Cypress Swamp Kayak Tour

Kayaking through the cypress swamp
We’ve now enjoyed our second Blackwater Cypress Swamp tour and this time was just as magical and enjoyable as our first time! Will was our guide and his knowledge of Charleston history and the flora/fauna of the area was impressive. His passion was infectious. The swamp was beautiful unlike any other place you’ve been. You HAVE to make this a priority if you’re in the area.
Visited May 2016


The Blackwater Cypress Swamp Kayak tour season is expected to resume December 2016 and to run through April 30th 2017. Be sure to make your reservations, as these trips are kept to small group sizes and private excursions for larger groups. This tour is one of our most unique offerings and is perfect for any skill level paddler. We only offer this trip as a guided event.

Available December-April 30th (The starting and ending dates may be earlier or later depending on rain and bugs)

Available by reservation Daily at 10am or 2pm *other times may be available by advance request


Schedule: 10am & 2pm Daily (availability limited, advance reservations strongly recommended) Check out our special events for evening paddles in the swamp. Other days/ times may be available by advance request. Excepting reservations for trips December 2016- April 30th 2017.

Cost: The cost is $65 per person. This cost is inclusive of guide, gear, shuttle, and tax. Kids rate of $45 is available for families of 4 or more with at least 2 adults (kids groups and paddlers without kids will not be mixed without prior notice). Optional gratuity may be added at the conclusion of your trip if you feel your guide provided exceptional service. Groups of 6 or more $60 per person.

How Long: This tour is scheduled as a 3 hour event. This includes the approximate 15 minute scenic shuttle drive from our meeting location across the property to the launch site. No experience necessary.   

Where: This tour meets at the Lodge building at the Inn at Middleton Place. Here you will have an opportunity to use restroom facilities, store valuables, and complete tour registration information before departing for the swamp.

Group Size: Tours can be arranged with a minimum of 2 people. For individual paddlers, we can add you to a trip already organized. To maintain the quality of this tour and its intimate feel, we typically keep the tours to a maximum of 6 participants (trips average 4 participants). Groups larger than 6 may arrange for a private tour. Parties with fewer than 6 participants may request a private tour at an additional cost. We typically use tandem kayaks only on the swamp tour. (Singles may be available by advance requests, or on private tours & odd number parties)


swampsmallThe Blackwater Cypress Swamp kayak tour at Middleton Place offers a unique opportunity to kayak in one of South Carolina’s most mysterious ecosystems. As you paddle beneath the 100ft+ canopy of Cypress and Tupelo trees, your naturalist guide will share knowledge about the human history, and the plants and animals that make their home in this special environment. There seem to be fewer and fewer places that offer the kind of quite and solitude available on the swamp kayak tour. Migratory ducks, raptors, herons, woodpeckers, owls, white tail deer, and wild pigs are just a few of the animals that can be spotted while kayaking. These bottomland forests were an integral part of the early rice culture of South Carolina, and signs of this history are still evident. Navigation can be tricky within the swamp, so we only offer this trip as a guided kayak tour, ie no self-guided kayak rentals.  There are no currents, no wind exposure, and no crowds, so the paddling itself is very laid back and suitable for any experience level. Our swamp is private, which means you will not encounter any other people on the water, a true wilderness experience!  On those brisk and windy winter and spring days when its too cold to be out in the open, the swamp offers the perfect refuge. The swamp is pretty shallow and the “trail” often narrow, so expect a pretty slow pace while kayaking through the trees. The flooding of the swamp is a seasonal event, and typically only takes place from December until early May, so be sure to book your spot. The start dates for the swamp kayak tour can be dependent on rainfall and/or mosquito presence, so some years the season may start or finish a bit earlier or later.  This guided kayak tour departs from the National Historic Landmark property of Middleton Place, a short 20-30 min drive from downtown Charleston South Carolina.

Evening In the Swamp...

Join us for an extra special experience in the swamp during the evening hours. We will set off as the angled sun adds lots of long neat shadows to the “swamp-scape”, and as we explore watch darkness overtake the swamp. The tree-frogs, cicada’s, and barred owls begin there nightly chorus, as we twist our way through the swamp. There are no particular night time “dangers”, but this trip is not for the faint of heart, as it definitely has a spooky element, but hey thats part of what makes it fun. We only offer an handful of evening trips, and space is particularly limited on these trips, so be sure to book your spot ahead of time. Usually departs 6pm and returns between 8:30/9pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays, other days may be available by advance request. $70 per person, Adults only