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  • Writer's pictureKendra DeKay

Weekend Adventure: Canoe the Edisto + Treehouse Camping

Has your adventurous heart dreamed of traveling the ancient Amazon river  in South America, marveling at the solitude?

Well, much closer to home here in South Carolina is the Edisto River, which like the Amazon is a blackwater river: a somewhat rare classification of acidic, slow-moving river that travels through forested swamps and wetlands.

canoeing on the ediston river

At over 250 miles, the Edisto river is the longest and largest river that is fully contained within South Carolina state borders, originating in Saluda and Edgefield counties and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Edisto Beach.

A few years ago, JJ and I took a magical weekend canoeing trip down the Edisto, paddling and drifting with the slow moving current during the day, hardly seeing a single other soul, and camping in a treehouse overnight! 

Sounds like a fun weekend adventure? You can do it, too! 

We rented our two-person canoe and booked our overnight treehouse with Carolina Heritage Outfitter. You drive to their office/meeting point about midway between Aiken and Charleston (an approx 1 hr and 40 min drive from Aiken). You leave your vehicle and they shuttle you and your canoe and gear up the river and put you in. Then you paddle back down with the slow moving current to meet your car, which you can do as a day trip or (as we did) with an overnight in the treehouses about halfway. 

two person kayak

We went in August, and it was lovely, cool and serene on the water, but once you stop on the treehouse island, the mosquitos are BAD! They swarm you within seconds of stepping food on the shore, and even bug spray doesn’t deter them much. Fortunately, the treehouses are screened, so once you’re inside they don’t bother you, but it did deter us from doing much exploring on the island where we stayed overnight. Next time we’ll go back in a different season, but we’ll DEFINITELY do it again and would highly recommend it! 

tree house
Carolina Heritage Outfitters Treehouse

Here's the link to Carolina Heritage Outfitter, where we booked our Treehouse and rented our canoe... they set up the whole trip:

More great info about the Edisto river:

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