I have to admit I ended up at this park due to a missed turn, but no problem. I was here, I had time so I visited it. The downside was I didn’t have a map and couldn’t find the start of the trail I knew existed and the ranger was elsewhere. I missed the cemetery too, but that gives me a reason to visit again.
The park straddles the Edisto River whose riverbanks are protected as a Heritage Trust Site. It is the longest free flowing blackwater river in North America. From here you can go kayaking and canoeing There’s a boat landing right by the visitor center. It offers a nice view of the river.
The park is named after Phillip Givhan who was the ferry master here in the latter part of the 18th century. His granddaughter, Mary Ford, is buried in the park. The ferry sat at the point, called the Charleston to Augusta/Savannah pass, where one could cross the Edisto river and continue on the road from Charleston to Augusta.
Givhans Ferry State Park is one of the parks in South Carolina developed by the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program created by Presdient F. D. Roosevelt. It was donated in 1934 by the City of Charleston.
I managed to find the trail, the River Bluff Nature Trail. The website says it’s a multipurpose trail for hiking and biking, but when I walked it, I found it a bit rough so if you take your little ones, make sure to hold their hands so they don’t tumble into the river. It might be better now. The bluff is made of limestone and it is due to the limestone that there are a number of sinkholes in the park, sinkholes created by underground streams eating away at the soft rock.
As for the cemetery, the only remaining tombstone is that of Phillip Givhan’s granddaughter.
How to Get There:
The park is located on Givhans Ferry Road off SC 61 and is in both Dorchester and Colleton counties.
Colleton State Park
Francis Beidler Forest
Old Dorchester State Park