Eons ago, when I first went to Edisto Island with my parents, it felt as if SC174 was the longest road in the world. I used to imagine we’d entered another dimension and were doomed to nothingness. What can I say, I was a bored teen back then and the ride from Columbia was already too long. This was before cell phones, DVD players, and all the other diversions kids have today.
The last time I went, I enjoyed the trip and the scenery, excited to visit the sightseeables, and being able to knock off items from my SC must visit wish list. Several of these didn’t exist when I visited in the seventies such as Botany Bay Plantation and the Serpenterium.
The official start of the scenic portion of SC174 is the McKinley Washington Bridge over Dawhoo Creek It continues on to Edisto Beach State Park, a distance of about fourteen miles. This stretch of road became a national scenic byway in 2009. There’s an app for the The Edisto Scenic Highway 174. It can be used at any point on the road. I didn’t use the app on my trip. If you want to download it, go to iTunes and visit the app store.
As you drive along you’ll pass scenery typical of a South Carolina barrier islands. There are marshes, woods, agricultural, and rural buildings that include several historic churches like the 1830 Presbyterian Church, the Zion Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Trinity Episcopal Church (ca 1876). The three sit a short distance aways from each other for easy viewing.
The Mystery Tree sits in the marshes opposite the road leading to Botany Bay Plantation. (Be sure to visit). The decorations change I’m told. When I visited in February there were valentine hearts on it.
How to Get There:
SC174 if off US17. From Charleston, take US17 south toward Beaufort. When you get to SC174 turn south. There should be signs for Edisto Beach State Park
What’s Close By:
There’s enough to see along SC174 to last awhile, but if you’re in the area a few days, there’s the ACE Basin which spreads across several counties (Beaufort, Charleston, and Colleton mostly),