Edisto Main Branch

(Below the confluence)

Givahn's Ferry Gauge

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The North and South branches of the Edisto merge below Orangeburg to form the main branch, which runs into the Atlantic Ocean at Edisto Island. Below the confluence, the river tend to be more open and less congested than higher up the tributaries, although there are exceptions at various time of the year, and in some locations. 

Whetstone Crossing to Georgia Pacific

Georgia Pacific to Colleton State Park.

Whetstone Crossing to Colleton State Park.

At low or intermediate water, a beginner trip to advanced trip. Less experienced paddlers should stay out of the trees when the water rises. Although a longer trip, the current flow makes for a relatively easy trip. 

A 1-hour drive from the I-26 Columbia Airport exit to Whetstone Landing.

This 14.04 mile section is free flowing and was run on July 14th at vary low water levels.(1.7 on the Givahn's Ferry gauge). This section still had good current flow and was navigable for the most part, but one section had an oxbow section which dropped over a length of rapids for about 200 feet due to the low water levels. There was a cut-through which avoided the run, but it also had navigable standing waves on it, though not very high. There are some turns which have to be taken with some caution to be able to slide beside some downed logs, but all were open to navigation, requiring no limbo exercises, nor pullovers. There were no complete obstructions. 

I have never seen the Edisto this low, and it was a new experience. We were paddling through along the  undercut sides of marl and rock which has always been covered by water and sand in the past. Other than birds, very little wildlife was seen in the river along this stretch, however lots of Willow trees offered up very pretty views, and could have hidden much of the wildlife from site. 

Whetstone Landing is an inexpensive private dock alongside SC Hwy 21. The owners have placed a small moneybox on a pole and request each car place $2.00 in the box. This is cheap insurance, and the site has adequate parking on the private land. There is an indoor bathroom facility, but last summer time it was not functional, so unless you have more current information, do not plan on using it. The drive to the take out is as follows: Out of the lot, turn left to cross the Edisto bridge. Cross two small bridges and take the first right (Wire Road). Drive approximately 8.4 miles. You will come to Edisto River Road, marked with a sign on the left side of wire road indicating Edisto River Refuge, and a sign on the right of wire road pointing to Gloria's Appliances. Turn onto Edisto River road and drive off the end of the paved section, going for a total of 1.4 miles. The Georgia Pacific take out is on the right, and is not marked but is well used and there is no mistaking it.. If you miss the take out, you will end up on the road right next to the river. 

Note that there is another take out about halfway down this stretch, but I have not personally used it. Cat Hole landing is on an ox-bow, and I am told that it can be difficult to find. Steve Soltys of the Palmetto Paddlers used to paddle out to the river from the take out and tie a marker on the river so he could find it. I have used the Audubon trust landing, but it requires more water to get up the creek to the take out, and also requires someone from the Charleston Audubon society accompanying the group who has access to the keys for the gate. 

The take out is also a put-in for the run to Colleton State Park, about 8 river miles further downstream. Edisto River Road is U-shaped, so on driving from the take out, you can turn right out of the landing and the road will take you back to paved road which will dead-end on Wire Road (SC 18-19). Turn right going over I-95 and into Grover, SC, where you should turn right on the main road (SC 15), then follow the signs to Colleton State Park. If you camp there, be certain you can sleep with power plants on your mind, though, since there is one adjacent to the park.  I-95 is just down the road and right on SC 61.

GPS Data:

    Whetstone Landing: 17 S 518390 3670974

    CatHole Oxbow entrances (North): 17 S 528407 3667016   (South):17 S 528475 3666974

    Georgia Pacific Landing: 17 S 529997 3664896

Trip length: 14.04 miles, taking the oxbow cutoff at the shallows.

Boat-in-motion time: 4:02

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Georgia Pacific to Colleton State Park.

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