Our group is officially the Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail Commission. We usually refer to the organization as “ERCK”. ERCK is a group of volunteers committed to the preservation of the Edisto River, educating people on safe paddling, and emphasizing the enjoyment of paddling. All instructors are American Canoe Association certified.
Preservation of the Edisto River is important to us because of the many wonders it offers. During the course of the day, you may see a variety of wildlife including deer, turtles, water snakes, river otters, alligators and many types of birds. Quiet paddlers are often rewarded with sightings of wildlife such as egrets, great blue herons, or a variety of ducks. And paddling along a sleepy southern river wouldn’t be complete without the live oaks hanging over the river’s banks, splashed with Spanish moss.
Canoeing and kayaking are great family activities. Keep in mind that, while the Edisto is a relatively gentle flat-water river, it can present a variety of hazards – wasps, snakes and strainers for example. Strainers are fallen trees with strong river currents flowing through them.
Staying on the inside of river bends will help you avoid strainers. All members of a group should stay together and avoid spreading out too far along the river. Everyone, even experienced paddlers, should wear a life vest at all times while canoeing or kayaking. If you are planning a trip on your own, file a float plan, or at least let someone know where you will be on the river and when you expect to return.