Givhans Ferry State Park is a small, lush park located along the Edisto River in South Carolina. This park is easy to access for visitors coming from any direction in South Carolina. Located just 25 miles from Charleston, South Carolina, and only under 100 miles from Savannah, Georgia, you can stay inside the park and head out for many day drives, yet still be back to stay the night in this quiet location along the river.
Givhans Ferry State Park has many interesting historical features. The park was named after the area ferry master, Phillip Givhan. The Charleston to Augusta / Savannah pass connected Augusta, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina and was the section of the river where passengers could cross the Edisto River. During the late 1700s, Givhan was the ferry master and the transportation commissioner. The park changed its name to Givhans Ferry on December 9, 1789.
One of the park’s unique features is that it is home to the burial site of Mary Ford, Phillip Givhan’s granddaughter. Other unique features include the fact that the park’s riverbanks are protected as a Heritage Trust Site, and the park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a program established by Franklin D. Roosevelt that employed people during the Great Depression. Many of the buildings built by the CCC in the 1930s still stand and are in use in the park to this day.
RV Rentals in Givhans Ferry State Park
Transportation in Givhans Ferry State Park
Givhans Ferry State Park operates year-round, but be aware that park hours vary depending on the time of year. Visitors must pay an admissions fee to enter the park.
Givhans Ferry State Park is the closest state park to Charleston that offers overnight accommodations. The park is located approximately 35 miles northwest from Charleston, South Carolina.
The park is located just under 100 miles from Columbia, South Carolina. From I-26, exit onto Highway 27 towards Ridgeville and proceed a mile until you reach Highway 78 E. Within ¼ of a mile, turn on Highway 27 S for seven miles until you reach Highway 61 W. Stay on this highway for three miles until you reach Givhans Ferry Road. The park entrance is located ¼ mile from Givhans Ferry Road.
Campgrounds and parking in Givhans Ferry State Park
Campsites in Givhans Ferry State Park
Givhans Ferry Campground
The Givhans Ferry Campground is a small, year-round, pet-friendly campground located along the Edisto River. Camping reservations must be made with a minimum of a two-night stay. The packed gravel or packed sand sites vary in size, with select sites allowing RVs up to 100 feet. Each site has water and electrical hookups, and six sites offer full connections with water, electric, and sewer. Electrical amps vary from 20/30/50 depending on the site, and each shaded, partially shaded, or no shade campsite has a picnic table, grill, and fire ring. The campground offers modern restroom facilities with hot showers and a dump station located near the campground entrance. Quiet hours are 10pm to 7 am. All generators and noise making equipment should be silenced during these hours.
Seasonal activities in Givhans Ferry State Park
The park offers many interpretive programs throughout the year. Visit the park office and inquire about guided tours and specialized programs. Programs like nature walks in the spring or astronomy programs help visitors learn about the history and the natural resources in the area. The programs are always changing; visit the programs page online to see what kind of learning fun you can have at Givhans Ferry State Park.
Do you like to fish, or do you want to learn how to fish? Fish in the Edisto River for eels, largemouth bass, striped bass, catfish, and flathead fish. If you don’t have your own fishing gear, you can rent a rod, reel, tackle box and anything else you will need from the park’s Fishing Tackle Loaner Program. To fish in the Edisto River, you will need a valid South Carolina fishing license.
If you have your own boat, then you can paddle or float on the Edisto River. The boat ramp is three miles from the park where a drop off area is available for people wanting to access the river. If you are an experienced canoer, try the canoe trail. The trail runs between Colleton and Givhans Ferry and is 21 miles by river. Expect to spend seven to nine hours paddling, depending on the river and current conditions.
Geocaching is an increasingly popular game where participants use a handheld GPS device and look for hidden containers and caches within an approved search area. Givhans Ferry State Park has several caches located within the park where cachers can hunt for the hidden treasure. The park doesn’t provide geocaching supplies, but if you have your own supplies, check out the official geocaching website for detailed information.
This park has many places for families to spend time together. Visit the park office and checkout equipment and play horseshoe or volleyball and other games. Take your picnicking supplies to one of the sheltered picnic areas and watch the kids play on the playground. Visit the gift store and buy patches, mugs, t-shirts, caps, and other fun items, or rest for a little while and access the free wireless internet. The park is family friendly and encourages everyone to get outside and play!
The temperate South Carolina weather is perfect for visitors to spend a day outside on the trails. Hike the Old Loop Trail, an easy hike that is just under five miles. While walking along this trail, look for birds and even an alligator in the low lying areas of the hike. The River Bluff Trail is one and a half-mile moderate difficulty trail that has several steep climbs. Cypress trees line the path and hikers often spot wildlife and wildflowers along their nature walks.