# 7 The Hatchery: W. Lake Moultrie — Rated: Easy to Moderate, 3+ Miles
Summary: The Hatchery, or sometimes called “Pinopolis Pool” by locals, is a 2,200+ acre Department of Natural Resources protected Waterfowl Management Area. It’s somewhat contained by a series of old dikes and many small islands. This paddle offers anything from a couple hours of enjoyment to an all-day adventure – there’s lots to see! Wildlife includes wading birds, song birds and small game. It offers some of the best fishing around.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 3 miles, round-trip, and exploration available
Time: 2 – 2.5 hours
Crowds: Moderate. You’re almost guaranteed to see boaters/anglers, and you’ll probably see other paddlers on the weekends.
Boat Type: Kayaks or canoes 10 feet or longer. Paddle boards are not recommended.
Put In / Take Out: Hatchery Wildlife Management Area, State Road S-8-802, Pinopolis, SC 29469. GPS: 33.268503, -80.103042 or 33°16’06.6”N, 80°06’11.0”W
Current: Negligible, generally south direction
Tidal Influence: None
Precautions: You’ll have protection from some winds with a few islands and dikes, however, there are plenty of open spaces in The Hatchery where winds can intensify resulting in waves/whitecaps. There are hundreds of tree stumps just inches below the water’s surface. These can flip a paddler if a boat gets wedged on top. Tip: these stumps can usually be seen with polarized sunglasses. It’s advisable to wear bright orange during hunting season.
Water Level: For this Blueway paddle trail, water level is not much of a concern because of open waters. Lake Moultrie Water Levels, click HERE.