Blackwater Swamp Kayak Tour

Kayaking through the cypress swamp


The Blackwater Cypress Swamp Kayak tour is currently available for booking  January 12th- May 1st 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.

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

When: 10am & 2pm Daily   January 12th-May 1st 2017

  • Very small group sizes for public trips, so advance reservations strongly recommended
  • Check out our special events for evening paddles in the swamp.
  • Other days & times may be available by advance request.

Rate: $65 per person.

  •  guide, gear, shuttle, and tax.
  • Kids 12 & under: $45
  • Families of 4 or more with at least 2 adults
  • We try to avoid mixing family groups, and paddlers exploring without kids to create the best environment for everyone. However, during peak seasons it is occasionally unavoidable. We will make every effort to notify parties in such cases.
  • Gratuity for guides is greatly appreciated when you feel the service has warranted.

Length:  2.5-3 hour event.

  • Includes the approximate 15 minute scenic shuttle drive to and from our meeting location to the launch site on the property.
  • No experience necessary. Although a bit longer commitment than our 2 hour trip, the paddling itself is very doable for just about anyone. Typically about 2.25 hrs on the water.

Where:  The Inn at Middleton Place  

  • 4290 Ashley River Rd 29414  Charleston, SC
  •  Lodge building at the Inn
  • Free gated parking
  • Restroom facilities
  • Storage locker

Group Size:  To maintain the quality of this tour and its intimate feel, we typically keep the open tours to a maximum of 6-8 participants. Average tour size 2-6 people. This is one of the things we feel sets our tours apart. For private groups, we can accommodate trips of almost any size.


  • Only 2 people required for a trip to depart
  • Individual paddlers can register but must have at least 2 registered for a trip to go
  •  Groups of more than 6 may arrange for a private tour when available
  • 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, the plants, and the 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 (no self-guided access).   There are no currents, no wind exposure, and no crowds, so the paddling itself is very laid back and suitable for any experience level. However, the swamp can be shallow and the “trail” often narrow, so expect a pretty slow pace while kayaking through the trees. Our swamp is private access, which means you will not encounter any other people while kayaking, a true wilderness experience!  On those cold and windy days of winter and spring, the protection of the forest makes the swamp the perfect place to be. No day is “too cold” to paddle the swamp. The flooding of the forest is a seasonal event, and typically only takes place from December until early May, so be sure to book your spot while its still on. The start dates for the swamp kayak tour can be dependent on rainfall and other unpredictable factors, so some years the season start and finish date can vary.  This guided kayak tour departs from the National Historic Landmark property of Middleton Place, a short 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 long shadows to the “swamp-scape”, and as we explore we will 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, that’s 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 about 1.5 hours prior to official sunset.  $74 per person, Adults only



Schedule for Evening in Swamp:

 These trips all involve some time paddling while still light, and sometime paddling during dusk and sometimes under complete darkness. Departure times vary some depending on sunset times, and in some cases moonrise times when applicable. Trips with stars denote full moon or “large moon” trips, but how much moonlight we experience is of course weather dependent. All trips can be booked under our normal booking page for the swamp tours.

February 16th- 4pm                          March 3rd- 5pm                    *April 7th- 6:30pm

February 20th-4pm                           March8th- 5pm                    *April 10th- 7pm

February 24th- 4:30pm                   *March 10th- 5pm                 April 14th-7pm

February 27th- 4:30pm                   *March 12th- 7pm                  April 17th -7pm

                                                              March 17th- 6pm                   April 21st- 7pm

                                                              March 20th- 6pm

                                                              March 31st- 6:30pm

*all images on this site are taken on location during actual outings in the areas we explore, and are the property of Charleston Kayak Company and its agents.