LivingTravelA treehouse getaway on the Edisto River

A treehouse getaway on the Edisto River

Paddle about twelve miles down the cypress-lined Edisto Blackwater River to a private treehouse nestled in the woods along the riverbank. Relax in a rope hammock or on the dining room deck, complete with an outdoor grill to cook dinner, and sleep to the forest lullaby of whispering trees, croaking frogs and howling owls. Wake up the next day to the sounds of morning song and wildlife talk and make breakfast on the small gas stove before continuing downstream.

Provided by Carolina Heritage Outfitters, this unique adventure draws a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts, including couples, groups, and families from across the country and abroad. Family travelers should note that for the sake of safety, children must be 11 years or older to stay in tree houses, although the company is working on creating a safe environment for younger children. The leisurely 22 mile journey is divided into approximately 12 miles on the first day from setup to the tree houses and 10 miles on the second day to the end of the journey in the Outpost Shelter.

While most visitors choose to stay one night, additional nights can be arranged.


Three rustic and secluded tree houses, located within the 150-acre Edisto River Private Refuge, sleep four, six, or eight and are available year-round, with the exception of a few days during the Christmas holidays. . The tree houses are situated out of sight of each other around the edges of a quiet river peninsula, bordered by a stream at the neck that creates almost an island. There is no electricity or running water. Outdoor facilities are located near each unit. Each tree house has:

  • A small kitchen with table and chairs, propane stove, pots and pans, plates and utensils.
  • A deck with an outdoor gas grill.
  • A screened loft with one or two futon mattresses, depending on the size of the unit
  • Futons on the main level that unfold to accommodate an additional sleeping area
  • Rechargeable flashlights
  • A swinging rope hammock
  • A few gallons of drinking water
  • Some games like dominoes and cards

Visitors pack and transport their own food supplies for all meals. Other takeout items include sleeping bags, pillowcases, and towels. Carolina Heritage Outfitters provides a list of other suggested items to pack for your adventure.

The Edisto River

The Edisto River is a slow, slow-flowing river that winds its way through 12 counties from west central South Carolina to the Atlantic Ocean. At more than 250 miles in length, it is one of the longest blackwater rivers in North America. Depending on the time of year and the corresponding water levels, the current of the Edisto River flows between two and four miles per hour, which makes paddling down the river easy and relaxing, consisting mostly of direction.

A bustling Lowcountry ecosystem, the Edisto River and its forested banks are home to moss-covered cypress and willow trees, waterfowl including great blue herons, egrets and wood ducks, as well as turtles, river otters, alligators, wild turkeys, woodpeckers and many other forest birds, deer, raccoons, lynx, frogs and many other wonders of wildlife. The dark copper or tea color of the river water, which appears from afar as a glassy black surface, is the result of tannins released from the surrounding vegetation.

The Edisto River Refuge

Private wildlife refuge, the 150-acre Edisto River Refuge is the largest private wildlife refuge on the longest free-flowing blackwater river in the Southeast. There are several kilometers of trails, cypress trees and tupelo swamps, sandy shores and a shallow, sandy bottom. In addition to the tree houses, there is a primitive group camping area. In addition to treehouse nights, Carolina Heritage Outfitters offers day trips by canoe and kayak that include a safety orientation, personal flotation devices, and transportation from the outpost to the launch point.

Carolina Heritage Outfitters Location

Canadys, South Carolina – 3 miles from Exit 68 on I-95, approximately 90 minutes from Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. The Carolina Heritage Outfitters Outpost is located on US Route 15, approximately one mile north of the intersection of State Highway 61.

For additional information, visit the Carolina Heritage Outfitters website.