Where will next weekend take you? Cruising down a country road on 600 ccs, or down a wooded pathway on 10 speeds? Floating with friends on a warm, gentle river or paddling in the sun with your best, four-legged pal? You can hit 18 award-winning links, or picnic in a sculpture-filled park. Explore centuries-old settlements, or tuck into unforgettable country cooking. Why choose just one thing – when you can do it all? It’s time to Do More in Dorchester County!
Just a short drive from bustling Lowcountry cities, we offer plenty of natural beauty and memory-making activities.
Pro tip: put away your phone and focus on the moment!
Hit the trails at the 70-acre Rosebrock Park, where pathways wind through bottomland forest and wetlands.
Or visit Givhans Ferry State Park and walk the River Bluff Trail for a scenic view of the Edisto river or hike the Old Loop Trail and explore the various plants, landscapes and animal habitats.
Feeling more urban? Head for the 6-mile Sawmill Branch Trail that links Gahagan Park to the Oakbrook area which is home to Colonial Dorchester State Park and Jessen Boat Landing.
The Ashley River Blue Trail is easily accessed from our county walk-in kayak/canoe landing at Bacons Bridge, providing access to 30 miles of languid waters. The winding blue trail starts at Great Cypress Swamp and ends at Charles Town Landing, down Charleston way. And don’t miss the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak (ERCK) Trail, a 62-mile section located in the heart of one of the longest free-flowing black water rivers in the world, the Edisto.
Beidler Forest provides one of the nation’s richest bird watching environments. Situated along numerous migratory pathways, Beidler’s 16,000 acres of cypress/tupelo swamp and old growth forest provide sanctuary for scores of resident and visiting species. Kayak, hike or sit a spell – just don’t forget your field glasses to catch a glimpse of the birds and other animals populate the forest. Download a guidebook or app. And if you’re in downtown Summerville, swing through the B.I.R.D.S. sculpture trail, a scavenger hunt for bird fanciers of all ages.
Dorchester County is one of those rare places where you can get a little lost, without ever being truly lost! Set your GPS aside and hit the highway (61, 17-A, 178…it’s your choice!) and just see what you find. Whether you encounter a great Barbecue joint, or a picturesque farm stand, or a historic chapel of ease, there’s sure to be at least one reason (we’re betting on more) to pull over and visit a spell.
Dorchester County is home to twenty-plus parks and playgrounds that offer abundant experiences, from exploring sculpture gardens in Azalea Park to Colonial Fort Dorchester, a state park dedicated to interpreting the lives of early settlers on the riverway.
It’s possible we have more golf tees per capita than most other South Carolina destinations. Whether seeking pro-level golf or just getting started, duffers can experience top play at five semi-private or public courses sprinkled throughout the county.
Best of all: South Carolina’s climate allows for play nearly every day of the year, so throw your sticks in the trunk and head to Dorchester County!
Have helmet, will travel! Cyclists flock to Dorchester County, thanks to an assortment of dedicated trails and low-traffic back roads. Whether you’re packing 10 speeds or 1, you’ll enjoy the Sawmill Branch Trail in Summerville, which connects two sections of town along a 6.5-mile asphalt trail set amid a multi-use greenway. Most road crossings go under the roads, making it a pleasant and safe route. Givhans Ferry State Park in Ridgeville offers a 1.5 mile, moderate intensity River Bluff Nature Trail, which offers scenic views for bikers or hikers.
Rivers run through Dorchester County, providing lots of ways to cast a line and reel in a few keepers. Public access is provided through numerous landings to both the Ashley and Edisto Rivers. Jessen Landing and the new Howard Bridgman River Access Sites provide easy in-and-out access to small watercraft plying the Ashley River. Meanwhile, the Edisto is one of the longest free-flowing blackwater rivers in North America. Givhans Ferry State Park provides easy access to small craft or fish from the riverbanks.
Note: A valid fishing license is required on public waters for people aged 16 and older; visit www.dnr.sc.gov for more details.