Ashley Scenic River

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Ashley Scenic River

Project Overview

The Ashley was designated a South Carolina Scenic River in June 1998, making it the first State Scenic River established in the Lowcountry, and the sixth in the State.

The Ashley River is a 30 mile channel of river that extends from fresh to saltwater. A 22-mile segment of the Ashley River was designated a State Scenic River, extending from Sland's Bridge (US Highway 17-A) near Summerville to the Mark Clark expressway (I-526) bridge in Charleston. Within this segment, a visitor can experience a blackwater swamp, the tides of the Atlantic, and the history of South Carolina.

The Ashley River is perhaps unparalleled in its unique combination of historical significance and natural resource value as a relatively undisturbed tidal ecosystem. The Ashley River area contains 26 separate sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Ashley River is a tidal river. Its character changes with each hour of the day as the saltwater flows in and out of Charleston Harbor. This creates a dynamic ecosystem where saltwater and freshwater organisms reside within a few miles of each other. Wildlife and vegetation patterns shift longitudinally reflecting the influence of the saltwater wedge.

Advisory Council

The Ashley Scenic River Advisory Council is composed of local citizens representing river-bordering landowners, river users, and community groups with interest in the river. The Council meets monthly to examine issues of interest to the Ashley River and surrounding community; meetings are open and the public is invited to attend.

Current Members:

  • Howard Bridgman: Dorchester Boat Club
  • Bill Marshall: SCDNR staff
  • Helmut/Ellen Fiedler: Ashborough / residential landowner
  • Jack Keeter: Ashley Point / residential landowner
  • Robert H. Knight (CDR USN Ret), Drayton Athletic Assoc. / residential landowner
  • George Neil: at-large community representative
  • Purnell Orvig: King’s Grant / residential landowner
  • Eugenia Payne: with George McDaniel, Drayton Hall
  • Sue Wehman: Mateeba Estates / residential landowner
  • Stan / Karen Whitman: Lamb's Road / residential landowners

Ex officio Members:

  • Ashley Chapman: Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site
  • Charlie Cuzzell: Summerville Commission of Public Works
  • Curtis Joyner: Office of Coastal Resource Mgt, SCDHEC
  • Anna Nygaard-Ghi: Lowcountry Open Land Trust
  • Mike Schall: residential landowner
  • John Tarkany: John Tarkany, Inc. (landscape architects)
  • April Turner: S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
  • Beth Weddle: Covington Hills / residential landowner

Management Plan

The Ashley Scenic River Management Plan (Adobe PDF) was created in 2002 by the Ashley Scenic River Advisory Council and the SCDNR over a two-year community input process. The plan serves as a guiding document for the Advisory Council and specifies four management goals and 30 recommendations that address:

  • Water quality
  • Recreational use and access
  • Preservation and conservation
  • Land management and development

Recreational Access

Four (4) public boat landings provide access to the Ashley River:

  • Jessen Landing: on upper east Ashley, Summerville, off Dorchester Road;
  • Wando Woods/Flynn Street Landing: on lower east Ashley, North Charleston, at end of Flynn Street;
  • County Farm Landing: on lower east Ashley, North Charleston, at end of Bridge View Drive;
  • Pierpont Landing: on Bulls Creek, lower west Ashley, Charleston, at end of Pierpont Avenue.

More information on Ashley River Landings

If you plan on paddling this river, also please check the tides and weather for the time and day.

For more information about the Ashley Scenic River Project contact:

Bill Marshall
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
1000 Assembly Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Telephone: (803) 734-9096

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