Blackwater Cypress Swamp Kayaking

Immerse yourself in the flooded bottomland forest at the Woodlands Nature Reserve

Blackwater Cypress Swamp Kayak Tour

 at The Woodlands Nature Reserve

Tour Overview:

The Blackwater Cypress Swamp kayak tour at The Woodlands Nature Reserve offers a unique opportunity to kayak in one of South Carolina’s most mysterious and enchanting ecosystems. Kayak under the towering canopy of cypress trees, as your guide helps to navigate the narrow and winding blackwater trail. Our guides are passionate about sharing a wealth of information about the unique plants, animals, and history of the bottomland forest. The swamp kayak tour offers a quite and solitude that can be hard to find these days. Migratory ducks, raptors, herons, woodpeckers, owls, turtles white tail deer, wild pigs, and the occasional alligator are just a few of the animals that can be spotted while kayaking.

Difficulty:  The swamp offers protections from any currents or wind, so the kayaking is very laid back and generally suitable for any experience level. However, the swamp can be quite shallow and the “trail” often narrow, so expect a pretty slow pace while kayaking through the trees and cypress knees. Our swamp is private, which means you will not encounter any other people while kayaking, a true wilderness experience!

Season: The flooding of the forest is a seasonal event, and typically only takes place from Fall through the spring (start and end dates may vary based on seasonal weather patterns), so be sure to book your spot while its still on.

Tour Details:


October 15th – May 21st

10am & 2pm – Daily by reservation 

  • Small group sizes for public trips, so advance reservations strongly recommended
  • Custom Times and dates may be available by request *minimums may apply

Length:  2.5-3 hour event.

  • Includes the appx. 15 minute scenic shuttle drive through the Woodlands Nature Reserve
  • No experience necessary, any skill level. Appx. 2.25hr on water time

Where:  Meets: The Inn at Middleton Place  

* Paddle takes place at The Woodlands Nature Preserve (Adjacent to Middleton Place)

  • 4290 Ashley River Rd 29414  Charleston, SC

Group Size:  

  • 2-9 participants. For quality of  tour experience, we keep the public tours small in size
  • For private trips we can accommodate groups of most any size.


  • Only 2 adults required for a trip to depart
  • Individual paddlers can register but a trip must have at least 2 registered adults for a trip to go
  •  Private Trips may be available by advance request *minimum rates apply
  • We often recommend  use of  tandem kayaks on the swamp tour, but singles are available by  request at the time of booking.
  • $54 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 traveling without kids to create the best environment for everyone. However, during peak seasons it is occasionally unavoidable (late march-Mid April). If this is particularly importance to you, feel free to reach out with questions.
  • 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! 


  • Professional Naturalist Guide
  • Shuttle Service
  • Gated Parking and Private Restrooms
  • Choice of Single or Double Kayak and all associated equipment
  • Drybag for phone/camera available for loan

$74 / seat  

From This Tour

All images are property of Charleston Kayak Company and may not be used or reproduced in any way without express written permission.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We send out email newsletters every few weeks with upcoming special events, naturalist notes, and special offers. We wont blow you up with junk, or share your info with anyone else.