This easy paddle at an unassuming state park ends in an other-worldly cypress swamp.

Cheraw State Park kind of seems like an unexceptional place. It's got your typical small-park facilities: car camping, golf course, boat launch, tiny public beach. But row a boat (canoes and kayaks are available to rent) about 2 miles southwest of the visitors center and you'll find yourself paddling through mysterious black water under a crowded forest of towering cypress trees. Not exactly an ordinary day on the water. 

Head out in the morning or evening for the most tolerable conditions (excessive heat and insects are a bother here, as they are most places in the south--be vigilant for snakes and alligators, too) and for the best chance to espy some of the swamp's feathered inhabitants. Herons, Ospreys, Owls, and Bald Eagles call Lake Juniper their home. 

Pack List

  • PFDs
  • Heavy-Duty Bug Repellent 
  • Sunscreen
  • Water 
  • Camera 
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Activities Canoeing, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Lake

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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