I gave some thought to some good spots for a kayak trip around the Sullivan’s Island / IOP area. I would recommend avoiding launching from IOP marina, as powerboat traffic in that area is heavy and could create unsafe conditions based on boater experience and temperament. Here is a map of my suggested launch spots, as well as one for one of my favorite trips, Gadsenville Boat Launch to Capers Island:
The key with all of these trips is to work with the tides. Here’s what we are looking at for the next couple of days:
For an afternoon trip, I would recommend being on the water (in your boat and paddling) by no later noon on Wednesday, 12:30pm Thursday, or 1:30pm Friday. The launches above are on tidal creeks and will not have enough water to paddle through as low tide approaches. The launches will be approachable again 2-3 hours after low tide each day.
Campsites (marked with orange markers) are free, No out of state fishing licence required. Camping close to the river at all three campsites.
Rafting will cost about $100 per person, depending on option of Section III or Section IV. Section IV is more physically intense than section III. Section III is rated for beginners and is also about $10 cheaper. There is also an option to rent some inflatables and do an easy, laid back, unguided float. The latter will be the cheapest option. This link contains additional information regarding rafting on the Chattooga.
Nearby trails lead to feeder creeks and waterfalls. River and feeder creeks are stocked with Rainbow and Brown trout, there is also a holdover population of Brown trout. Main river is ususally busy with rafting traffic and too deep to wade, but 10 miles north of the proposed campground is smaller and wadeable. Lake Tugaloo provides a flatwater fishing/paddling opportunity and contains Smallmouth Bass, Redeye Bass, and trout.