from HAS Images, Inc. of Dayton Ohio at 937-222-3856.

GIS data online at SCDNR website
This website allows access to digital aerial photography and digital (scanned) topographic maps and other GIS data for South Carolina. Note: using GIS data typically requires specialize computer software.

Online Information: Where can I find river trails information on the Internet?
S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (SCPRT) maintains a website with information and maps for trails in South Carolina. See the website at and look for water trails in your area of interest. Contact SCPRT at 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201 and call them at (803) 734-0173. Additional information can likely be found about river trails and access sites by searching the Internet.

Access to the Edisto River
Friends of the Edisto web site - - provides a listing of most Edisto River Access Sites in the Edisto River system that are available to the public; a map of the Edisto River system is also posted on the site. The list of access site provides river mileage to help with trip planning.

Outfitters, Guided Trips, Equipment: How can I find outfitters that guide river trips and sell and rent canoe/kayak equipment?

S.C. Paddlesports Association
This is a non-profit organization of paddle-sport outfitters from throughout the state. There website features a state map showing popular paddling destinations and local outfitters (association member), that can assist with your trip plans. Contact the S.C. Professional Paddlesports Association at (803) 796-4505 or see the website at Other outfitters can be found in the phone book or by searching the Internet.




South Carolina Department of Natural Resources - Phone Numbers | Accessibility | FOIA
Rembert C. Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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