Ashley River (South Carolina)

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The Ashley River, as seen from Brittlebank Park.
The Ashley River, as seen from Drayton Hall.
Map of the Charleston Harbor watershed showing Ashley River.

The Ashley River is a blackwater / tidal river in South Carolina, rising from the Wassamassaw and Great Cypress Swamps in western Berkeley County. It consolidates its main channel about five miles west of Summerville, widening into a tidal estuary just south of Fort Dorchester. The river then flows for approximately 17 miles along the historical banks of the City of North Charleston before reaching peninsular Charleston. The much wider Ashley joins the Cooper River off the Battery in Charleston to form Charleston Harbor before discharging into the Atlantic Ocean.

The river was named for Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and chief Lord Proprietor of the Carolina Colony. Charleston was founded on the western bank of the Ashley in 1670 (at Charles Towne Landing), before moving across to its current peninsular location ten years later.

The Ashley River area contains 26 separate sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places with 22 miles being designated a State Scenic River, extending from Sland's Bridge (US Highway 17-A) near Summerville to the Mark Clark expressway (I-526) bridge in Charleston. Within this segment, a visitor can experience a blackwater swamp, the tides of the Atlantic, and the history of South Carolina.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ashley River

Coordinates: 32°45′46″N 79°55′44″W / 32.76278°N 79.92889°W / 32.76278; -79.92889