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Edisto River Float: Access Points

Edisto River at Givhans Ferry State Park

Edisto River at Givhans Ferry State Park

Edisto River Tubing

It's great that you've decided you want to take the plunge (hehe) and float the Edisto River! We know that first-timers might need a little help getting to the river, so here we are!

Here are three access points I have tried or gotten reports on. As I float them myself, I'll offer my own opinions along the way.

1. Givhans Ferry to Messervy: One of the Top Routes to Float!

Most people put in at Givhans Ferry State Park and end at Messervy, otherwise known as Boat Landing Road. This is a trip of about three river miles with some straight sections mixed with curves along the way. A little more than halfway through is a large sandbar with picnic tables where most people stop to take their lunch break before finishing out their trip. This float typically takes about four hours when the river depth is up. When the river is low, anticipate about six hours for your trip.

But How Long Will It Take?

For a best-guess estimate of how long your anticipated trip will take, allow about one hour per river mile, plus a little extra for breaks and fill-and-deflate time.

Floating on the river

Floating on the river

2. Good Hope to Jellico's Landing

This is another very popular route! If you don't want to lay down and sun that much but want some beautiful scenery, this is the route you'll want to take. There are lots of twists and turns in this part of the river, and yes, that means LOTS of obstacles too! I usually try to take a bunch of pictures, but doing this ride for the first time with the number of obstacles in the way, there just really wasn't much time for it. Be warned of more logs and branches on this side. Bring those tough floats and a spare just in case. Still fun!

This route is about four river miles so plan for about five hours or so!

Lock It Up!

No matter which route you take, don't forget to lock up your vehicles and remove any valuables from them. While we'd love to trust people, sometimes there are some that just don't know how to act. Better safe than sorry!

3. Mars Old Field Landing to Givhans Ferry State Park: A Super-Duper Float!

It's a total of six river miles from Mars Old Field to Givhans, which means a six-hour trip when the river water levels are up, and even longer when they're down! But I've heard compliments on the scenery, and this route has a diverse set of curves and straightaways to keep you interested. We're going to do this one when the waters rise in the river a bit more!

Buddy Ol' Pal O' Mine!

Do NOT float the river alone! It's just not worth it. Not only does it make sense to have two vehicles, but in the end, what if something happens to you on the river and no one is nearby? Always take a friend with you!

Edisto River Information

  • Edisto Floaters on Facebook
    Want to connect with other floaters? This is your stop.
  • Edisto River Access Sites
    Just in case you decide you want to take a different route later on down the road. Remember, on this page, the "Edisto River, Main Stem" section is where you want to be looking.

Have Suggestions? - Let's hear them!

Frank Altice on October 16, 2017:

Wow, what a beautiful day on Sunday 10-15-17. We put in at Givans State Park and canoed all the way down to Jellicos It got a little exciting on the last leg from Boat Landing road to Good Hope. We spent seven hours on the river. I have not been to the Edisto river for the last 20 years. Never knew how much I missed it.

Does anyone know the river miles from from Boat Landing Road to Good Hope? or from Givans to Jellicos?

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on July 10, 2017:

I don't see why you couldn't kayak to Messervy.

As far as tubes, pretty much anything will work, just be aware of the thickness of the float (thicker is less likely to puncture) and the type of air valve it has and what kind of pump you may need for it. As long as the water level is 5ft or less, the current is lazy and manageable. Anything above 5ft, and I'd consider only going in a kayak as the current becomes increasingly dangerous for floating. Be sure to check out my other articles on floating, especially this one! Thanks so much!

Robin on July 09, 2017:

Can you kyack Givhans to Messervy?? What type of tubes do you recommend ?? Is there a rough current?? Thanks so much

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on June 29, 2014:

@danielle-t-newman: Yes you bring your own floats and no, there isn't a shuttle service. You need at least two vehicles. One to leave at the start location and one at the end to bring you and your group back.

danielle-t-newman on June 29, 2014:

So we bring our own floats? And is there a shuttle to take me back to the starting point?

cornertubes on August 03, 2013:

Enjoy floating in Comal river and Guadalupe river in New Braunfels, TX. One of the shortest navigable rivers in the United States, it stays a constant 72 degrees year round. Corner Tubes outfits visitors with black inner tubes or new vinyl tubes, letting them float down the river at a leisurely pace, then ride a shuttle from the last public river exit back to the entrance.

anonymous on July 28, 2012:

I always use the Givhans to Messervy and its super fun. Food and water are a must!! Tomorrow we are gonna try Mars Old Field to Givhans and we are super excited!! Thanks for the info (o:

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on July 26, 2012:

@anonymous: Sorry for the delay in a reply! It might be hard to tell from the river, but if you make sure to position yourself behind a group of other floaters, you'll figure it out. It's at a boat landing that surfaces after the power lines. Whenever you go to the drop off point to leave a vehicle, just make sure to take a good look at the surroundings. You'll see the boat landing while in the water as well. If I can get the camera ready on our next trip, I'll try to take a picture of it for others. Hope you have fun!

anonymous on July 20, 2012:

On the route from Givhans to Messervy, how do you know where to exit the river? Is the landing the only one? Or is there a sign?

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on July 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Great question! I personally really enjoyed it when the level was at 5 ft, but the sand bar in the Givhans trip mostly disappears at that level. Anything higher than 7 ft, you just shouldn't float because the current moves too quickly and you might wind up not being able to make it to the landing at the end of the trip.

I will say this too, even when the river depth is down, it's still a good time. There's a certain comfort to be found when you can touch bottom most of the time ;)

Good luck and have fun!

anonymous on July 07, 2012:

What is the ideal water level to float?

anonymous on June 03, 2012:

@anonymous: Masservy Landing. Sorry

anonymous on June 03, 2012:

My friends, and my 6 year old floated from Landing to Good Hope Landing yesterday. I will never do that again!! I am sure with the water level being high made the trip worse than it would have been. We did it on a whim. Not doing ur homework really kicked our ass. Lots of down trees and REALLY twisty. My 6 year old loved it. I am sure it would be a great trip if water was lower. Just wanted to share! The River of Sweet Tea is always beautiful!

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on March 24, 2012:

@anonymous: I really don't have a good idea. I know the Edisto Floaters page on FB easily exceeded 5000 fans within a few months. I know not that many people typically go at once though ;) It is getting more popular though, I agree.

anonymous on March 23, 2012:

Do you have any idea how many people actually float each year? I seems like the number is growing.

anonymous on August 31, 2011:

Grew up on 'the river' and these are all great access points

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on June 27, 2011:

@Joan4: Hahahah! We make a trip out every other Sunday and don't mind the company at all :) Thanks for the lens love :)

Alicia Domina (author) from Charleston, SC on June 27, 2011:

@OhMe: Thank you!

Joan4 on June 27, 2011:

Ohme admitting she is over the hill? I can't believe that! Course I have never floated the river and wish I had - and if Ohme is over the hill, I most certainly am. Great information here for floaters tho and it sure sounds like a bunch of fun!

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on June 27, 2011:

I wish I was putting in right now but I am over the hill, I am afraid. Great information here!