Go Boating in the ACE Basin

By:Marie McAden


Kayaking through South Carolina's ACE Basin
Kayaking through South Carolina's ACE Basin

The ACE Basin’s three rivers and assorted creeks make it a prime paddling venue for kayakers and canoers. Traveling at a leisurely pace in a small boat, you’re able to venture into the narrow canals of old rice fields and the shallow waters of cypress-tupelo swamps to observe nature from a different perspective.

On the Combahee River, it’s not unusual to see bald eagles, ospreys and Mississippi kites soaring over the treetops. On sunny days, alligators can be found basking on the riverbanks.

The Ashepoo, the shortest of the three rivers, also features an abundance of wildlife. From the upper reaches originating in the blackwater swamps outside Walterboro, the river flows 42 miles, winding its way through the Lowcountry before emptying into Saint Helena Sound.

A float trip on the Edisto, the longest true blackwater river in North America, will take you under a canopy of huge live oak trees covered in Spanish moss, past beautiful bald cypress and water tupelo rising out of the dark water. Two state parks, Colleton and Givhans Ferry, overlook the river and feature launching facilities.

A number of outfitters in Charleston, Beaufort and Colleton counties offer guided kayaking trips on the trio of rivers. Eco tours also are available for those who prefer to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a motorboat.

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