Scenic Rivers - Frequently Asked Questions


River maps and info - Where can I get maps and information to prepare for a river trip?

See – Guides and Maps for South Carolina Rivers and Waterways – which provides a detailed list of sources and links to information.

Go to the Paddle SC website ( – Explore maps and information that introduce boating opportunities on waterways throughout South Carolina.

Trees are blocking the river - Who can clear the trees so I can navigate my boat in the river?

At this time there are no government programs that specifically address the problem of fallen trees blocking navigation in rivers.

The typical approach to this problem (trees blocking river boating passage) is that citizens who use the rivers are the ones who work to keep the rivers open for navigation. In some cases there are organized groups of citizens that may keep their favorite stretch of a river open so they can navigate the river with their small boats.

Safety warning: Cutting trees and tree limbs from a boat can be hazardous work, so caution is advised for those who take on this work.

Generally, DNR encourages river users to learn to live with fallen trees that are in a river because the tree material is usually a result of natural processes (normal bank erosion or storms) and trees in the river provide habitat for fish and wildlife.

For those who propose to remove tree material to allow for boat navigation, we suggest leaving most of the tree material in place in the stream channel, and clearing only the minimum amount of material needed to allow passage of small boats, such as jon boats, canoes and kayaks.

If logging or timbering operations have caused tree material, logs or limbs, to enter the river, then the S.C. Forestry Commission should be notified (call (803) 896-8800); they will investigate and can persuade the logger and /or landowner to clear the material from the river -- but this applies only to situations were logging, timber harvests, are the source of the problem.

Sunken logs/aquatic timber salvage - Where do I get a permit or license to salvage sunken logs, old timber located on a river bottom?

South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), Maritime Research Division issues permits or licenses for this activity. Contact information: (803) 576-6566.

Permits - Who regulates construction of docks and boat ramps in rivers? Where do I get a permit to build a dock or boat ramp?

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and US Army Corps of Engineers issue permits for these and similar activities in waterways. The DNR provides some explanation of these regulatory agencies and contact information.

Outfitters - How can I find outfitters that guide river trips and sell and rent canoe/kayak equipment?

Go to the South Carolina Nature-Based Tourism Association website – Check the members list of this organization to find outfitters, retailers, clubs and non-profits involved in paddle-sport recreation, and some members provide equipment, instruction, and/or guided tours. Other outfitters, some not affiliated with this association, may also be available in your area.