Edisto Island National Scenic Byway Update
March 05, 2017
(1) Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Announces the Completion of Bike Trails
In mid-2013, the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance was pleased to announce that the Phase I construction of bike paths along the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway (EINSB) was complete.
This nearly four-mile bike path extension was an addition to the existing 10-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian paths that originate in the Town of Edisto Beach, wind through the Edisto Beach State Park, and continue down the EINSB (SC Highway 174). The completion of this phase offers 14 continuous miles along both sides of the road all the way to Botany Bay Road in Charleston County, providing a safe and scenic route for cyclists, hikers and runners. Visitors to Edisto Beach and residents will be able to bike or hike on these paths from Edisto Town center to the Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area, a major eco-tourism draw that thousands of residents and tourists enjoy each year.
In mid-2015 EIPA made a formal request to the SC Department of Transportation, which was beginning the process of re-paving the segment of SC Highway 174 from the Toogoodoo Bridge to the new bridge construction at Sand Creek on Edisto. EIPA’s request was please expand the shoulders of the new paving to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian use. SC DOT complied, further extending the network of bike trails. EIPA’s Corridor Management Plan calls for the ultimate goal of continuous bike paths from Edisto Beach all the way to Roxbury Park at Toogodoo Bridge (Hwy. 174)
(2) Edisto Island Preservation Alliance (EIPA) Update on the Recreational Creek Access Project
EIPA will be reviewing Charleston County’s designs for the Recreational Creek Access structures along the Scenic Byway that will be constructed after the new bridge construction is completed, probably in late 2018. Charleston County has sent out an RFP to engineering design firms, and a decision about the selection of the firm will be forthcoming. Likely the design for the recreational access structures will not be complete for another year, at which time Charleston County will share those plans with EIPA and the Edisto community. This recreational access to our three major creeks that intersect the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway – Sand, Russell, and Store Creeks – will provide to one and all an opportunity to enjoy the scenic views and a safe place for fishing and kayaking.
(3) EIPA’s Stewardship of the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway (EINSB) – Background: Several years ago when the Edisto community, under the leadership of the Edisto Island Open Land Trust, developed a Corridor Management Plan for the EINSB, the building of bike and pedestrian paths from the Atlantic to the Dawhoo River was a priority goal. A second priority was to create safe recreational access to Edisto’s creeks – safe places to pull off the Byway and photograph the stunning marsh views and safe places to fish, crab, and launch non-motorized kayaks and canoes.
In 2009 when the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance (EIPA) took over the administration of the Scenic Byway’s Corridor Management Plan, members of EIPA’s board and Scenic Byway Committee worked to develop partnerships with Charleston County Transportation Division and the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission for assistance in pursuing this goal. EIPA members supported Charleston County’s application for Federal Funds, which was successful. We are grateful for the partnerships we have forged with Charleston County – the Charleston County Transportation Division will construct the recreational creek access, and when the construction is complete the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission will manage the EINSB recreational resources.