Hiking the Edisto Nature Trail
Jacksonboro’s trail along the Edisto River.
The Lowcountry town of Jacksonboro (between Point South and Charleston) is the perfect spot to get out and stretch your legs on the Edisto Nature Trail. The trail is located on Highway 17, adjacent to the Edisto River. Jacksonboro is in the area known as the ACE Basin. This low-lying part of the state is full of former rice plantations with beautiful marsh and river views, and teeming with wildlife.
The boardwalk trail meanders through the woods that change from pineland and maritime forests to cypress and tupelo swamp. The trail follows the old Westvaco timber road.
Before and after the Revolutionary War, this area was rich in rice production. After the Civil War, phosphate was mined here. A wooden sign can be spotted near the parking lot that points out an overgrown section of the old “Kings Highway” roadbed that eventually was replaced by Highway 17.
Evidence of phosphate mining can still be seen at the Edisto Nature Trail. Phosphate mining became commonplace in the area after the Civil War. This rich limestone deposit contained substances that were particularly good for fertilizer production. The long, shallow pits that were dug to remove the phosphate are still visible.
A 15-minute walk along the boardwalk will take you to a dock overlooking the Edisto River. You can also press on and take the 1.5-mile loop trail that can be completed in about an hour. It will transport you from the wetlands to higher upland forest area. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes. The trail may be muddy, and the roots can make the trek challenging. Also, the boardwalk narrows when traveling through the old phosphate pits. Be sure to bring bug spray if you come in the spring or summer.
Bring a picnic and blanket if you want to enjoy lunch on the dock overlooking the Edisto River. Bring along the camera so you can capture the beauty of the area’s flora and fauna. Relax and watch the river flowing gracefully. Look carefully and you just might see an alligator or two.
For more information on this and other Colleton County attractions visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/walterboro-colleton-county/
These lovely photos were taken by David Lucas of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.