The 10 Longest Rivers in South Carolina

The Catawba River/Wateree River in South Carolina.
The Catawba River/Wateree River in South Carolina.

South Carolina is a US state that is situated in the country’s southeastern region. Just like any other state in the country, South Carolina has plenty of water bodies such as rivers and lakes. All the rivers in the state end up draining into the Atlantic Ocean. However, the major rivers in the state usually have smaller tributaries that can be said to be draining into these major rivers. Examples of such major rivers include the likes of Pee Dee River and Santee River. The longest river in South Carolina is the Savannah River with a length of around 301 miles. The Pee Dee River is a distant second with a length of about 232 miles while the Catawba River is third with around 220 miles. 

Longest Rivers in South Carolina

Savannah River

This river has its source at around Lake Hartwell in a region with an elevation of about 655 feet and ends up draining into the Atlantic Ocean. The starting point of the river is actually a convergence point between two rivers namely the Seneca River and the Tugaloo River. In its course, the Savannah River forms an extensive length of the border between South Carolina and neighboring Georgia. The river, which passes through the cities of Savannah and Augusta, has a number of tributaries such as the Chattooga River.

Pee Dee River

Also called the Great Pee Dee River, the Pee Dee River begins flowing in the Appalachian Mountains at the point of confluence of the Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers. The name stems from the Native American Pee Dee tribe that used to live around the river. Eventually draining into Winyah Bay in South Carolina, this river serves a number of purposes such as the production of electricity and irrigation for agriculture. Some of its tributaries include the Little Pee Dee and the Lumber.

Catawba River/Wateree River

The Catawba River starts flowing at the western region of North Carolina and flows until it enters South Carolina, where it is known as the Wateree River. Also named after a Native America tribe, the river is responsible for forming about 10 miles of the border between North and South Carolina. Just like the Pee Dee above, this river is also utilized for agriculture and hydroelectric production before draining into Piedmont.

The Longest River Entirely in South Carolina

The Edisto River is the longest river system that flows entirely within the state of South Carolina. The flow of the river begins from two major tributaries namely the North and South Fork in the Sandhills area of South Carolina. This river system flows through only one main town (Orangeburg) before ending up in the Atlantic. One of its major tributaries is the Four Holes Swamp, which is a network of small braided river channels as opposed to a single defined river channel. The Edisto River is home to a number of fish including spotted sucker, flat bullhead, largemouth bass, longnose gar, and redbreast sunfish.

The 10 Longest Rivers in South Carolina

1Savannah River301 miles (484 km)
2Pee Dee River 232 miles (373 km)
3Catawba River/Wateree River220 miles (350 km)
4Edisto River 206 miles (332 km)
5Saluda River200 miles (320 km)
6Black River 151 miles (243 km)
7Broad River150 miles (240 km)
8Santee River143 miles (230 km)
9Lynches River 140 miles (230 km)
10Lumber River 133 miles (214 km)

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