A Trip on The Congaree

Last Friday I took a trip on the Congaree River with my talented photographer and supportive girlfriend Sara McGregor.  We took the "new" Riverkeeper jon boat and put in at the Bates Bridge Landing off of Highway 601.  The landing is right under the 601 bridge which is currently under construction.  From the landing we ran down to the confluence where the Congaree and Wateree Rivers meet to form the Santee River and the headwaters of Lake Marion.  Heading back upstream we passed under the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge where the rail line crosses the river before traversing the floodplain of Congaree National Park.  This bridge will be undergoing renovations in the coming months and Congaree Riverkeeper will be monitoring the construction activities in the river.  We went as far upstream as the mouth of Cedar Creek, passing such landmarks as Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve and the oxbow lake Devil’s Elbow.  On the way back to the landing we stopped at an old hunting shack on the park’s recently acquired Riverstone tract.  This is a truly beautiful and remote stretch of river.  Below are some pictures from our excursion.

 

Construction on Highway 601 Bridge

 

Confuence of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers

 

The Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge

 

A Stowaway in our Boat

 

A Great Blue Heron on its Perch

 

Bridge Leading to Abandoned Hunting Shack

 

Some of the Trash we Pulled From the River

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