FOLLOW THE TRAIL
Please use these trail section descriptions as one tool for planning your outing. Note that all distances provided are close approximations of river mileage and rounded to the closest half mile. On river paddling time for any given section can vary significantly depending upon water levels, obstacles, stoppage time, group pace, and other factors. Typical speeds for the ERCK Trail range between 1.5 and 3.5 MPH at typical water levels. Additional information the access sites listed below can be found on the Access Sites page.
While considerable effort has been made to provide accurate information, we take no responsibility for any errors or omissions. There is some risk involved in water activities, and ultimate responsibility for safety lies solely with the individual participant. Educate yourself, and make decisions that avoid unnecessary risk.
GREEN POND CHURCH LANDING IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!
GREEN POND CHURCH LANDING TO SIMMONS LANDING (3 MILES)
The uppermost stretch of the ERCK Trail begins at Green Pond Church Landing and winds approximately 3 miles to Simmon’s Landing. This stretch of river features one of the narrowest average channels on the ERCK Trail, resulting in somewhat swifter currents under normal conditions. Green Pond Church Landing is situated a considerable distance from the main channel, may not be passable even for paddle craft at water levels below 3’ on the Givhans Gauge. Please note that Simmons Landing is a private, fee-based access point. Please visit the Access Sites page for additional information on this access site.
SIMMONS LANDING TO T. COKE WEEKS LANDING (6 MILES)
This 6-mile river section is generally where the river channel begins to widen, though tighter hairpin turns exist along the entire ERCK Trail. Paddlers will cross under Interstate I-95 approximately 2 miles from the put in. Experienced ERCK paddlers have noted several locations along this route that boast an abundance of fossils lying atop the river bed. A South Carolina Hobby License is required in order to remove submerged fossils from the river and rules and regulations apply. For the last mile of the route paddlers will encounter infrastructure from SCE&G’s now shuttered Canadys Station Power Plant. Colleton State Park is located directly across the river from Weeks Landing on river right. Please note that Simmons Landing is a private, fee-based access point. Visit the Access Sites page for additional information on this access site.
T. COKE WEEKS LANDING TO MINNIE GRUBER RUMPH LANDING (9 MILES)
This 9-mile stretch is perfectly suited for a long, lazy day of paddling and is a great stretch for float-fishing. Boat ramps at each access and a steady stream of river cabins make it a popular fishing destination for john boats. At about 3.5 miles in, the river splits briefly into two channels with the river right passage picking up a considerable amount of velocity. Be wary of being pushed into the river bank here! The takeout is located just before the bridge on river right.
MINNIE GRUBER RUMPH LANDING TO MARS OLDFIELD LANDING (8 MILES)
The paddler begins this 8-mile stretch with steady signs of civilization, but the feeling of solitude increases over the last two-thirds of the paddle. At normal to lower water levels, the rivergoer will see a small “rock” island in the middle of the river channel less than a mile after putting in. In days of yore, stagecoaches used this feature to ford the river during lower water levels! The takeout is located on river right and is identifiable by a long concrete ramp.
MARS OLDFIELD LANDING TO GIVHANS FERRY STATE PARK (6.5 MILES)
This 6.5 mile ERCK Trail segment is noted for the drastic change in overall direction of the river. During the last mile or so of this route, paddlers will encounter amazing bluffs on river left. This topography, formed from geologic processes millions of years in the making, forces the river to make a ninety degree turn from due east to due south. Givhans Ferry State Park is located high on these bluffs on river left at the take out. The river’s confluence with Four Holes Swamp at a little over 4 miles along this route provides a side trip for those with energy remaining to paddle upstream! During summer weekends especially, tubers may be encountered floating this stretch of the river.
GIVHANS FERRY STATE PARK TO MESSERVY LANDING (3 MILES)
These 3 miles of the ERCK Trail are considerably wider and relatively straighter than other sections and offers many signs of riverside civilization. After only 0.25 miles after launching, river-goers pass under the Highway 61 Bridge. Due to its proximity to Givhans Ferry State Park’s full-service facilities and the greater Charleston metro area, this is one of the most highly used parts of the ERCK Trail. It is well known for being the primary tuber/floater route during the summer months. During summer weekends, it is rare to visit anywhere on this stretch of river without seeing a high number of floaters drifting in flotillas on a variety of flotation devices. Motorized watercraft also frequent this section. Those seeking a more natural experience should avoid this run, especially on weekends during the warmest months.
MESSERVY LANDING TO GOOD HOPE LANDING (4 MILES)
Past Messervy Landing the river returns to its meandering, narrower path as signs of civilization become less pronounced along this 4-mile stretch. Several abandoned river channels and developing oxbow lakes represent points of interest on this route. Exploring these areas is possible during higher water levels. From Messervy Landing downstream, one will experience a slight uptick in fishermen in small motorboats on the river as boat ramps become more prevalent.
GOOD HOPE LANDING TO LONG CREEK LANDING (4 MILES)
This stretch of the ERCK Trail is a “sister section” to the one immediately upstream. A meandering channel is interspersed with a few signs of civilization and side draws along this 4-mile route. The takeout at Long Creek landing is not on the main channel of the Edisto. It is accessed by paddling 0.2 miles up the side draw on river right, just after one passes the second set of river homes on river left.
LONG CREEK LANDING TO SULLIVAN’S FERRY LANDING (2 MILES)
The river abandons its meandering course for a more due south course for this short 2-mile paddle. The primary landmark along this stretch is the Highway 17A Bridge, which is about ¾ of a mile after departing the put in.
SULLIVAN’S FERRY LANDING TO LOWNDES LANDING (5.5 MILES)
Once a paddler leaves the immediate put in for the final 5.5 mile stretch of the ERCK Trail, she will encounter only one more sign of modern civilization. This is located roughly 3 miles in on river left where Parkers Ferry Road runs along the river’s edge. Sand bars are prevalent along this stretch when the Givhans Gauge reads under 3.2 feet, offering some of the more secluded breaking and camping options along the ERCK Trail. Lowndes Landing marks the lower boundary of the official ERCK Trial, though Martin’s Landing is the next public access site and is located in Charleston County about 2.5 miles downstream.
Did you know?
There are approximately 310 unobstructed river miles from the headwaters in Edgefield and Saluda counties to the Atlantic Ocean.