• South Carolina
  • About
  • Advertise
  • Contact Us
South Carolina

ACE Basin – Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers

South Carolina SC Newsletter SCIWAY News: October 2007 ACE Basin Roadtrip

ACE Basin – A Natural Refuge for Humans and Wildlife

South Carolina's ACE Basin encompasses roughly 350,000 acres between Beaufort and Charleston. Through a joint effort by numerous federal, state, and local agencies, as well as conservation organizations and private landowners, the basin is one of the largest protected estuarine systems on the East Coast. It provides a safe haven for wildlife and remains a buffer to encroaching development. The ACE Basin gets its name from the three waterways that flow through its varied landscape: The Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers.

Combahee River
Combahee River © Barry Gooch

Prior to the Civil War, much of the ACE Basin was planted in rice. Nowadays, many of the hiking opportunities in the area make use of former rice field embankments or dikes, providing visitors a nice flat walk with numerous opportunities to spot wildlife. Winter provides visitors with a wonderful opportunity for wildlife viewing, as many migratory birds call the ACE Basin home during the colder months. The Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, which is about 11 miles south of US 17 on Bennett's Point Road, provides 12,000 acres of managed property for wintering waterfowl and other wetland widlife. The area is open to the public and is a great stop on an ACE Basin roadtrip.

Lower Combahee River
Lower Combahee River © Barry Gooch

Further down Bennett's Point Road, there is a peaceful community in the heart of the ACE Basin. Docked at Bennett's Point boat landing, you may find the lovely Billie B shrimp trawler pictured above.

Bennett's Point Landing © Barry Gooch

The Grove Plantation House, pictured below, serves as the headquarters for the US Fish and Wildlife Service's ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. It was built in 1828 and is one of three antebellum mansions that survived the Civil War in the ACE Basin area. The house is situated in a beautiful setting, with numerous live oaks and former rice fields.

Grove Plantation House
Grove Plantation House © Brandon Coffey

Along the Ashepoo River

The Ashepoo River flows through the swamps of Colleton County and its basin is the "A" of the ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge. Its name comes from the Ashepoo Indian tribe.

Crosby's Landing, pictured below, used to be a boat landing and is located at the US 17 bridge on the Ashepoo River.

Feral goats live on one of the many islands along the Ashepoo River. Goats were once commonly brought to the small islands along South Carolina's shore to clear underbrush.

Crosby's Landing Old Goat
Crosby's Landing © Barry Gooch The Old Goat © Barry Gooch

Cruising the Combahee River

The Salkehatchie and the Little Salkehatchie Rivers flow through or border five counties – Allendale County, Bamberg County, Barnwell County, Colleton County, and Hampton County. These two streams meet below Walterboro and form the Combahee River, which then rolls into St. Helena Sound above Beaufort.

This blackwater river makes up the "C" portion of the ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge, and was named after the Combahee Indian tribe

Bennett's Point Road Rice Trunk Old Rice Field
Combahee Sunrise © Barry Gooch Combahee River © Barry Gooch Old Rice Field © SCIWAY
Bennett's Point Road Rice Trunk Billie B Shrimp Boat
Bennett's Point Road Rice Trunk at Bear Island Billie B Shrimp Boat

Related ACE Basin Resources


SC Gifts
SC Newsletter

Charleston Hotels
Columbia Hotels
Greenville Hotels
Myrtle Beach Hotels

Charleston Real Estate
Columbia Real Estate
Greenville Real Estate
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Charleston Jobs
Columbia Jobs
Greenville Jobs
Myrtle Beach Jobs


SC Addresses
SC African-Americans
SC Arts & Entertainment
SC Bed & Breakfasts
SC Blogs
SC Businesses
SC Calendar of Events
SC Churches
SC Cities, Towns
SC Colleges, Universities
SC Consumer Help Desk
SC Counties
SC Directories, Lists
SC Economic Development
SC Education
SC Elections
SC Facts & Firsts
SC Genealogy
SC Gifts
SC Government, Politics
SC Health, Medicine
SC History
SC Hotels
SC Jobs
SC Libraries, Museums
SC Maps
SC Movies
SC News
SC Organizations
SC Photo Gallery
SC Plantations
SC Pronunciations
SC Real Estate
SC Restaurants
SC Schools
SC Sports, Recreation
SC Statistics
SC Tax Guide
SC Tides
SC Tourism
SC Vacation Rentals
SC Weather
SC Web Cams
SC Weddings