Along its winding course, the Lynches River passes through a varied landscape of pine uplands, farms, rural crossroads, and deep swamp forest. Special features include numerous small islands and sloughs, intermittent bluffs, bottomland hardwood wetlands, and artesian wells. Along the 7.5 miles of riverfront protected as part of Lee State Natural Area and Lynches River County Park, trees soar to impressive heights untouched by the woodsman's axe. The river corridor provides excellent habitat for fish such as redbreast and wildlife including river otters, white-tailed deer, and wood ducks. Recreation opportunities abound. The river also holds historic significance as a hideout for slaves during the Civil War and as the site of the state's last duel. Fortunately, the landowners and communities along the Lynches have long recognized the value of the river's natural, scenic, and historic attributes.
The US 15 boat landing is located just northeast of Bishopville in Lee County. It is on theeast bank of the Lynches River. The state-designated Scenic Lynches River begins at this point and extends 54 miles downstream to the eastern boundary of Lynches River State Park. Water level permitting, this is an excellent point to begin a river trip. A short trip of 2 to 3 miles will take the paddler to Lee State Park. A longer trip of approximately 8 miles to the Old Field's Bridge landing is another option.
Protected as part of Lee State Park, most of the east bank along this stretch is forested. Some of the trees are tremendous and stretch upwards to impressive heights. A tall bluff sits opposite the park just north of the Interstate 20 crossing. After passing under I-20, the river slips past pastures and woodlands on its way to Field's Bridge. Observant paddlers may see beaver, deer, raccoon, or other wildlife.
The Lynches River Festival is an annual event held to celebrate the Lynches Scenic River and build appreciation for this resource by raising environmental awareness within the local community. The first festival was held in May 1997. The festival is geared toward people of all ages with any interest in the river, including landowners, fishermen, hunters, borders, and outdoor enthusiasts. To help organize the festival, the council collaborates with the SC DNR, the SC Department of Parks, Recreations and Tourism, and various other groups and organizations in the region.
The past three festivals have been a great success. Each year, several hundred people attend the Lynches River Festival to enjoy a multitude of educational hands-on activities, exhibits, and workshops covering a variety of outdoor topics. Festival activities have included canoe trips, nature walks, natural gardening seminars, birdhouse construction, and nature photography seminars. Special activities for kids have included canoe races, coloring contests, fossil hunting, and bandanna decorating. Festival attendees have been entertained by bluegrass music as they view numerous outdoor and environmental displays. Plans are underway for the 4th Annual Lynches River Festival, to be held on May 20, 2000, near Bishopville. Check back for more information on the festival as it becomes available.