Edisto Island’s Botany Bay

Botany Bay entrance
The entrance to Botany Bay is through a beautiful canopy of live oaks.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The wildlife management area of Botany Bay Plantation is one of the most unique destinations on Edisto Island. The 4.000+ acre property boasts historical buildings, maritime forest, beach and fresh water ponds. Historically it was two plantations (Bleak Hall and Sea Cloud), that grew sea island cotton and timber. The property is covered in pine, palm and live oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss. Don’t be surprised to see deer, alligators, shore birds, crabs, raccoons and many other maritime forest creatures.

There are two sites listed on the register of historic places. A set of three surviving 1840s outbuildings and the prehistoric Fig Island Shell Ring can be seen on the property.

Explore the plantation house ruins, walk the forest trails, or stroll the beach on this South Carolina controlled wildlife management area

Botany Bay’s beach is often referred to as “Boneyard Beach”. Sun bleached standing and fallen trees line the beach.

Botany Bay does not allow pets, so you’ll have to leave the furry friends behind. Shell removal is also prohibited.

Botany Bay trees
Ancient live oaks can be seen throughout the property.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Botany Bay is open from sunrise to sunset. It is closed Tuesdays and for scheduled hunts.

The plantation is located on Botany Bay Road on Edisto Island. This road is home to the most photographed oak tree canopy in the area. Once in the park, visitors must check in at the information kiosk. A map is available with very informative descriptions of every aspect of the plantation.

Botany Bay horse friendly
Bring your horses for a fun day at Botany Bay.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

When you continue the driving tour you will see a house, pasture and barn on the right. Horse trailers can park and check in here for trail riding. This was the winter home of the last owner of the property. It is currently the DNR property manager’s home.

Just ahead, at the bend in the road, take a right and park to access the beach and Indian Point. A path leads to Hammock Island, a barrier island that is covered in shells. Remember, no shells can be removed. Beach combers get creative with their shell finds and hang them in the palms and oaks along the beach.

Time your walk on the beach with low tide. The beach disappears when the tide rolls in.

Botany Bay shells
Finding shells is enjoyable, but they can not be removed from the beach.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

After leaving the beach visitors enter what was once the grounds of Bleak Hall Planation. Remaining are two out buildings and a well. The larger white building had multiple purposes, including an ice house, carriage house and general storage. The smaller building was a gardener’s shed. This building is made from tabby, which is made from oyster shells.

Another tabby building sits just past the Bleak Hall home site. It was used as a barn and equipment shed. After proceeding past the barn, visitors can look for wildlife in the agricultural fields. More wildlife viewing can be found past live oak trees that border Ocella Creek.

Botany Bay ice house
Botany Bay’s ice house.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

A cottage chimney that dates to 1893 still stands near Ocella Creek. Picnic Pond is located on the left after the cottage ruins. This pond was dug to build dikes on the property. This is a great spot to view wood ducks and the occasional alligator. Next you cross the dike. On the left isJason’s Lake, and the Ocella Creek is on the right. The road continues left, but you can follow the signs to Sea Cloud Landing on Ocella Creek. Kayaks and canoes can be launched here. Boats must be brought in on car tops. No trailers allowed. Ospreys and eagles hunt here regularly. Pelicans also spend time here.

Botany Bay brown pelican
A brown pelican stands watch near the water’s edge.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

Sea Cloud Plantation sits on the other side of the dike. Agricultural fields are planted and maintained for wildlife. Just past the fields sits the ruins of the Sea Cloud Plantation house. The brick foundation is all that remains of what was once an elegant home with a ballroom that graced the entire third floor. As the driving tour continues to the other side of Jason’s Lake, the ruins of a bee hive well (that was built around 1825) can be seen.

Botany Bay drive
Visitors get to enjoy the canopy one last time as they exit Botany Bay.
Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

The road continues through a pine-hardwood forest. When the road ends, a left turn takes you back toward the beach, a right takes you out of the plantation.

Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area is a great place to spend a day. Bring a picnic, beach chairs and kayaks. Explore the wonders of the South Carolina Lowcountry plantation style!

TOURMAP
More attractions on Edisto Island
Edisto Island Day Trips

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The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Region of South Carolina includes the four, southern-most counties in the state, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton, which are bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.

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The shore gently recedes beneath the stunning Pawleys Island Pier. The unique island town, located about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston, exudes laid-back, beachy vibes. Locals have definitely adopted an island state of mind and encourage visitors to as well. When you go, make sure to relax on the beach, explore the famous sand dunes, or fish in one of the many adjacent creeks.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: We guarantee that you’re going to want to spend a whole day here. We recommend getting to the beach at around 10am.🗓️ Best time of the year: Pawleys Island has the best weather during the spring and early summer months.🏖️ Things to do while there: Pawleys Island Nature Park, Pawleys Island Chapel, Hopsewee Plantation.🐠 Things to visit in the area: Brookgreen Gardens (brookgreen_gardens), take a walking ghost tour, Myrtle Beach (mymyrtlebeach), Harborwalk Marina, South Carolina Maritime Museum (southcarolinamaritimemuseum).🏨 Where to stay: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn (oceanfrontlitchfieldinn), Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (litchfieldbeachandgolf), Sea View Inn (seaviewinn), 620 Prince (620prince).Photo by qcphotographer
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Reposted from coastaldiscoverymuseum Hilton Head Island has the second highest tidal range on the East Coast, second only to Canada’s Bay of Fundy. The average tidal range here is 7-9 feet between high and low tides.The Salt Marsh is one of our area’s most prominent features, not to mention an essential resource. Most coastal creatures depend partially or even fully on the Salt Marsh for survival as it serves as a nursery, as well as a water filter vital for the functioning of the entire coastal ecosystem.Explore the Lowcountry up close with a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum and head out into the marsh via the Osprey Outlook floating dock on a self-guided tour or register for the weekly Salt Marsh Discovery program to learn from an expert how and why this particular environment is so important. (843) 689-6767 ext. 223 or coastaldiscovery.org.
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A visitor takes a leisurely stroke under a canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss in the Palmetto Bluff (palmettobluff) neighborhood of Bluffton, South Carolina. Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque community that sits in the heart of Lowcountry. Nestled along the May River, it’s abundant with beautiful walking trails, historic sites, and stunning views.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: There is no wrong time to visit Palmetto Bluff. However, we highly recommend sticking around for one of their spectacular sunsets.🛶 Things to do while there: Stop by Cole’s for some regionally inspired Southern fare, paddle board, kayak, or canoe along the May River, go saltwater fishing, take a tour at Bluffton Jack's Old Town Tours.🌊 Things to visit in the area: Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, Old Town Bluffton, Bluffton Oyster Factory Park, May River Sandbar, Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center (heywardhouse).📆 Best time of the year to visit: For the best weather, we recommend visiting between March and May or from September to November.🏨 Where to stay: The Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort (montagepalmettobluff) is the only resort in Palmetto Bluff. However, there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding areas including: Old Town Bluffton Inn (oldtownblufftoninn), The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (theinnandclubatharbourtown), Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (sonestahhi).Photo by jpgriceoz
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Need a project this weekend? Add a splash of color and touch of gardening to your porch decor. Don’t have a green thumb? Not to worry.⠀
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The tickets for our Decoration Day Gullah Campfire Supper with Stories and Songs are available now through our website, link in bio.We are Hipcamp hosts.  You can attend the event and stay over, extra spaces will be made available.  Contact us for more information.  Our Hipcamp listing name is Friendly Fowl Farm.This event will celebrate the United States Colored Troops in the Beaufort area and the establishment of the Grand Army Union Post and the Hall, it’s members and their mission.The guest speaker for this year is Rev. Dr. Elijah Washington, the current Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic whose historic hall is located at 706 Newcastle Street, Beaufort.Built in 1896, this meeting hall for the post is believed to be the only surviving building in South Carolina associated with the Grand Army of the Republic. The post hosted annual Decoration Day services at Beaufort National Cemetery and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War continue that tradition. It is included in the Beaufort Historic District.
If you have period clothing please join your hosts amjones42 Tony and orbgtennis Belinda and dress the part.  Re-enactors are welcome.#decorationday #memorialday #unitedstatescoloredtroops #ushistory #history #travelandleisure #farmtotable #camping #unionarmy #uscoloredinfantry #historymakers #travelandlearn #gullah #gullahgeechee #blackhistory #grandarmyoftherepublic #grandarmyoftherepublic #robertsmalls #civilwarhistory #civilwarreenactment #sclowcountry #discoversc #campinglife #explore #getoutside #hipcamp #historicbeaufort
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