Set along the South Edisto River, Aiken State Park is a haven for fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

A scenic 1.7-mile canoe and kayak trail winds its way down the south fork of the Edisto River, attracting paddlers from across the region.

Aiken State Park has a history as notable as its natural beauty. During the Great Depression, the park was built by two Civilian Conservation Corps companies, one of which was an African-American detachment of the C.C.C. Their work has withstood the test of time and can still be seen in some of the remaining structures and interpretive signage.

Location

Aiken State Park South Carolina
1145 State Park Rd, Windsor, SC 29856, United States

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Hours

Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to sunset

OFFICE

11 a.m.-noon and 4 p.m. -5 p.m.

Fees

$3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free

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Contact Details

Phone number: (803) 649-2857

Official Website: Aiken State Park South Carolina

Email: aiken@scprt.com

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Area Attractions

Suggested Equipment for Aiken State Park South Carolina:

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The following activities within the park should be done with utmost caution. Make sure that you have the proper protective gear and equipment necessary to make your adventures safe and accident-free. We advise you to read the TIPS underneath each activity to serve as a guide on what you may need to bring in order to enjoy your stay fully.

Activities & Tips

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For Canoe Trail rental information, please contact the Park Office directly for instructions and reservations.  At this time, advance reservations are required (no walk-ins please). Renters are responsible for providing their own transportation. Due to the distance between the put-in and take-out locations, we recommend that renters bring two vehicles and park one at the take-out dock prior to beginning the paddle. No shuttle service is currently available from park staff, due to public health concerns.

Length: 3 miles not including spur trails

Type: Hiking Trail

Difficulty:
Easy

Description: This is a level, easy-to-follow, 3-mile boardwalk and dirt turf loop through tropical-looking wetlands, and mixed pine and hardwood forest. You will walk through dense green rhododendron, and fern that provide habitat for iridescent dragonflies, and a variety of birds, snakes and other wildlife. At the far end of the main loop, you will see two clearly marked spur trails. Follow the short canoe launch spur trail across the park road, through a sandy oval parking area, to the dock on the tea-colored south fork of the Edisto River. (The water gets its unusual color from tree roots and leaf debris.)

Near the dock, an artesian well bubbles up through a fountain. When you return to the main loop trail, you can also walk the other, slightly longer, spur trail to the fishing pond. Continuing on the main trail, avoid any unmarked spur trails, and you will return to the parking area. During the warm season insect repellent is recommended. Pets are permitted on leashes. Restrooms are available near the picnic area.

Length: 1.7 miles

Type: Canoe/Kayak Trail

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Description:

In Aiken State Park, the South Fork Edisto River meanders for an easy 1.7 miles between two canoe landings. It’s an opportunity to make a shorter excursion on a river that usually takes days. The surrounding land in Aiken State Park is a combination of river swamp and dry sandhills, with the latter area offering evidence of an era when the ocean pushed this far inland. The park is extremely popular among fisherman and campers because of the easy river access and four spring-fed lakes. But paddlers have the extra bonus of a cleared canoe path, giving people a chance to explore the South Fork’s narrow waters. In the state park, the river doesn’t have the width of the lower Main Stem. Instead, a tight channel delves through a canopy of trees for an unusual tunnel effect. Signs will guide you along the way.

Canoe experience is suggested.

Aiken State Park is a must-visit state park in South Carolina. Check out other state parks in South Carolina here.

South Carolina State Parks