Posts Tagged ‘Leave-No-Trace’

About 20 minutes down Highway 17s, down a road that laces itself through live oaks and loblolly pines lies a 4,678 acre, untouched, vital and thriving ecosystem protected by South Carolina’s DNR in the small, but growing coastal town of Edisto. Driving into the Botany Bay Plantation was reminiscent of more than a few Pat Conroy excerpts and bumping along its dirt path, a line from Lords of Discipline bumped along in my mind – something about never truly being able to escape the pull of Charleston’s semitropical landscape and her marshes.

Botany Bay on Edisto Island SC

I couldn’t help but fall back in time after learning the history of the property – imagining myself as an English settler in the 1600’s stumbling upon the rugged landscape I was experiencing now,  or worse, as a Kusso-Natchez (or Edistow) Indian struggling to keep her land hers. We rested on what it must have been like in the late summer months for the Europeans – swatting away no-see-ums in their wool or canvas suits and smocks – and for their slaves, shut away in quarters where the shoreline breeze does not travel.

Horses on Edisto Island SC

A half mile walk through salt marshes led us to a 2 mile stretch of beach that has been carved only by the tides and thunderstorms of Mother Nature. Being a leave-no-trace beach, shells and starfish and sandollars have no other purpose but to be themselves – as opposed to transforming into porch decor 🙂 – and South Carolina’s endangered Loggerhead sea turtles are free and safe to nest in their natural habitat.

South Carolina beach pathLoggerhead Sea Turtle habitat

Extraordinary natural habitats DO still exist. And this hidden treasure of Edisto Island, SC is unique to the world. The world. It boggles my mind and leaves me full of thanks that the Lowcountry ecosystem I am a part of can be found nowhere else on this planet. So if you ever find yourself wanting to experience a day on the beach without the clamor of the tourists, take a few steps off the porch – you won’t be disappointed.

South Carolina fishermen

South Carolina Marshes

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