Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina

Table of Contents for This Series

  1. Arrival
  2. Morning View
  3. Pink & George’s Vegetables
  4. Cabins, Interpretive Center, Boat Ramp
  5. Interpretive Center, Bookstore

Off again to Edisto Beach State Park, one of South Carolina's most attractive camping spots. It is far from the newest Park in the system. And some of its equipment is ready for replacement. But everything is well maintained and made the most of by a dedicated and skilled staff.

All of the campsites I've seen there are attractive. But during the winter months I especially enjoy those right on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Good thing I prefer them in the winter, since they're near-impossible to reserve during any other season. It's a popular place.

The trip from Columbia to Edisto Island takes about three hours, driving sensibly. And when towing a travel trailer it's sensible to drive sensibly. Down I-77 to I-26, avoiding I-95, and straight through to Route 17 South. I-26 is pretty standard-issue four-lane highway. But I-17 in this part of the country has lots of character. Small stands beside the road selling vegetables, regional crafts and art, truck parts and tires, and, of course, some of the most diet-busting cuisine one could imagine. Take plenty of time to make the drive, because you're sure to stop at least once or twice. To eat, an/or to marvel.

Too soon, really, given the attractions of Route 17, the road to Edisto Island requires a sharp left, up over a railroad crossing, and then you're on Route 174. Well, it's a fair exchange, since Route 174 is a social and natural scenery aficionado's delight. Beautiful old live oaks planted close enough to the roadway to make you watch your mirrors, sweep across the road, forming a green tunnel in places. Shops along the road are less frequent here, naturally, since there's less traffic. But it seems as though in recognition of that, the shopkeepers have joined in a commitment to make up for their small number with more interesting presentations and products for sale. Even the signs have character!

As the third hour of driving rolls up on the clock or GPS, you're on Edisto Island, and approaching the community of Edisto Beach. More on this stretch of road later on. Make a sharp left at the Park Entrance pictured here, and you're home.

[Click all photos for larger version]

Here's the Mobile Studio parked on Site # 18. All set up. Including the grill and a most useful carpet. These campsites are quite level. But they're sandy as the dickens. No way to avoid it. We're right on the edge of the beach, and that's what happens in places like this! Even without the outside carpet, it's worth the inconvenience of the sand. But the carpet eliminates nearly all of even that minor problem. Now, that grill you see beside the mobile studio is just about ready to broil a small steak for dinner, and maybe some fresh string beans. Hard to beat.

Click here for the next post in this series.