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Days
<1
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
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Big Bay Creek is the waterway that flows along the inland side of the town of Edisto Beach, beginning in salt marsh near Edisto Beach State Park and flowing to the ocean. Its calm surface is perfect for paddling, and its rich waters are loved not only by fisherman but also hungry dolphins. While not a guarantee, your chances of seeing dolphins are pretty good if you spend a few hours on the water.

You will definitely see plenty of birds like gulls, pelicans, herons, and egrets. You will also get up-close views at the edge of Edisto's vast salt marsh. There are a few narrow backwaters meandering off into the grasses that can be explored by boat.

Many docks extend from the creek's south bank, but most property lining the water is private. The best place to start your trip is from the boat dock at Edisto State Park ($5 day use fee). From there it is just short of 2 miles to the creek's mouth at Edisto Inlet, which is the broad bay off Edisto Island's west shore.

Reaching the bay grants the best views and best chance of seeing dolphins. The sandy beach here is a great place to take out and relax before heading back. Remember this is a tidal waterway, so the current will be moving either in or out. Expect paddling in one direction to be slower than in the other, unless you can time your trip to ride the tide both ways.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Easy access. Dolphins.

Cons

None.

Features

Fishing
Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching

Site characteristics: Water

Sound/Strait

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide

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