We made brief stops at both the Colleton State Park and the Givhans State Park, and certainly did not enjoy them to their fullest! We were already in the area visiting Bee City, and I wanted to check them out for future stops. Both parks definitely encouraged my canoe “bug” and I can’t wait to go back with canoes in hand! Now that the Littles are decent swimmers, I have been burning to make it a regular hobby for our crew.
I have these two parks grouped together because I consider them “sister” parks. They are part of the Edisto River Kayak and Canoe Trail. The Edisto is the longest, free-flowing blackwater river in North America, and if you haven’t seen a blackwater river – they are gorgeous! My father grew up near a blackwater river and Edisto brought back childhood memories of fishing near his old home. I am also familiar with the alligators from our fishing days at Santee, so will admit, standing on the shoreline reminds me a bit of the 1986 movie “Crocodile Dundee” – especially since we are into the second week of South Carolina’s month-long alligator season. As my father always told me though – they are more wary of you, than you of them!
Both parks look ideal for a week/weekend getaway. I realize that being a “middle of no-where” country-living resident, I don’t appreciate these parks as much as others might or should. They are both quaint retreats, away from the hustle and bustle of life. Both had nice facilities and canoe access. I will warn you though, if you visit during any sort of warm weather, take bug spray! I am not a big fan of any sort of bug spray (SSS or essential oils are my tools if I am desperate) and like to consider myself a tough cookie. OH MY – I had forgotten that low-country mosquitos are big enough to pick you up and fly away with you – and they come by the hundreds. We actually completely by-passed the tiny 0.3-mile trail (!!!!) while running for our lives back to the car. LOL. Now we each look like we have the chickenpox anywhere our skin was exposed. I should have known better, but just didn’t think about it. We will go prepared next time!
Colleton reminded me of a cute little neighborhood and would be perfect for a group trip. It’s only about 35 acres, and it’s the official starting point for the Edisto Canoe & Kayak Trail. The Rangers were the friendliest and most helpful rangers I have met so far. After my experience with our grumpy ranger at Dreher Island, I find that I am still a little skittish. They were wonderful! We stopped in at the ranger station/store, and the kids quickly pointed out the table of games, etc for camper to use. They were also thrilled to find ice cream and sugary drinks for sale. We sat near the river for a bit and had a treat as we watched several folks fish from the banks.
Both parks offer camping, RV parking, and cabins. Geocaching, fishing, bicycle riding, etc are all also permitted. We will go back…just next time with bug spray and canoes (or perhaps join the “1st Paddle Friday With A Ranger” program, and we won’t have to worry about packing up any gear).