- by Anna Culver
Paddle through the spider lilies of Landsford Canal State Park
Just 30 minutes from Fort Mill, you'll find Landsford Canal State Park, home to the world's largest population of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies. As of May 12, the park reported that the lilies have blossomed and the four-week peak period has begun. See full update here.
The beautiful Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies are found in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina and grow in cracks of rocky shoals, needing constantly flowing, shallow water and direct sunlight to flourish. At peak, the shoals become a stunning blanket of huge white flowers, and there are two ways to enjoy their beauty: a 1.5-mile hike or a 1.5-mile paddle on the Catawba River.
Do you need a kayak? Or do you have a kayak but need a guide? Optimist Training offers kayak rentals and guided tours through the beautiful spider lilies. It’s a 1.5-mile paddle and depending on water levels can take 1-3 hours. This is for moderate to experienced kayakers as there are some rapids and rocks to navigate. They offer 10AM and 3PM start times. Visit their website for pricing and more info.
Read a personal essay, Lost in the Lilies, that was published in SC Living in 2017.
"The trickiest part of any paddle trip to the spider lilies is leaving..."