Explore rustic wooden buildings, marinas, picnic areas and playgrounds during a stroll along this pretty boardwalk, adjacent to the majestic Waccamaw River.
The wooden Waccamaw Riverwalk connects the historic town of Conway to the meandering 140-mile (225-kilometer) Waccamaw River. The river starts inland of Myrtle Beach and drains into the Atlantic Ocean near Georgetown.
An unusual feature of the river is that the water appears black. Blackwater rivers, which are usually slow-moving and found around the swamplands of the southern U.S., are stained by the decaying plant matter in the water.
Look up as you make your way alongside the river: the Riverwalk sits under an impressive canopy of cypress and live oak trees, draped in silvery Spanish moss. These trees are home to native bird life, including the pileated woodpecker. Keep watch for other birds such as ospreys, kingfishers and hawks. In and around the water you may also see alligators, otters, beavers, bobcats and deer.
The surrounding wetlands are thick with vegetation, which is particularly beautiful in autumn when the leaf colors change. There are several rustic wooden buildings to admire as you stroll along the boardwalk. At the Waccamaw River Memorial Bridge, take some architectural photographs of this impressive structure dedicated to the Horry County citizens who are war veterans. Visit the colorful arboretum, showcasing plants native to the region, before ending your walk at a park with a playground, restrooms and plenty of spots to picnic and enjoy the views.
Cyclists and joggers alike are plentiful along the Riverwalk. For a different perspective of the area, try a tour on the water. Conway Kayak Tours, located in downtown Conway, offer guided tours of the Waccamaw that include facts about the river's history and natural wonders. Confident paddlers can take kayaks out for solo journeys.
The Riverwalk is centered around Conway, an 18th-century town 15 miles (24 kilometers) inland of Myrtle Beach. Once your Riverwalk journey is complete, venture into town for lunch and some exploring. Much of the area is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The town features mostly small brick buildings, some dating back to the early 1820s.