South Carolina

Black River Preserve

Open to the Public


Things To Do

• Kayaking
• Fishing
• Bird watching
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Plan Your Visit

The Conservancy’s Black River Preserve is a 60 mile trip from Charleston, should take you about an hour and twenty minutes.
• Check the tides before you plan your trip.
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Get Directions

Why You Should Visit:
Paying a visit to the scenic narrows of the Black River is a must for any outdoor enthusiast. The floodplain forest widens and the river narrows between the towering cypress trees. Although the pull of the tide can still be felt, the water moves slowly here as it pushes through the wetland forest. Fishermen tuck themselves into the sloughs and creeks while kayakers thread through the watery maze trying to follow the main channel.

This stretch of river feels like a forgotten place and the remnant 1,000-year old bald cypress are a reminder that being forgotten is sometimes the best thing that can happen to a place. Traveling through the swamp one is likely to encounter wild turkeys, wood ducks, yellow-bellied sliders, and the occasional American alligator.

Bird enthusiasts seek this destination as a place to see prothonotary warblers, pileated woodpeckers, and the state-endangered swallow-tailed kite. In fact, the corridor is considered one of the most important breeding areas in South Carolina for swallow-tailed kites, a striking black-and-white raptor that depends on bottomland forest habitats to survive. A citizen-science project allows bird enthusiasts across the region to report sightings of swallow-tailed kites. You can report sightings online on Conservancy preserves or elsewhere.

Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties,
Winyah Bay

Size: 1736 Acres

What the Conservancy is Doing
The Nature Conservancy and conservation partners are working diligently to make sure the narrows of the Black River remain secluded and intact. Since 1986, the Conservancy and partners have conserved 47,000 acres along the river.

The Conservancy recently purchased conservation easements on 1,420 acres of breeding habitat near the preserve with funding from the North American Wetland Conservation Act Grant program. The Conservancy also added 80 acres to the preserve itself, with fund­ing from TD Bank and the Judith Haskell Brewer Fund.

Latest news from the Charleston Post and Courier about the Conservancy's work on the Black River:

  • Oxbow island added to Black River Preserve (10/14/14)
  • Conservation efforts help preserve the heart of the lowcountry ecosystem (4/11/14)

For more Information:
Maria Whitehead
The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina

Things To Do

• Kayaking
• Canoeing
• Guided Tours
• Fishing
• Bird watching

Plan Your Visit

The Conservancy’s Black River Preserve is a 60 mile trip from Charleston, should take you about an hour and twenty minutes.
• Check the tides before you plan your trip.
• The tidal delay for this stretch of river is about 6.0 hours off the Charleston, SC tide projections.
• Also the approximate time it takes to paddle from Pump House to Pine Tree landing is 3 hours (if traveling with the tide longer if not).
• If you’re interested in a guided tour, you can contact Black River Outdoors to schedule a trip with their professional guides at 843-546-4840 or


From Charleston
• take Hwy 17 North to Hwy 41.
• Follow, Hwy 41 through the Francis Marion Forest and the small town of Andrews.
• Red’s Landing Road is on your right just a few miles north of Andrews.
• Follow the signs from there to Pump House Landing.

If you have a friend with you and want to run a shuttle
• continue North on Hwy 41
• take a right on Big Dam Swamp Drive after you cross the Black River.
• Pine Tree landing Road will be on your right about 2 miles up.


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