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North Fork Edisto River in South Carolina

Trip Overview

We entered the North Edisto at the Shillings Bridge Road landing just outside of Orangeburg. The Section of river we kayaked was Shillings Bridge to The Glover Street Landing just beyond the city of Orangeburg's Rose Gardens. Being a novice I'm a certainty for a swim at least once, and this river will dunk you. The Edisto's tannin stained water gives credence to the "Black Waters" claim. It's swift in areas with confusing currents, sharp turns and many hidden obstructions. The grass roots "Friends of the Edisto" group has taken to cleaning up and preserving this beautiful stretch of water, but it is by no means a walk in the park. Downed trees, stumps and a much lower than normal river level lead to many surprises. The water is always cool, the current strong and anyone taking to this water should be a competent swimmer and a firm believer in life jackets. Spring or Fall might better suit those who don't like snakes because the Edisto is home to a thriving water moccasin population. If you're looking for a paddle that takes you from backyard fishing docks to primeval surroundings you will enjoy this stretch of water. Take a dry bag, snacks and a cell phone might be a good idea. In the event of trouble Orangeburg county has emergency volunteers who can come after you.


Plenty of accommodations in the Orangeburg area, and the city is situated not much more than an hour from Columbia and Charleston, two beautiful southern cities.


From Interstate 26 take highway 601 to highwayway 178 north to Shillings Bridge rd and follow signs...


If able to locate a topo map of the North Edisto it would be recommended. I grew up around the river and traveled it from memory. Not a great idea in retrospect.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip