Edisto Island




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Edisto Island is a small, uninhabited island located in Charleston harbor, South Carolina. It is part of the Edisto Island National Wildlife Refuge and is accessible only by boat. Edisto Island is well known for its rich history, including its role in the American Revolution and as a waterfowl hunting ground.

Edisto Island


The Edisto Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1984 and is home to over 100 colonies of wild birds, including pelicans, cormorants, herons and egrets. The refuge is also a popular spot for fishing and swimming.

Edisto island first became widely known as the site of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island during the American Revolution on July 18, 1776. General Charles Lee led a force against Major John Rutledge’s Patriot forces while they were repairing Fort Moultrie on nearby Sullivan’s Island. The battle ended with a Scots-Irish militiaman, Andrew Murray, killing General Lee.

The battle is significant in American history as a symbol of freedom and liberty for the colonies at the time; an early turning point leading to victory by other Patriot forces throughout South Carolina during that year. And yet despite its importance to U.S. military honor and pride during the revolution Edisto remains an unspoiled island with ruins from both sieges visible on every side over much of its area today (see Picture Gallery).


Edisto Island has a humid subtropical climate, with average temperatures ranging from the low 30s in winter to the high 80s in summer. As a result of its northeasterly latitude, it seldom experiences rain or snow. During the winter months from October through March, days are usually overcast with irregular precipitation. In the summer time highs reach into the 80s F (29 °C) and lows for July are about 62 F(17 C).

Wind speeds in Charleston generally range between 10 – 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30mph which occasionally bring high winds across Pirates Country on Sullivan’s Island where there is no barrier island to supply shelter from storm surges originating at Virginia Beach.


Edisto is a member of the barrier island chain that extends from Hilton Head, South Carolina to Buck Island in SCDU waters. The entire shore is often referred to as “Edisto’s Coast” with Haley Pond being perhaps one of the best-known landmarks. Edisto Bay has eight major islands and numerous arelets (see Wilderness); many which were once inhabited by Native Americans then abandoned until recently reoccupied)to include Wappooge Creek, Hog Island, Goose Islet…and Haycock Point…. Some take pride put on how they pronounce each name correctly while others just seem proud of having lived in the area since childhood.

Travel Directions

The best road access to the island is via ferry from Charleston, SC and Savannah GA. The Ferry Terminal (CTF) at the John C. Calhoun Memorial in downtown Charleston provides for passenger transport to HHI / Edisto Island as well as travel between Martin’s Bay, Sullivan’s Island and other locations around Kanawha County including St Elmo on James River with locally operated ferries which can be purchased through an agency called Jetties . These are private booths staffed by local long time residents who have gained a wealth of information regarding their home area while processing slips here.


Since its establishment in 1724, Edisto has been a cattle plantation and the landscape is now dominated by broad fields with scattered homes. The island was important during the American Revolution as it served as a staging area for General Cornwallis’s army in their attempt to capture Charleston.

No transportation links make it difficult for tourists to exploreEdisto specifically but Sullivan’s Island offers an excellent day trip from Charleston or Savannah providing easy access via ferry docks at both locations.


Edisto Island is a self-governing body made up of eleven elected officials including five Councilpersons who serve four year terms. The Island has its own police force (Edisto County Police) and collects property taxes. The current elected officials are as follows.

Udarra Juska – Councilperson

Joe Wilson, Jr. – Councilperson

Odelia Hawkins – Mayor of Edisto Island, SC; Former Chief Clerk United States District Court for the Southeastern District of California and candidate in 2004 Democrat Party Primary Election (Open Seat)for 5th Congressional district to replace Representative Cynthia McKinney (R). She was defeated by Donna F Marino who has represented Edisto since 2001 after defeating Ralph Norman in this election cycle’s run-off primary held on June 22nd 2010.

Government services

Edisto Island has its own post office, bank (Edisto Bank), and grocery store. health services are provided by Edisto County Hospital which is located on the mainland in Charleston , South Carolina. The Edisto Island Fire Department provides fire protection service on the island.

Rowland County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement services to the island during state of emergency conditions as well as during specified times such that it is constantly occupied or integral to events occurring in conjunction with ongoing projects and businesses located there at any given time- including hurricanes Florence, Matthew and Hermine when they came ashore along with “Michael” (storm system September 16–19).


Edisto Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Carolina. Situated on the Congaree River, the island is known for its refreshing climate, dramatic landscape, and abundance of natural resources. The island is a great place to spend a relaxing day outdoors or explore its many attractions. If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, Edisto Island is definitely the place for you!


-What Is The Nearest Airport To Edisto Island?

Edisto Island can only be reached by boat, so the nearest airport is in Charleston.

-How Much Does It Cost To Get To Edisto Island?

There is no direct transportation from any other airports, so you will need to arrange a shuttle or take a taxi. Expect to pay around $100 for a round trip ticket.

-Can I Rent Bikes Or Walk On The Trails?

Biking and hiking are both possible on Edisto Island, but access requires prior permission from refuge staff .

-How Long Is The Ferry Ride?

The trip to Edisto Island takes 3.5 hours, and most ferries leave at 9:30 a.m., 10:00am and 1:00pm on Monday through Friday morning. Ferry tickets are available for purchase online or in person at one of many Charleston waterfront shops (eBikes also offers rentals). If you want to go anywhere else during your stay, such as Wrightsville Beach or Kiawah Island, plan ahead so that you don’t miss your connection time!

– Is There A Grocery Store On Edisto Island?

Yes, there is a small convenience store on the mainland that sells basic food items.

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