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Edisto River Companion: The essential guide for paddlers

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Edisto River Companion

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Edisto River Companion by Ken Driggers (Author), Virginia Ravenel (Editor), Bill Price (Photographer), South Carolina: Palmetto Conservation Foundation/PCF Press, First Edition (May 16 2008), 72 pages, $11.65, reviewed by John G Hall

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Edisto River Companion was a collaborative effort. It involved author Kenneth (Ken) Driggers and Editor Virginia Ravenel. Adam McConnoughy and Suzette Anderson researched the project. Steve Collum did maps. Susan Jones Ferguson handled Design & Layout. Bill Price was photographer.

Palmetto Conservation Foundation/PCF Press was Publisher.

Together they created an “Easy-to-use guide” that is part travel book, part South Carolina history and a reliable resource for exploring the Edisto River.

Filled with maps and suggestions for important destinations and events, the Edisto River Companion is an essential for anyone interested in experiencing one of the best rivers in South Carolina.

The Edisto flows through 12 counties on its 250-mile journey to the Atlantic Ocean. Some people claim it is the longest, free flowing blackwater rivers in North America. National Geographic Adventure Magazine named the Edisto, one of the top 50 amazing places.

The Edisto is a “blackwater river.” Thatb not only describes the color of the tannin-rich water (the color of steeped black tea), but also refers to the peaceful flow that characterizes such rivers.

In Edisto River Companion, Ken Driggers captures the quiet beauty of this gentle river that “has an aura about it” and “an intimacy that draws people to it.”

One visitor, who has known many rivers, believes “The Edisto weaves a spell.” After her encounter, she “Will never look at rivers the same way because of the Edisto.”

The Edisto is a recreation river, according to Driggers. It has “Recreation for Everyone.” However, “It is a long river with many different paddling opportunities.”

The 56-mile Edisto Canoe and Kayak Trail is one example. The North Fork Canoe and Kayak Trail is another.

Some paddlers say that to see the real Edisto, the North Fork is the stretch to travel.

Driggers plots the river’s course from its tributaries in the swamps of Aiken, Edgefield, Lexington and Saluda Counties. He writes a vivid history of the Edisto River Basin.

He offers numerous suggestions for places to visit: “Destinations” and “Day Trips.”

Mr. Driggers makes reading a pleasure. If you are unsure about visiting the Edisto, read Edisto River Companion. It will definitely resolve any doubts you may have. The Edisto is waiting for you. Let it weave its spell.

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