Blackwater Cypress Swamp Kayak Tour

2019 Season will begin February 1st
Kayaking through the cypress swamp

The Blackwater Swamp season for 2019 is expected to begin February 1st and we will begin accepting reservations by December 14th. 

February 1st-29th 10am or 1pm TU, TH, SAT, SUN

March 1st-April 31st daily @ 10am & 1:30pm. &  MON, FR, SAT @ 5pm

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 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.


January 3rd-Febuary 12th 2018 @ 1:30pm Daily

February 13th-May 6th* 2018  @ 10am & 2pm Daily

*Season end date has been adjusted based on expected water levels


  • 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: $69 per person.

  • Includes everything necessary to participate-  guide, kayak/gear, shuttle, and tax.
  • $49 per Child 12 & under – riding in double kayak with adult. Must have 2 people at full price to qualify for rate.
  • 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 (late march-Mid April). We will make every effort to notify parties in such cases.
  • Gratuity for guides is greatly appreciated when you feel the service has warranted. We take great pride in providing professional naturalist guides for our outings and want to do everything we can to keep them on their passion trail!

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 6-9 participants.  This is one of the things we feel sets our tours apart from many experiences.
  • For private groups, we can accommodate groups of most any size.


  • Only 2 people required for a trip to depart
  • Individual paddlers can register but must have at least 2 registered adults for a trip to go
  •  Groups of more than 6 may arrange for a private tour when available
  • We typically use tandem kayaks on the swamp tour but singles may be available by advance requests, or on private tours and odd number parties

*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.