Landsford Canal

Location: Northern South Carolina
Trip Starts: SC 690
Trip Ends: SC 690
Total Distance: 3 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Trails Used: Nature Trail, Canal Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
Trip Type: Day Hike
More Information:

Landsford Canal State Historic Site
2051 Park Drive
Catawba, SC 29704


Landsford Canal was once an important trading route running from the coast to the Foothills of South Carolina. It was built in 1820 by Robert Leckie as a canal lock designed to avoid the rough waters of the nearby Catawba River. The lock did not operate long, however, due to continual problems with flooding but today is one of only a handful of canals in the State that have survived without structural damage. The Landsford Canal State Historic Site was created to protect this unique structure, and it operates five days a week with operations running Thursday through Monday from 9am until 6pm year-round. The canal is dry under normal conditions, but occasionally holds water in a few areas.

This loop hike at the Landsford Canal State Historic Site is actually comprised of two trails, the Nature Trail and the Canal Trail. The Nature Trail is a short path that runs parallel to the Canal Trail over the first half mile to the east. There is a platform located on the trail that overlooks the Catawba River, and during May you will find many people gathered here to view the Spider Lilies (pictured above) which bloom in the Spring.

The longer Canal Trail follows the narrow structure that once ferried boats around the shallow and rocky Catawba River. There are stone structures that remain on this path including locks on both ends of the trail. Hikers and their dogs have the option of following either route, and may consider altering between the two for a 3.0 loop hike. The park is also very popular with kayakers and canoeists. So don’t be surprised to see them weaving their way through the Spider Lilies in May.

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