Kayaking in Edisto Beach, SC

Kayaking in Edisto Beach, SC

When visiting an island, there is nothing better than getting out on the water. While most boating activities are popular in and around Edisto Beach, kayaking is a favorite by locals and vacationers alike.

What’s great about kayaking is that it gets you up close and personal with the beauty of the island, waterways, and marine life. Kayaking independently or taking advantage of an Edisto kayak tour almost guarantees a sighting of dolphin, sea turtles, jellyfish, and dozens of birds.

Interested in having an adventure? Try kayaking right off of front beach. Want a smooth ride through the creeks? Paddle your way through one of Edisto’s many rivers.

Another benefit about Edisto’s kayaking opportunities is that there are numerous options for those who own their own kayaks and those interested in renting during their stay.

Kayaking Locations

If you don’t have your own kayak, don’t worry! Kayak rentals are available at Edisto Watersports and Tackle, Island Bikes and Outfitters, and from Edisto Essentials. Rent a single or double tandems for the day or the week and take advantage of Edisto’s unparalleled beauty.

Kayaks can be launched from any of Edisto’s four public boat ramps and landings (or, if you’ve rented a home with deep water access, you can launch your kayak from your own dock).

Edisto has four public boat ramps and landings for launching boats. There is the Marina at Edisto Beach, Live Oak Landing in the Edisto Beach State Park, Steamboat Landing, and Dawhoo landing.

Each of these boat ramps and landings offer a different kayaking experience. For instance, by launching at the marina, kayakers can take advantage of Big Bay Creek and its direct access into the Edisto River, numerous tidal creeks, and the ocean.

The Live Oak Landing also puts kayakers directly into Big Bay Creek. However, this access point is best for those interested in creek exploration as the Atlantic Ocean is a good distance away when it comes to paddling.

The Steamboat Landing location, which is located approximately 5 miles from the beach, puts kayakers directly into Steamboat Creek, which is just a short distance from nearby Russel Creek. This location is not only stunning with natural beauty, it also offers a glimpse of historic homes, has fantastic sunsets, and is one of the lesser known boat launches (among visitors) on the island.

If you want to try your hand at kayaking the Intracoastal Waterway, then you’ll want to drive to the Dawhoo Landing. This location is right outside of the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. From this location, explore the waterways of the island’s northern tip.

What’s great about each of these locations is that they’re all easily accessible and guarantee sights of the lowcountry that only Edisto can provide.

The Ocean

Kayaking in the ocean is a popular activity that visitors love. While not recommended for first time paddlers, this activity promises to be a salty adventure.

If you want to launch your kayak directly off of front beach, you can spend time battling the swells of the Atlantic while staying close to shore. If you opt to launch from the marina, you’ll come out of Big Bay Creek and right into the area local refer to as “Shark Hole.”

Shark Hole is an area of deep water at the mouth of the creek where the creek flows into the ocean. It’s a popular area for dolphin and sharks to feed thanks to the healthy fish population in the water.

Once you make it past Shark Hole, you’ll be able to paddle up and down the coast, so long as your arms are up for it.

Remember, the tides and currents can make paddling difficult, so be sure to check a tide chart before beginning your adventure.

Edisto River

Kayaking the Edisto River is an experience to remember. To begin with, the Edisto River is a part of the ACE Basin, and plays a major role in the ecosystem of not only Edisto Island, but the lowcountry as well. It offers a little more than 310 miles from its headwaters down to the Atlantic.

While visitors can explore the Edisto River directly from the island, to really kayak the river you have to take a bit of a drive and head up to Walterboro (a little less than an hour from the beach) to launch.

Kayaking the Edisto River means experiencing the longest free-flowing blackwater river in the country, while enjoying a glimpse of the bald eagles and loggerhead turtles that make the river their home.

Kayak Tours

Kayak tours are a fun way to experience the island and get comfortable with paddling.

Edisto Watersports and Tackle offers two-hour guided kayak tours in the ACE Basin. These tours involve an easy paddle through the creeks and come with instructions, life vests, and paddles (and the kayaks). Plus, with local tour guides, visitors get an insider’s take on the nature, wildlife, and beauty of the area.

Kayak Rentals

While some visitors to the island bring their own kayaks, for those who like to travel light, kayak rentals are available from a variety of vendors.

Try Edisto Watersports and Tackle, Island Bikes and Outfitters, or Edisto Essentials for your kayak-rental needs. Also, be advised that you can rent tandem kayaks as well, which is great for those paddling with children.