A scenic walk along Waccamaw River, home to Native Americans, arboretum, Memorial bridge and historic warehouse districtPosted By ShoutCarolina,Date: 04.23.2011
For centuries, the Waccamaw River has provided its inhabitants shelter, food and critical transportation routes to the Atlantic Ocean. Today you too can enjoy “the boldest river in South Carolina” thanks to the amazing Conway riverwalk (half an hour drive from Myrtle Beach)
The scenic boardwalk allows for a leisurely stroll, jogging, biking and amazing photography. Kayak rentals as well as guided river and swamp expeditions are available.
The Waccamaw Tribe
When Spanish explorers Francisco Gordillo and Pedro de Quexos landed in the Pee Dee in 1521, it is believed they first encountered the Waccamaw Tribe. They captured and enslaved 70 natives and shipped them to Spain. Francisco de Chicora was one of the slaves. He learned Spanish and recounted to Peter Martyr, the Spanish court chronicler, much about the practices of his people.
In 1526, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón led an expedition to North America bringing Francisco de Chicora with him. When one of the ships went aground after landing at Santee River, Francisco de Chicora fled to rejoin his own people and later disappeared from the historical record.
In 1715, there were about 800 Waccamaw Indians living in 4 villages. After the devastating Waccamaw War in 1720, most of the survivors were incorporated into the Catawba Tribe centered around Rock Hill. Others migrated to the Green Swamp area near Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina.
In 2005, the Waccamaw Indian People received tribal recognition from the state of SC. You can learn more about archaic Native American tribes and see lots of interesting artifacts at the Horry County Museum.
The Conway Arboretum
Beautiful trees provide shade, peace and a welcoming company all along the riverwalk. There are many varieties such as live oak, cottonwood, sycamore, cypress, myrtle, pine, gum and holly just to name a few.
My favorite riverfront attraction, the Memorial Bridge opened in 1938 and is dedicated to all Horry County service men and women.
This building was used as a ticket office for the “Conway & Seashore Railroad”. Passengers were ferried across the river in steam-powered side wheel boat where they will catch the train to the beach. The building was renovated and turned into a popular restaurant. Unfortunately a recent fire cease this operation.
Additional riverfront attractions
• 1880 riverfront terminal for Waccamaw Line of Steamers operated by Burroughs & Collins Co until 1919
• Playground (including restroom), picnic tables and tennis court
• Boat ramp and fishing pier
• City Marina
A great way to enjoy the riverfront is to attend the annual Rivertown Music and Arts Festival. This year it will take place on May 7, 2011 from 10AM to 4PM.
Relax, play and learn on the Waccamaw Riverwalk in historic downtown Conway!
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Filed Under: Biking, Boating and Fishing, Canoe and Kayak, Carolina Beaches, Conway, Conway Riverwalk Arboretum, Free Things to Do, Fun Carolina Outdoor Recreation, Historic Carolina Sites, Myrtle Beach, Walking and Jogging
Tags: Conway historic riverfront, Conway river walk pictures, Conway rivertown arboretum, Free family attractions near Myrtle Beach, Native American sites Waccamaw River Pee Dee, Waccamaw Chicora Indians drawings artifacts, Waccamaw river Memorial Bridge photos, what's fun free for kids around Myrtle Beach