Cedar Creek (Congaree National Park) Bannister Bridge- Cedar Creek Landing

The weather seems to be improving and it has been a very strange winter. time to get out and paddle.

This will be a paddle trough Congaree National Park. It is approx. 7 miles long and has many twist and turns. This is Blackwater at its finest. Congaree is the largest remaining track of old growth bottom land forest in the US. 

The weather promises to be much warmer. Forecast is for a high of 77. But the water will still be cold, so please bring a change of clothing in a drybag just in case... You never know what can happen and better to prepare. The water level is just over 6' now and anywhere between 3 and 7 will be good. If you would like to track it, here is the gauge: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/sc/nwis/uv/?site_no=02169672

We will meet at Bannister Bridge Access and unload the boats. We will then run a shuttle down to the Cedar Creek Access. Please try to be on time.

Bring along a snack, water, PFD, whistle. I have extra drybags I will bring if you would like to borrow.

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  • Ray C.

    I think it strange that I did not hear from anyone that this was a horrible and hazardous. Just had a member leave the group because she stated that my leadership is irresponsible and endangers the lived of others.

    February 25

    • Lauren H.

      I really appreciated the pictures and Joe's video's. Thanks Joe and Andy for sharing the day with us.

      1 · February 26

    • Clare - T.

      I think we've gone over that before - the club isn't running 100% safe amusement park rides, but we do try to take care of ourselves and our fellow paddlers (even if they're not in our group!). Don't worry about the comments of one person.

      February 26

  • rene

    Hey, it was fun. And there was plenty of warning that there would be numerous portages. I really appreciate everyone being so helpful and patient with me and my long heavy boat. And I love that we were there outside of bug and snake season. Thanks Ray for putting it together.

    February 25

  • Betty B.

    We had to turn back because of time constraints--concert tickets for T & his son. Afraid we wouldn't make it since the first mile took so long.

    I love surprises and challenges on paddles. Granted this one had a few too many, but still would have been fun.

    1 · February 24

  • Carolyn

    I really enjoyed it Ray...thank you for setting it up

    February 23

  • gayle d.

    call me crazy but that was a fun day ... i was thinking like a paddler out there...thx to all who shared in the adventure

    2 · February 23

  • Andy H.

    Well that was fun! Beautiful day to be tripping through the swamp. We must have encountered a hundred trees down in the water. In the first mile we were very careful to cut paths through the branches. We eventually evolved into crash through them. It was like the Olympic giant slalom. I only had to portage three times but became well practiced with my limbo. My tally came to 4.9 hrs, 7.67 miles, 1.6 avg mph. Many thanks, Ray, for suggesting a terrific trip.
    Trip can be seen at: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2676822

    3 · February 23

  • Ray C.

    This was a challenging paddle. Started with 13 paddlers. 4 turned back after maybe a mile because it was not looking good with all the down trees. I think we had already done 4 portages at that point. The rest continued on and we had maybe 5 or 6 more portages. None were difficult. Just tiring getting in and out of boat. 3 people had gone in the water. We finished an approx. 7 mile paddle in just over 5 hours.
    Thank you to all that came out. We were able to clear some of the trail, but there is a lot of work to be done and it will require a chainsaw.

    February 23

  • Joseph L.

    video from meetup http://youtu.be/Lr9VD3eG_5k

    3 · February 23

  • Harold J.

    Very Interesting paddle, I'm glad I attended, but really hard work for one that hasn't been in the water for 5 months. Lots and lots of portages

    February 22

  • A former member
    A former member

    Although I can't make the trip, I happened to have decided today that I need to sell my Tempest 165 touring kayak and I know the CCrusiers are not afraid of long boats and you all will be in Columbia tomorrow. Here's the posting on craigslist. I also apolgize in advance if I've broken any meetup rules by posting this
    https://post.craigslist.org/manage/4343281217/nrxrx

    February 21

  • Ray C.

    Well if nothing else it will be a service project. Someone has to clear it. Going to be a beautiful day and the water level is good.

    1 · February 21

  • David C.

    You may want to call ahead. I heard from some that paddle it frequently there were many portages in that section even with high water.

    February 21

  • A former member
    A former member

    I won't be much help in clearing debri so going to wait.

    February 21

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, can't make it. Have changed my RSVP. Have fun!

    February 21

  • Mark L.

    I have a couple quick questions. Is this trip suitable for a canoe? I have a friend that might like to go and a canoe would be better for her. If she doesn't go or a canoe is not suitable, is there a stop and stretch legs break somewhere along the trip. I like to get off my butt after 2-2 1/2 hrs. Thanks.

    February 17

    • Faye M.

      As an experienced former Sierra Club outing leader I would not recommend this trip to anyone other than the very strong who enjoy a challenge. The trees in Congaree are some of the largest in the US. There will probably be lots of trees down. If you can't go over them you have to portage around them. The banks are muddy and slippery which makes this difficult. Also you have to get out of the boat and get wet in the winter. Once you get on the creek you can't walk out becuase it is a swamp.

      1 · February 20

    • Faye M.

      If you want to do Cedar Creek and do not feel up to this challenge I would recommend starting at the Cedar Creek landing and going upstream as the park personnel plan to do.

      2 · February 20

  • rene

    Is this suitable for a longer boat? Mine are 15 feet.

    February 19

    • Ray C.

      Any size boat is OK here. Smaller boats are easier to turn in some of the tighter bends. But any boat will do.

      February 19

  • Harold J.

    I spoke to a park ranger this morning and it is not encouraging. Yesterday two park rangers put in at Cedar Creek access in a canoe and were able to paddle about 45 minutes upstream before turning around. They are still planning on doing their guided canoe trip in that section on Saturday.She said due to the high water levels last summer they were unable to clear the creek and so there is two years of debris to be cleaned up. According to her there is some heavy duty timber that will need chain saws to clear up. She expects the water level to continue to drop and expose more obstacles. She left it with...if you are experienced you can certainly go, but it'll be a pretty hairy trip from Bannister Bridge to Cedar Creek Access...

    Mike, did you have a lot of trouble last year. What time of the year and water level?

    February 19

    • Mike J.

      We went in Dec. or January, water levels were lower, and there were a lot of overhanging aquatic plants that could definitely use some trimming. I think some folks are reluctant to do this, because of the warnings of not destroying plants and other things in the park, but it was obviuos that someone had done some trimming in the past. This creek is really not very wide, and overhanging branches make for great snake habitat during warmer months.

      February 19

    • Ray C.

      All I can say is that if people are afraid that we may have to portage. Then they should stick to paddling lakes. I don't care what river you are on you risk having a portage. I am more concerned with high water then deadfall.

      February 19

  • Andy H.

    Sounds like the last section on Jacobs Fork. Gotta love a challenge.

    February 19

  • Mike J.

    Good idea for the saws, and a pair of brush 'loppers' would also work well. Some of the overhanging brush we encountered last year was too small for a saw, but made me wish I had the brush cutters along. Good luck down there.

    February 19

  • Harold J.

    Andy, I think you had better bring your saw. The website for Congaree Nat'l Park has park alerts that all trails have trees down and debris resulting from recent storms. There is no reason to think the waterway will be any different.

    1 · February 18

    • Andy H.

      It's already packed.

      February 18

  • Jim C

    Had a last minute schedule change and regretfully can't make this trip. Hopefully, next time.

    February 18

  • Ray C.

    Well when I posted this yesterday the forecast was for 77. Now it is for 63..... well at least it is above freezing.

    1 · February 17

  • Jim C

    Is anyone meeting on I-77 southbound at 1st SC welcome center to caravan?

    February 17

  • Esther M.

    Want to do this one! It is Luke's 1st Birthday and I have family commitments all weekend.

    February 17

  • Andy H.

    I NEED to get on the water but I'm going to wait and see if the forecast improves before RSVPing.

    February 16

  • Mike J.

    Already committed for our winter camping trip into Pisgah Forest on this weekend. Have a good trip down there, this is always the best time of year to do it.

    February 16

  • Lauren H.

    Take 3!

    February 16

    • Harold J.

      If you count last years cancelation it is the 4th time

      February 16

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