Conway is known as South Carolina’s historic river town. This quaint little hamlet is often overlooked by vacationers who pass through on their way to Myrtle Beach. However, for those who do stop, taking a walk along the Conway Riverwalk provides a special treat.
The Riverwalk is a great place to take a brief stroll along the meandering Waccamaw River. Not only can visitors enjoy this famous blackwater river – stained dark by the tannins that nourish it – but they will also come across rustic wooden buildings, a playground, marinas, picnic tables, and an elegant inn. At one end of the trail is a magnificent arboretum that features a wide variety of trees and plants.
Conway has a long and proud history dating back to the early 1700s. Much of its downtown area is listed in the National Historic Register. The riverwalk is part of a historical walking trail, which features many buildings, homes, churches, and other places that define the early days of the town.
People walk beneath the Waccamaw River Memorial Bridge on the Riverwalk. The bridge was constructed in 1937 to honor Horry County citizens who served this country in wars from the American Revolution to World War I. Its unique architecture and influence on the early development of the Grand Strand earned it a place in the National Historic Register.
The Riverwalk also takes pedestrians to Riverfront Park as well as the Conway City Marina, where people launch boat free of charge. Slips can be leased on an annual basis, and canoes and kayaks can also be rented nearby. In 2015 The Nature Conservancy purchased a tract of 494 acres adjacent to the Waccamaw River and across from the Riverwalk. This land will remain green space and may one day include additional walking trails.
Not only do people enjoy the Riverwalk for recreation, but it is the site of festivities, as well. The annual Christmas Boat Parade is best viewed from the Riverwalk, and the summer celebration Riverfest features food and activities along the walk and in the park. The Riverwalk is so popular that it is not uncommon to spot a wedding taking place on the scenic walk.
Reflections on the Conway Riverwalk
Contributor Theresa Borgeson, who took the photo at the top of the page which features graffiti, shares the following: “I enjoy walking, exploring, and also photography as an art and journal of where I have been. I am fascinated with the beauty – natural and manmade – in the world around us. The stories that can be told with a photo. Or my words.
I am a new resident to the area so I do not know the history yet, but I am learning. What I see here is a building that was built many, many years ago, by hardworking people. It was most likely a very relevant structure. It, with time, became obsolete and vacant. [It now provides] ambiance, beauty, and history within the more recent construct of a beautiful riverwalk and bridge.
But also you have the writing on the exterior. Those particular young humans perhaps don’t see the depth, the extent of hard work – the understanding or appreciation for what once went into the facility and area. Or what that generation may feel when they see that it is there. It is an expression of carefree, fun living. They haven’t the capacity yet to appreciate the ghost behind a building like that. But – it is a story within itself of comradery, celebration, and becoming an adult and getting the good times in while you are still so bold to do so. Making new memories on forgotten ones.