Situated in Dorchester County, South Carolina, Givhans Ferry State Park is part of the handful of South Carolina parks worked on by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park gets its name from the area ferry master, Phillip Givhan. During the late 1700s, he was the ferry master and later became the transportation commissioner. In 1789 the name of the park was changed to Givhan's Ferry. The ferry was the crossing point of the Edisto River and connected Charleston to Augusta.
This 988-acre park is dissected by the Edisto River, which flows through the middle of the park and is the end of the 21-mile Edisto River kayak and canoe trail. This paddle trail starts at Colleton State Park, and you can paddle from one park to the next. Visitors can enjoy a host of both water-based and land-based outdoor activities when they visit Givhans Ferry State Park. Activities include fishing, swimming, hiking, birding, and more! If you'd like to stay for a couple of days, the park also offers excellent camping facilities including RV and tent campsites, tent-only campsites, and cabins.
While you are in the area, be sure to check out the Manchester State Forest, which has more than 28,000 acres of scenic forest area and offers fun activities like fishing, hiking, and hunting during the season. Givhans Ferry State Park is just a short drive from Charleston and is the perfect location for a weekend getaway.
The city of Charleston is roughly 35 miles from the park, and RVers won't experience any height restricting obstacles along the road to the park. If you need any supplies or odds and ends during your stay at the park, you'll probably find them in the nearby town of Ridgeville, appropriately eight miles from the park. If you don't find what you are looking for, you will definitely find it in North Charleston or Charleston.
Once inside the park, the roads remain paved, and you'll have a smooth drive navigating around the park in your rig. If you are staying for a couple of days, you can go and check-in and park your rig at your site. Day visitors can go ahead and park their rigs and vehicles, and venture around the rest of the park on foot or by bike. The park is quite small, so it's easy to get around to all the different activities and facilities without using a vehicle.
There is plenty of parking available, and day visitors will not have any problems find a spot to park.
When you camp at Givhans Ferry State Park, you can choose from 31 RV and tent camping sites. Six of these sites offer full hookups with sewer, water, and electricity. The remaining sites offer water and electric hookups. Site length may vary, but some of the RV sites can accommodate rigs up to 50 feet long.
The sites are pet-friendly, and you are welcome to bring along your pets when you visit the park. Just make sure that they are on a leash at all times and clean up after them. Each site has its own picnic table, fire ring, and grill.
Communal restrooms are centrally located and offer flushing toilets and hot showers. If you need to use a dump station during your visit, you can make use of the one available nearby. You can also find a playground and playing field nearby for children to enjoy playing on. Sites need to be reserved in advance, and reservations must be made for a stay of at least two nights.
Filled with azaleas, oaks and loblolly pines, Charleston KOA is one of the most beautiful campgrounds around. In nearby Charleston, embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride along the harbor, tour Fort Sumter National Monument, or get drenched at the local waterpark. Charleston KOA is happy to accommodate big groups! The on-site recreational building with meeting facilities and a full kitchen are available for use, and there’s a family lodge that sleeps up to eight people that can be rented, too. At Charleston KOA, go swimming in the pool, visit the dog park, hang out at the pavilion, or kick back and relax with Wi-Fi and cable TV. Pull-through sites can accommodate rigs up to 70 feet, and propane and firewood are available for purchase on-site.
Explore the gorgeous, relaxing region that helped make the historic Charleston area grow into the action-packed, cultural hub that it is today. Full of colonial and cultural gems, a stay at Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA will show you just how aptly named this piece of paradise really is. From the warm hospitality to the fantastic regional tastes, the Mount Pleasant and Charleston areas are brimming with southern charm, American history, and beautiful landscapes. Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA boasts plenty of amenities, including Wi-Fi, cable TV, fishing, a swimming pool, bike rentals, and pull-through sites set up to accommodate rigs up to 80 feet long.
Campers looking for a more luxurious accommodation option can try one of the park's cabins. These four, two-bedroom cabins can sleep up to six people each. They are fitted with two double beds and a rollaway bed. Some cabins may have a double bed and a bunk bed instead of two double beds. The cabins are fully furnished and equipped with air conditioning, heating, linens, a coffee maker, a television, a microwave, and basic cooking and eating utensils.
The cabins are located on a bluff offering a gorgeous view of the Edisto River. You can enjoy looking out over the river from your cabin's screened-in porch. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed inside or around the cabin area. Cabins should be booked at least three days in advance.
Organized groups of campers can rent the primitive group campsite, which accommodates up to 100 people at a time. The area has access to water and fire rings, with restroom facilities close by. Reservations are advised in order to secure the site for your camp, and you can also bring your pets along.
Tent campers can also enjoy the 10 tent-only trailside campsites that the park has to offer. Each site has a food chest, grill, fire ring, picnic table, and access to water and electricity. The tent-only sites are also pet-friendly, and you can bring your furry friends along. These sites should be reserved in advance of your arrival to ensure that you get a spot.
Pack your bicycle or hiking boots in your travel trailer when you visit Givhans Ferry State Park. Apart from cycling and walking around the park, there are a couple of trails available for hikers and a trail for bikers to enjoy as well. These trails vary in length from 1.5 miles to roughly five miles. They are not too strenuous, and you will easily be able to enjoy as many of them as you can during your stay. The trails take you through the forested area and along the river, and you'll be able to see a variety of wildlife from birds to alligators when you walk or bike along them.
Geocaching is another fun activity available at the park. Several caches can be found within the park, and you're bound to enjoy hours exploring the park finding them. Geocaching is an exciting outdoor activity suitable for the whole family and is very similar to a treasure hunt. The aim is to track down caches with little trinkets and treasures hidden within and trade them for some of your own. To play, you will need a GPS-capable device and some treasures and trinkets of your own to trade. When you find a cache, make sure to leave it in the same state as when you found it, so that others can enjoy looking for it after you.
Numerous different species of birds can be seen within the borders of the park. Birding is a popular pastime at the park and visitors can keep their eyes peeled when they walk along the trails or the banks of the Edisto River. The park's naturally forested terrain is the ideal habitat for birds, and you'll often hear them singing as you walk through the forest. Make sure to bring along your binocular and camera in your campervan, and print out a checklist to help you keep track of the birds that you see.
Enjoy paddling along the Edisto River when you visit the park. A boat ramp can be found roughly three miles from the park, but you can just access the water yourself with your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. If you are feeling adventurous, you can do the 21-mile canoe trail from Colleton State Park to Givhans Ferry State Park. You should factor in roughly seven to nine hours to complete the trail, depending on the current. The Edisto River is quite tranquil and offers a very relaxing paddling experience.
On those hot summer days, nothing is more pleasing than a cool, refreshing swim. Givhans Ferry State Park offers the perfect swimming location along the banks of the Edisto River. You can swim wherever you want, as there is no specific swimming area. There are no lifeguards on duty, so make sure to be vigilant as you will be swimming at your own risk. Tubing is another fun pastime here at the park. If you have a tube or another floatable contraption, it will be put to good use here floating along the Edisto River.
The Edisto River is teeming a variety of different species including, flathead, channel catfish, redbreast, shell crackers, largemouth bass, and striped bass. As you can see, there is plenty of fishing opportunity, so make sure to bring along your fishing equipment in your motorhome. If you don't have any fishing equipment or you forget to bring yours along, you can always rent some from the park office. The park is part of the Tackle Loan Program supported by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Make sure to have a valid South Carolina fishing license in your possession before you cast your line.