Columbia – The Wateree Blue Trail Dedication will take place this Saturday, June 6, on National Trails Day. Speakers include South Carolina State Senator Vincent A. Sheheen and other community leaders. Reporters are invited to attend the dedication and an inaugural paddle immediately following the dedication (details are at the end of this release).
This Blue Trail, the water equivalent to a hiking trail, will benefit paddlers, anglers, hikers, picnickers, and those just seeking a bit of solitude. The 80 mile long trail starts near the historic City of Camden and flows through Kershaw, Sumter, and Richland Counties. The river also winds through Congaree National Park and offers one of the best opportunities for multiple overnight river camping in an undeveloped river corridor in the eastern United States. It is possible to paddle for miles and miles without seeing a soul. It also offers visitors the opportunity to learn about Civil War and Revolutionary War sites, ancient burial grounds, and other spots of historical interest.
This Blue Trail is part of a larger effort. American Rivers is forging partnerships with land trusts, local governments, state and federal agencies, and other local groups to create blue trails in other parts of South Carolina and the country as an innovative way to protect clean water and critical riverside lands, while promoting river recreation, sustainable economic development, and community pride. American Rivers also recently launched a blue trail on the Congaree River and has published the Blue Trails Guide to help other communities who are interested in developing blue trails.
Multiple partners worked with American Rivers to make this Blue Trail a reality, including the City of Camden, the Congaree Land Trust, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Central Midlands Council of Governments, Congaree National Park, Kershaw County, Kershaw County Conservation District, Kershaw County Historical Society, Richland County Conservation Commission, Friends of Congaree Swamp, and Sumter County.
The trail dedication will take place at the landing below Wateree Dam at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 6. Following the ceremony, there will be an inaugural paddle 5 ½ miles down to the US Highway 1/US 601 landing. While limited boats and shuttle service will be provided by Adventure Carolina, which is based in Columbia, participants are also encouraged to bring their own gear.
Directions to the landing from Camden:
- West on US Highway 1/601/34
- Right and head north on Longtown Rd, follow for approximately 5 miles
- Veer Right on Wateree Dam Rd. at the Wateree Bait Shop
- Go about a mile and turn right at the sign for the public landing
- DO NOT TURN into Buck Hill Landing, continue straight
- Immediately before the Duke Hydro plant, turn right on the dirt road
- The landing is at the end of the road
Directions to landing from Columbia:
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.