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24

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365

days per year

60

minutes per hour

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Map of the Charleston Harbor watershed showing Ashley River

From its slender Cypress Swamp origins to the wide salt marshes of the South Carolina low country, the Ashley River is the embodiment of southern charm rolled into a brackish package of history and recreation.

Dolphins make their way up the 30-mile stream from the Cooper River confluence at Charleston Harbor, fishing for striped bass, redfish, and speckled trout alongside anglers, kayakers, and canoeists paddling the Blue Trail that winds its way from the Ashley’s blackwater beginnings near Summerville past 26 separate sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Paddlers can ride the tide in both directions if they time it right, leisurely taking in sights that include plantations predating the Revolutionary War and a diverse array of wildlife found along 22 miles designated as a State Scenic River.

The serene beauty of the upper Ashley offers refuge to deer and spectacular swallowtail kites as the river flows into the rapidly developing Charleston metro area and the saltwater ecosystem surrounding it. Bald eagle, osprey, and other birds of prey can be found along the river corridor, while lanky wading birds like egrets and great blue herons hunt the broad downstream marshes where redfish (locally known as spot-tailed bass) are more abundant. Endangered sturgeon can also be found making their way upstream to spawn.

Did you Know?

Kehm Run Dam Spillway

The Ashley is a river at a crossroads right now. The ongoing threat of urban development is rapidly increasing as Charleston’s popularity as a community and top tourist destination continues to gain momentum and creep farther up the river corridor.

The Ashley is a river at a crossroads right now. The ongoing threat of urban development is rapidly increasing as Charleston’s popularity as a community and top tourist destination continues to gain momentum and creep farther up the river corridor.

The Hill at Kehm Run Dam

The Ashley is a river at a crossroads right now. The ongoing threat of urban development is rapidly increasing as Charleston’s popularity as a community and top tourist destination continues to gain momentum and creep farther up the river corridor.

Kehm Run Dam Pump Down

The Ashley is a river at a crossroads right now. The ongoing threat of urban development is rapidly increasing as Charleston’s popularity as a community and top tourist destination continues to gain momentum and creep farther up the river corridor.