Paddle the Tyger While You Still Can
Tuesday I went with a couple friends to paddle the Tyger River (map). This was a scouting trip for the official Palmetto Paddlers trip this Saturday.
Despite being cloudy and cold, this was a fun trip. We started out at the Highway 49 bridge and ran the river to the Highway 176 bridge. It was all flatwater, but it was moving swiftly in places. There were a few deadfalls and strainers blocking our path here and there. We had to portage 100 yards around a large obstruction. Brian and Joe did some work clearing it, so hopefully the weekend paddlers won’t have to stop for it.
The river is beautiful and there was hardly a sign of human activity along most of this stretch. We passed under one small bridge and by a forest service road. If not for the occasional garbage that had washed downstream and the abandoned 12-foot boat, it would’ve looked totally wild. There was a lot of bird activity. We saw wood ducks, a flock of wild turkeys and a few herons. Not much else stirred on the cold day. The terrain was interesting too, varying from forested floodplain to steep rocky bluffs.
Some Union county locals want to dam(n) the Tyger and turn it into a 5300 acre lake. Their argument is that it will bring economic development to a place hurt by the decline of textiles. I prefer the river. South Carolina is loaded with lakes created from dammed rivers already. That area is also some of the best deer hunting territory in the state from what I’ve heard.
Hopefully the lake will not happen, but paddle the river while you still can!