Lush Forest to Pristine Beaches of Colleton County
From its lush forests and marshes teeming with wildlife to its pristine beaches, historic Colleton County has much to offer. It was named for a Lord Proprietor, Sir John Colleton, who was bestowed a land grant from King Charles II in 1663. It is also the home of the Harriet Tubman Bridge and the Combahee River Raid.
During the 18th century, plantations with oak-lined drives and rich fields of rice dotted the countryside, making this area one of the leading producers of rice in America. A traditional, rural lifestyle still prevails.
Walterboro, settled in 1784 as a summer retreat for nearby plantations, is situated just off Interstate 95 and is a popular stop for travelers today. This attractive city abounds with fine examples of 19th century architecture including many lovely churches from earlier times as well as the South Carolina Artisans Center that provides a retail outlet for the state’s finest folk art and crafts. Shop for truly unique souvenirs and gifts. Groups are welcome.
Stretching along the county’s northern border is South Carolina’s official canoe and kayak trail tracing 56 miles of the blackwater Edisto River. An ancient waterway important to commerce in Colonial times and to the native Indians, the Edisto is reported to be the world’s longest free-flowing black water river. The Colleton State Park is located on this river. It serves as the base for the Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail.
There are many wildlife preserves and nature trails in Colleton County. Lowcountry wildlife, including deer, kingfishers, great blue herons and spottail bass, are abundant throughout Colleton County. Preserves, like Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, Bear Island Wildlife Management Area and Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve are popular havens for hunters, fishermen and nature lovers alike. Hikers enjoy the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary, the ACE Trail and Westvaco Trail. The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the few surviving antebellum mansions in the ACE Basin area. There are also many hiking opportunities on Colleton County’s Edisto Island.
Jacksonboro’s Edisto Nature Trail, on Hwy 17, is another great place to get out and stretch your legs. Historic Pon Pon Chapel is a great place to have a picnic and take pictures.