As the world’s longest free-flowing blackwater river, the Edisto is a natural treasure. With its 300+ miles of waterways, long-distance paddlers can float from narrow, winding swamp to open, coastal marshland. The river’s blackwater is caused by the tannins in the leaves of the cypress and tupelo trees that line the banks. For a scenic day trip not far from Charleston, paddle with a partner and drop a car at Long Creek Landing on Hwy 17A. Then head 10 miles upriver to Givhans Ferry State Park-(they’ll charge you a $2 fee to launch on their sandy beach). The river quickly narrows after the park, winding tight turns around massive sandbars when water levels aren’t exceptionally high. Don’t miss several rope swings along the way. To make the trip an overnight, camp at the sandy bank across the river from the Long Creek landing. Then continue 10 miles the following day to Martin’s Public Landing along State Rd. 38.
Directions from Charleston: Take I-26 W to exit 199 (Hwy 17A) and head south. About 10 miles after passing through downtown Summerville, you’ll cross the Edisto River. Take your next right on McDaniel Town Rd. (State Rd. 91). A second quick right takes you to Long Creek Landing. To reach Givhans Ferry State Park, continue north (take a right from landing) 2 miles on McDaniel Town Rd., then turn right when it dead ends onto Pierce Rd. (State Rd. 35). In 4 miles you’ll reach SC 61-take a right and Givhans is immediately on your left when you again cross the river.
Givhans Ferry State Park: 843-873-0692 / 746 Givhans Ferry Rd., Ridgeville / http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/park-finder/state-park/1219.aspx
Edisto River Landings & Put-Ins Mileage Information: www.edistofriends.org