“Y’all catch anything?”
“A few little ones. Still a good day to be on the river, though.”
All across the Lowcountry, this brief exchange between fishermen and passersby has been repeated since there have been rods, reels and people on the water.
Indeed that conversation took place between fishermen in a small aluminum boat that was anchored beneath some willows and several kayakers lazily paddling the cappuccino-tan stream of river flowing past them. But the day was young and there was more fishing to be had and boating to be enjoyed on the wild, beautiful Lynches River near Lake City.
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Lynches River was named for Thomas Lynch Jr., one of South Carolina’s signers of the Declaration of Independence. The use of his name is both an honor to him and gives the river an elevated historic image that is well-suited to its actual role in the history of both South Carolina and the United States.
Originating in the clay piedmont hills of the border region of North and South Carolina, Lynches River forms a 140-mile ribbon of water that cuts through sandhills, farmland and the deep swamps and waterways of the Pee Dee region of the Lowcountry. The Lynches River joins with that mighty stream before it reaches the coast. It provides access to some of the most scenic and historic regions of the state. Native Americans made its banks and waterways a home, and, during the Colonial period, the farms of settlers dotted its shore.
The American Revolution made Lynches River a battleground as notable figures such as General Francis Marion made war upon the British at its many fords and bridges. The wily patriot had secret hideouts deep among the cypress, and Lynches River helped him earn the nickname “Swamp Fox” from friend and foe.
In modern times, Lynches River has become a vital waterway for the economy as well as a magnet for fishing and outdoor recreation. Many sections of Lynches River have been designated “wild and scenic” and it lives up to that description in every way.
Lynches River is only 2 ½ hours from Bluffton and an easy ride up I-95.
Recently, a group of friends and I paddled the Lynches by kayak and enjoyed a day in nature and history. If you put in at the landing on U.S. 52 to the take out at Indigo Landing, the trip of 11 miles was filled with astounding beauty, quiet solitude and the enjoyment of letting the current carry you along.
You will meet few people, see few houses or other intrusions by man – but you will understand the true meaning of “wild and scenic” as you explore the natural resource that is the Lynches River.
Bluffton resident Matt Richardson enjoys taking day trips with his family and exploring the Lowcountry. To see more pictures from his adventures, go to www.Flickr.com and search on the username “greenkayak73.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lynches River is roughly 2 1/2 hours from Bluffton up I-95 and offers a good, full day of adventure. The public landing on U.S. 52 is located near Coward just down from Lake City. The take out of Indigo Landing is located at Scranton.
The route is a relatively clear 11 miles through bottomland swamp with bluffs and banks along the way. Sandbars and dry land make taking out easy at mid-water, but there are few snags. The region is somewhat remote, so bring water and supplies as well as a map. A GPS is recommended but not required.
To get there take I-95 117 miles to Exit 146. Take S.C. 341 toward Olanta/Lynchburg. After approximately 5 miles, turn left onto U.S. 301. After 1 mile, turn right onto Old Creek Road.
After 7 miles, turn left onto SR-21-47 and then a left onto U.S. 52. The bridge over Lynches River and the ramp are within a mile.
There is good cellphone coverage on the river most of the way due to the close proximity of towns and highways.
The Lynches River County Park is located near the put-in and offers river access as well. This park is just upstream from the U.S. 52 ramp. It offers full amenities and includes a canopy boardwalk and other features that make this a destination in and of itself. The park is open from 9 a.m. to sunset year-round. Lynches River County Park is located at 5094 County Park Road in Coward.