The Edisto River on Edisto Island, SC

The Edisto River on Edisto Island, SC

As longest undammed river in North America, the blackwater Edisto River means a lot to the lowcountry. This 250-mile freshwater river is located entirely in South Carolina and ends in Edisto Island where it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.

The Edisto River is a part of the ACE Basin, which is an area of protected land and waterways that help conservation efforts in the area.


While many who visit the area look forward to saltwater activities provided by the Atlantic, there are some who enjoy freshwater opportunities on the Edisto River.

What’s important to remember about the Edisto River is that while it does end in Edisto Island, it starts quite a distance away from the island. That means some of the adventures one can take advantage of require a bit of driving, but it’s definitely worth it.


Bass, crappie, and sunfish are just a few of the types of fish one can expect to catch on the Edisto River. Whether you’re dropping a line from the banks of the river or exploring by boat, this blackwater river is full of fish waiting to be caught.

Kayaking and Canoeing

If you want to kayak or canoe the Edisto River, you’re going to have to head upstate and visit one of the kayak and canoe liveries. Head to Edisto River Adventures in Ridgeville, SC, which is about an hour from Edisto Beach to rental a kayak or canoe. From there, you’ll experience the Edisto River while paddling downstream and taking in the scenery.


Aside from being aptly named, Edisto River Adventures is the leading tubing outfitter equipped to handle the wants and needs of those looking to tube the Edisto.

Tubers can rent everything from tubes to coolers to tubes with coolers attached. All you need to do is drive up to 153 Gator Walk in Ridgeville, SC and the crew at Edisto River Adventures will help you out.

What’s great about tubing the river is that you get to take in the beauty that kayakers and canoers experience, but you do very little work. All that is required is that you sit and float and let the river do the rest.


Like much of the lowcountry, the wildlife in the area that one would see on the banks of the Edisto River includes deer, racoons, birds of prey, and bobcats. However, it is less likely to see these animals in areas where houses are present or in busier areas.


The lowcountry is home to numerous snakes, but only six are venomous. The copperhead, cottonmouth, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, pygmy rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and the coral snake. The good news is that the cottonmouth is the only one that is semi-aquatic. The other snakes are native to the area, but shouldn’t be in the water with you.

Another thing to remember is that most snakes avoid interaction with humans and humans are encouraged to avoid messing with snakes for their own safety.


Alligators love the swamps and marshland of the lowcountry. They also love the black waters of the Edisto River. That said, alligators are a part of the lowcountry and are seen regularly by those who enjoy outdoor activities and watersports, but they rarely cause a problem.

If you see an alligator, do not approach it. Keep a wide distance between yourself and the alligator as they have an extensive reach. Should you come upon an alligator on your trip, don’t panic; instead, leave the area quickly and calmly, and realize you’re in their territory. [


Catfish, crappie, and bass are all native fish in the Edisto River.

Water Level

The water level of the Edisto River varies and those interested in getting out on the water should always check water levels. In times of drought, the river can be shallow in areas, which would require kayakers, canoers and tubers to portage. Check river levels before your trip.

Location & Access Points

To access the Edisto River, considering the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail, which is on the main stem of the river. Friends of the Edisto is an organization committed to preserving the river for generations to come. The organization also offers numerous location and access points for for the main stem of the Edisto, the north and south fork of the river, and coastal access points.

The areas closest to Edisto island include Martin’s Landing off of Road 38 near Parkers Ferry; Penny Creek Landing located at the end of Road 1448; and Willtown Bluff Landing, which is located west of Adams Run.

The Live Oak Landing, Dawhoo River Landing, Steamboat Creek landing, Toogoodo Creek Landing, Cherry Point Landing, ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, Dungannon Heritage Preserve, and  Deveaux Bank Heritage Preserve are additional access points to the Edisto River.