South Carolina

Waccamaw River Blue Trail

The Waccamaw River Blue Trail extends the South Carolina portion of the Waccamaw River meandering 100 miles through protected bottomland hardwood swamps of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge and passing through the historic, riverfront cities of Conway and Georgetown. The Waccamaw, a coastal black water river, is home to many rare species of plants and animals, some of which are found nowhere else on earth.

photo: Photo

Length: 100.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: National Water Trails System
Agency: Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Boating, Motorized
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Heritage and History
Wildlife Observation

See more details.


Location: The Waccamaw River is located in the coastal plain of South Carolina flowing through urban Conway before emptying into Winyah Bay near Georgetown.
State(s): South Carolina
Counties: Georgetown, Horry
Longitude: -78.425365
Latitude: 33.544051

Driving Directions

Official Start of Trail-Hwy 9 in Longs (Chris Anderson Landing, River Mile 0, 33.544051N/-78.425365W), from Hwy 501 in Conway (Conway Marina, River Mile 42, 33.494499N/-79.024004W) and from Hwy 17 in Georgetown (East Bay Park, River Mile 87, 33.212370N/-79.1648.06W) and many additional access points


Recently listed as a priority project of the America's Great Outdoors Rivers Initiative, the Waccamaw River is a defining part of the region's landscape. Its historical, cultural and natural significance cannot be understated since the river provides clean drinking water, home for fish and wildlife, scenic landscapes and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The Waccamaw River Blue Trail meanders through the Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve and the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge before merging with the Intracoastal Waterway where the river widens, passing by historic rice fields, Brookgreen Gardens, Sandy Island, and ending at Winyah Bay near Georgetown.
Over 100 miles of river invite the paddler to explore its unique natural, historical and cultural features. Its black waters, cypress swamp and tidal marshes are home to many rare species of plants and animals. The river is steeped in history with Native American settlements, Civil War sites, rice and indigo plantations with their Gullah-Geechee culture, and historic communities and industries that were once served by steamships.

The Blue Trail also connects the protected lands of the Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve, the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, and the North Inlet-Winyah Bay Estuarine Research Reserve to the historic, riverfront cities of Conway and Georgetown.

Additional Details

Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Map: Map
Map: Map
Map: Map

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
Staci Williams
Waccamaw River Blue Trail Coordinator
American Rivers
290 Allied Drive
Conway, SC 29526
(843) 957-2367
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Christine Ellis
Executive Director
Winyah Rivers Foundation
P.O. Box 261954
Conway, SC 29528 -6054
(843) 349-4007
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Bill Lane
South Carolina/North Carolina Project Manager
National Park Service
1924 Building, 100 Alabama Street, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 507-5690
[email protected]








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Trail Managers: please use the official NRT update form to update your trail for any of the following changes:

  • Change in trail mileage through trail extension
  • Change in trail mileage through trail retraction
  • Change in trail mileage through significant trail reroute
  • Change to trail name
  • Change in trail description or use
  • Undesignation of trail (removal of NRT designation status)
  • Other significant updates

>> Download the official NRT update form.

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