Wando River/ Cat Island

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The trip to Cat Island and back is 7-miles all told. The island itself is a favorite among locals because any manner of interesting knick-knacks can be found on it: from fossils to shark teeth.

Written by

Logan Waddell

Destination Distance From Downtown

13.1 miles


3 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

3 hours to all day



Dog Friendly

Not Recommended

Fees Permits


Land Website

Link to Website


Cat Island is a larger Island located behind Mount Pleasant, up the Wando River. Largely undeveloped, this makes for a great destination to get out of the boat and explore after paddling. If you put in at the Claude M. Blanchard Jr. ramp, your trip to Cat Island will be roughly 3.5 miles, 7 miles when you include the return trip. For this destination, it is important to consult the tidal charts found on NOAA’s website. Go to the island on an ebb tide, and return on a flood tide. You will want to make this trip in the summer/fall when the flood tides are significantly larger. Also remember to always wear a PFD, and bring along paddling necessities like a throw bag, water pump, and sunscreen. Cat island is favored among the locals as a great spot to look for fossils, shark teeth, shells, and basically anything that can be washed in on a strong flood tide. Play around on the beach for a while and you’re almost guaranteed to find something neat. Watch out for smaller skiffs on the Wando, they like to go really fast and won’t be able to stop on a dime. I would stick to the sides of the river when paddling. Be safe and enjoy your trip up river.

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Wando River/ Cat Island

Charleston, SC,
32.931158, -79.778595

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