Highway 52 – Santee River
The access point for the Highway 52 – Santee River trail is the Santee River Landing on Highway 52, adjacent to the Highway 52 Bridge on the Williamsburg County side of the river. The ending point is the Arrowhead Landing, which is accessed on Arrowhead Landing Road off of Highway 45, east of Saint Stephen. It will be necessary to pre-position a vehicle at Arrowhead Landing or to arrange for pickup at the completion of your trip.
About the Trail
The Highway 52 section of the Santee River trail is 12.7 miles in length and terminates at Arrowhead Landing on the Santee Cooper Rediversion Canal.
On this section of the Santee River, there are two landmarks that will help you establish a position and better gauge your travel times and the river flow which varies depending upon river levels. The first of these is a railroad trestle approximately 5.7 miles from the Highway 52 Bridge. The second is a set of high tension power lines crossing the river approximately 8 miles below the Highway 52 bridge and 2.3 miles below the railroad trestle. When you pass the power lines, you will have 4.7 miles left to paddle on this river section.
Paddling this section of the Santee River should normally take about 6 hours, plus the time expended for lunch and rest stops. Typical wildlife viewing on this section of river is likely to include eagles, American egrets and blue herons. You may see fishing boats, as this section is also a popular fishing area for bluegills, crappie, bass and catfish. Throughout this section of paddle trail you will see numerous sand bars and islands that you may find suitable for lunch and rest breaks. Swim breaks are not encouraged due to the many deep holes, cloudy waters, and variable currents you may experience.
Santee Cooper maintains a toll free information line for river and lake conditions including river levels and current flows. The telephone number is 1-800-925-2537. Because releases from the Saint Stephen’s Hydro Plant can reverse the current on the lower end of this section and make the paddle to Arrowhead Landing more difficult, it is extremely important for weaker or less experienced paddlers to call the toll free telephone number.