Back during the winter holiday season, I visited Botany Bay Plantation, on Edisto Island, South Carolina, for the first time. I wrote a short post about that trip. Last weekend, I went back to take another (relatively quick) look.
First I have to mention that when you turn off the main road on Edisto Island (SC Highway 174) to get to Botany Bay, you then have to drive about two miles down a dirt road to get to the main entrance to the site. While driving this stretch of road you will notice two things. One, the road is essentially covered by a canopy of large oak and pine trees, with Spanish moss hanging off trees in almost a stereotypical fashion. The other thing you will notice (at least, your spine will notice) is that the road is quite rutted. My 1999 Saturn SL2 managed fairly well, all things considered. I’m not so sure about my back.
Once you reach the entrance gate you will be greeted by a genial DNR volunteer, who will sign you in (speaking of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, here is a link to its BBP webpage; you can also find all kinds of information about the plantation and other areas of Edisto Island at this site). After entering, you will drive for another mile or so (passing a ranch-style house with a fenced-in field; there were two beautiful horses grazing there when I passed by the other day). You can turn left after a mile and continue on a “tour” of the site, or go right and park in a clearing next to some marshland, where you can then walk (about a half-mile) to the beach.
In other words, there is no valet parking. (There are also no facilities, if you know what I mean.)
The reward for making the trek to the beach is a view of undeveloped coastline that you don’t see every day. This particular area is south of Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island and just north of Edisto Beach.
I also wandered around the “tour” area, which includes some farmland, lakes, woodlands, marshland, and ruins from a 19th-century plantation. It’s interesting stuff. I was hoping to see more birds this time out, but I think that would entail a little more hiking than I wanted to do; the fall season may prove more conducive to that. After reading the comments of a couple of local birdwatchers in various newspaper articles about the place, though, I was disappointed not to have an ivory-billed woodpecker land on my shoulder while I was there.
At any rate, here are some more pictures. As always, keep in mind the mediocre picture-taking ability of the photographer and the limitations of his camera: