Located on the high limestone bluff on a gentle bend in the Edisto River, Givhans Ferry State Park offers a relaxing place to sit and watch the river flow by.

Relax on the porch of the Riverfront Hall a popular spot for family gatherings
(from the SCSP web site).

Just 35 miles from downtown Charleston, Givhans Ferry has cabins, RV, and standard tent sites, as well as a primitive camping area. This park has the unique distinction of being located at the end of the 23-mile Edisto River kayak and canoe trail which begins upriver at Colleton State Park. The Edisto River is the longest free-flowing, blackwater river in North America. There is a really nice sand beach for wading and swimming along with a new integrated ramp for launching and recovery of canoes and kayaks making this a must do for paddle craft sports.

The bridge in Givhans Ferry State Park on the River Bluff Trail

For hiking, Givhans has a fairly short 1.5 mile River Bluff trail in the main park, however if you cross the road at the park entrance you can pick up the 4.7 mile Old Loop Trail which winds around the perimeter of the largely undeveloped park boundary with woods on both sides. Radar and I took a day and hiked both the River bluff trail and then the Old Loop trail as one big loop, for just over 7.4 miles returning to where we started.

Hiking the Old Loop Trail with Radar
Hiking the Old Loop Trail with Radar

The park is located where there was a ferry crossing the river dating way back to the 1700’s. In the 1930’s, this was one of the original 16 South Carolina state parks built with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park consists of about 988 acres and offers swimming, fishing, boating, and bird watching. There are also picnic shelters, a playground, and several geocaches are located on the park.

On the bluff is a small grave for Mary E. Ford

Givhans Ferry State Park (123′) | County Rd S-18-30 |Ridgeville | Dorchester, SC | 11 March 2019 | 7.4 miles | 163′ gain | Moderate

Favorite Time of year: Spring and fall for camping.

Things to Know: Please speak to a park ranger before setting a geocache. Swimming is permitted in the Edisto River, but with no life guard, at your own risk of course.

Camping: Camping from RV to primitive is available at Givhans. go here for reservations or call (843) 873-0692.

Pet friendly: Pets allowed in most outdoor areas but must be physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet.

Getting There: Givhans is in the lowcountry of South Carolina, just East of Summerville, between I-95 and I-26, just off SC-61N. It’s about an hours drive from the Charleston area.