Rice Field Photos
This region is located near Moncks's Corner, SC which is Just outside of Charleston. The area is a swampy area just below the Lake Marion dam, on the Cooper River Tailrace Canal which is the outflow of the Lake Marion dam. This area was largely a region built by the rice trade. This trip is one which meanders through many old rice fields and the irrigation routes built by hand in the pre-revolutionary war era by slaves using primarily hand labor.
The trip we took allowed us to cross the tailrace canal, where we traveled a short distance across and up-river to the state park. This park is a wonderful area to rest and picnic, and has a museum building detailing the history and nature of the area. There is a nature trail in the park which is an interesting way to stretch your legs. If you enter the park from the land, there is a small charge. Entering from the tailrace is free, since you bypass the collection booth at the entrance.
Paddling this area involves an intricate network of irrigation streams, and you can become disoriented in some of the back areas. Pay attention to your route when you go into the smaller canals, and consideration should be made to bringing along a GPS. Old man-made structures were used to manipulate the flow of water into the rice fields can be seen throughout the area. These rice gates were opened to allow the incoming tide to flood the rice fields, then they were shut to retain the water. When drainage was desired, the gates were opened and the falling tide lowered the water again. Once the water level was lowered, the land was kept dry by closing the gates. It is possible to find many artifacts in the waterways, but collection of these objects requires a hobby license obtainable from the South Carolina Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology, and can be purchased at most scuba shops throughout South Carolina. Collection also requires you to file a basic site map with the institute in order for you to retain ownership of any objects found in the streams. Collection of any artifacts on dry land is not covered by this State law and is therefore not permitted without permission from the landowner of the area.
To get to the put in, drive up US 52 from Moncks Corner past the intersection of SC17. Cross the Canal and turn right onto the next road to the right, which is Highway 402. Travel 2 miles to the bridge over Wadbo Creek. The put in is the boat ramp alongside the bridge. We traveled downstream (to the right from the put-in) on our trip.
Put in and take out: 17 S 597587 3673508
Old Santee Canal State Park landing: 17 S 596083 3673085
Click for MAP