Traveling to Santee Cooper Locks

I need some help, I would like to travel from the Cooper River Marina to the Locks at the end of the Tail Race Canal and back on the 4th. Is this doable, how log would it take, Is the river well marked, and can I get under the Train trestle with my Key West with T top?


Harold Wilcox

It’s pretty interesting. You can put in across from Gilligan’s in Moncks Corner and motor up to the lock. I’d think on the 4th, they’d be running a pretty regular schedule. You’ll be able to ride up the lock, exit, then get back in line and re-enter the lock to ride back down.

Best I remember, the lock takes about 20 minutes… There will be a lot of boats sharing the lock with you on the weekends. Off peak times, you can check the Santee Cooper website for a phone number of the lock operator, I believe there is a button to alert the lock operator.

“I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of the general public.”
~my dad

2007 Grady White 222 Fisherman / 250 Yamaha
Simrad NSS evo2 and G4
1- 22 boy that won’t move out)
1 - 18 year old (fishing maniac)
1 - wife (The Warden)


I wonder if anyone has ever had a panic attack once they get “locked” in?

23 says you only need 20 baits for a day of fishing.

If the wind is blowing hard on the lake side, they won’t open the gates! Something about the gates bending! If that is the case, when you get to the top you can get out and walk across the dam! Happened to me once! You would be surprised at the size of the Cat Fish you can see under the water on he River side from up there[:0]

Thanks for the replies guys, I have been through the locks before, just have not made the trip from charleston, I vaguely remember a train trestle somewhere near Cypress gardens that I thought was not always manned, seemed like you had to call ahead to get it opened but I also thought it had enough clearance for a boat with a T Top

2020 CC Key West
Mako 243 W/Twin Suzuki DF 175’s

t top will clear it at any tide

You can get there, no problem. Send me a PM and I can send you the route from my GPS if you would like. T-Top isn’t an issue.

Seah Hunt Ultra 234 Yamaha F250
Sea Pro 190CC Yamaha F150 (sold)

Good link with maps, etc.: