Criminal Defense Attorney in Bluffton, SC

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Fighting For You

When you are charged with a crime or are involved in an accident, it can seem like the world is crashing down around you. Between the threat of incarceration and the chance of financial loss, these foreboding situations often feel overwhelming. Friends and family cut ties, your employer threatens termination, and life seems hopeless. It is imperative to have a fighter on your side during these trying times: one that will stick with you through thick and thin, without any judgments.

Welcome to the Law Office of Richard Waring: where defending your rights and freedoms is paramount in securing your future.

Richard implements a powerfully simple yet effective model for all his clients' cases:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of a Positive Outcome
  • The Use of Creative Problem-Solving Tactics
  • Excellent Communication

When you are ready to fight back against the allegations against you, it is time to call the Law Office of Richard Waring - a criminal defense attorney on Bluffton, SC, with the knowledge, experience, and drive to defend you during your most difficult time.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

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Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

From Prosecution to Protecting Your Rights in Bluffton

Richard Waring began his commitment to community service years ago. As a young man, he would spend his summers volunteering his time to help needy communities.

As an adult, his desire to help others manifested itself while I served as a prosecutor for "close to 10 years."?. During this time, he would take part in some of the most difficult trials in the Lowcountry's history. He prosecuted thousands of individuals for crimes such as assault and battery, armed robbery, drug crimes, DUI, financial crimes, and even murder.
His time as a prosecutor was priceless, giving him valuable insight and knowledge into the inner workings of Bluffton's legal system. Today, Richard uses that experience to vigorously defend good, hardworking men and women whose freedoms are only one judgment away from disappearing.
Whether you made a mistake and need a second chance or have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a professional who has put in time on both sides. At the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest easy knowing this former prosecutor will fight tooth and nail for your freedom.

Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a crime, it can become a horrible experience. The range of emotions one goes through can be taxing: embarrassment, humiliation, regret, sadness, despair. The domino effect that often happens when charged with a crime can be awful, as well: loss of job, abandonment by your family or significant other, dirty looks from those in your community.

Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney in Bluffton, SC, can help restore your reputation and repair your life. In times of legal crises, your friends and family may cut ties, but Richard Waring will be on your side from the time you call his office to the time your case is resolved.

Having prosecuted thousands of cases in South Carolina, Richard has a set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government. Richard truly knows the criminal justice system's ins and outs and is dedicated to fighting for his clients to achieve the best possible outcome on their criminal cases.

While some cases result in a positive outcome quickly, others must go to trial. Much like a combat athlete trains for months, hones his or her skills, and goes to war with an opponent, Richard Waring has prepared for and battled it out in many high-profile trials.

When you trust the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. Each of our criminal defense clients receives the following when entrusting Richard Waring as their criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton:

  • Vigorous representation
  • Quick response to emails and phone calls
  • Compassionate, understanding treatment
  • You will never be treated as unimportant or second-rate
  • Thorough investigation for your case
  • All of your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial, upheld
  • Notifications of important updates

The following are common cases that Richard Waring can handle for you:

  • Misdemeanor DUI/DWI
  • Felony DUI/DWI
  • Violent Crimes including: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, and Murder
  • Strong Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Drug Crimes
  • Manufacturing of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Distribution of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Gun crimes including: pointing or present a firearm, possession of a pistol with obliterated serial numbers, possession of a stolen pistol
  • Restoration of Your Gun Rights
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny and Burglary
  • Property Crimes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Financial Crimes including: Forgery, financial transaction card theft, fake IDs, breach of trust, obtaining goods by false pretenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Traffic Crimes including: driving without a license, speeding, reckless or careless driving
Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Bluffton, SC

There are several key players in the criminal justice system, each with its own roles. The prosecutor is tasked with enforcing laws and convicting offenders. The judge serves as an unbiased decision-maker. The criminal defense attorney's role is to protect the rights of the individual who is charged with a crime - a vitally important role in the criminal justice world.

Having a proactive, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side almost always improves your chance of a positive outcome. While their primary role is to defend your rights and protect you from excessive sentences, they have many other duties.

When you entrust Richard Waring as your defense advocate, he will fight to protect your rights throughout the case by:

  • Arguing in court to reduce how much you must pay to post bail
  • Being present during police interrogations and interviews
  • Discovering and applying potent legal defenses
  • Advising you on your decision to plead guilty, not guilty, or to go to trial (if applicable)
  • Explaining the implications of pleading guilty
  • Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses relating to the allegations against you
  • Meticulously examining the circumstance surrounding your search and arrest (if applicable) to uncover Fourth Amendment violations
  • Meticulously examining any drug or DUI-related chemical tests to ensure accuracy and uncover errors
  • Representing you during scheduled hearings
  • Representing you during a jury trial
  • Working with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals or the possibility of a reduced sentence
  • If convicted, representing you during the sentencing phase and arguing on your behalf for a fair sentence

Knowing Your Rights

As a defendant, you have important rights. Some of the rights that Richard Waring will fight to protect on your behalf are:

  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right against unreasonable seizures and searches
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right against cruel and unusual punishment
  • In most cases, the right to a jury trial
  • The right of innocence until proven guilty
  • The right to legal representation

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Bluffton, the government must supply you with a public defender.

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Bluffton, the government must supply you with a public defender.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Criminal Case Timeline In Bluffton, SC

If you or a member of your family is facing criminal charges in Bluffton, there is no doubt that you are anxious about the road ahead. You are not alone - most of our criminal defense clients worry about the uncertainties surrounding the legal process and what is next in their case.

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, we empathize with this stress, and as such, make every effort to address anxiety-inducing questions like:

  • How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
  • What type of sentence is common for the crime in which I am being accused?
  • Will the prosecutor offer me a favorable plea deal?

We cannot answer these questions in detail until we have time to review your case and speak with you one-on-one. Until that time, this high-level view of Bluffton's criminal case timeline can offer some insight into what lies ahead.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Arrest and Investigation

This is the first step in the criminal case timeline. During this time, police officer(s) will investigate the potential crime at hand and arrest whomever the officer(s) believes to be responsible. At this point, the person in question is considered a Defendant.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Initial Bond Setting

Shortly after the arrest (typically within the same day), defendants are granted an initial bond hearing. This short proceeding determines whether a defendant will be released from jail while charges are pending. It is wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton, SC, before this hearing so that they may argue on your behalf.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Preliminary Hearing

The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence (or probable cause) for the case to carry on. Defendants must request this hearing within 20 days of their initial bond setting. Hearings typically commence within three to six weeks. It is especially important that defendants retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Initial Appearance

The main purpose of this court date is to determine if the defendant has hired an attorney or will need a public defender appointed to them. If you have an attorney before this hearing, defendants are not required to be present. The initial appearance typically happens 45 days after the arrest.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Plea Offers

n some cases, the State may offer a plea offer to the defendant. If the defendant accepts this deal, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the defendant's acceptance. If the defendant pleads guilty, they are typically sentenced on the spot. If the defendant rejects the plea, he or she may have to go before the judge to ensure they understand the consequences of rejecting a plea offer.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Discovery

Under Rule 5 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant will receive all evidence that will be used against them. As your criminal defense attorneys in Bluffton, we will submit a written request to the court to obtain this information. It may take the State weeks or months to turn over their evidence, especially if that evidence is new.

Criminal Defense Attorney Bluffton, SC

Indictment

The first barrier for the State to prosecute takes place during the preliminary hearing. The second occurs during the indictment phase. In general terms, an indictment is a document that details the criminal charges which the defendant must face. Each crime listed on the indictment is called a "count." During this phase, the State will gather a "grand jury" comprised of public citizens. This jury is presented with evidence to help them approve or disapprove of the charges contained in the indictment. If the indictment is approved, the defendant's case will proceed to trial. If it is rejected, charges are usually dropped.

Trial

During the trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence to a jury, who will hand down a final verdict. The prosecutor's job during the trial is to convince the jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is under no obligation to prove anything. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, Richard Waring will work hard to convince the jury of his client's innocence while pointing out holes in the prosecution's case.

Typically, a trial in Bluffton includes the following phases:

  • Jury Selection
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Opening Statements
  • The State's Case
  • Directed Verdict
  • The Defense's Case
  • The State's Rebuttal
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions and Deliberation
  • Verdict and Sentencing

Latest News in Bluffton, SC

Hurricane Ian: Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton counties remain under watches, warnings

While Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties all remain under several watches and warnings due to Hurricane Ian, the forecast should improve within the next several hours, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.Beaufort County and coastal Jasper counties remained under a Hurricane Warning Friday, Sept. 30 at around 10 a.m. as the center of Hurricane Ian was located directly offshore to the east of the three counties, NWS Meteorologist Dave Berry said. Hurricane Ian was traveling north with an expected la...

While Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties all remain under several watches and warnings due to Hurricane Ian, the forecast should improve within the next several hours, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.

Beaufort County and coastal Jasper counties remained under a Hurricane Warning Friday, Sept. 30 at around 10 a.m. as the center of Hurricane Ian was located directly offshore to the east of the three counties, NWS Meteorologist Dave Berry said. Hurricane Ian was traveling north with an expected landfall in northern Charleston County later in the day on Friday, he said.

Beaufort and coastal Jasper counties also remained under a storm surge warning Friday morning with inland Jasper and Hampton remaining under a Tropical Storm Warning. All three counties were also under a Flash Flood Watch with a chance of minor flooding in some of the areas inside the watch.

Statewide updatesHurricane Ian update: Storm nears SC coast. Heavy rain, gusts in forecast across region.

A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions can be expected within the warned areas within the next 24 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning means conditions associated with a tropical storm are expected in the areas under the watch. A Flash Flood Watch means conditions are favorable for flash flooding in flood-prone areas.

A Storm Surge Warning means rising water moves inland from the shoreline somewhere within the warned areas within the next 36 hours.

While all watches and warnings remained in effect Friday morning, Berry said the weather in the three counties should see improvement by around 2 p.m. Friday.

"Wind speeds should not be any worse than they are this morning between 20 to 30 mph sustained with gusts at times up to 40 mph," he said. "This is expected to improve over the next four to six hours."

Berry said the top wind speeds Friday morning around the Beaufort County area at the Hilton Head Airport had reached 52 mph.

Berry added the three counties could expect another inch or two of rainfall as the hurricane continues to track to the north.

"As the storm continues to move through, there is still a chance of downed trees with the bands of the rainfall coming through," he said. "There is also still a chance of minor flooding in some areas."

As the hurricane continued to move out of Jasper and Beaufort counties, Jasper County Fire Rescue announced the emergency shelter it had opened in the county Thursday evening in Ridgeland would be closing at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.

Family cleans up Cottageville graveyard

widdleswife@aol.comHistoric Cottageville Cemetery, nestled in a wooded glade off Jacksonboro Road, has a new lease on life since longtime residents stepped in to eradicate tangled vines and underbrush that covered boundary fences.Thomas Reeves, his son Ronnie Reeves and daughter-in-law Gena Reeves, have spent dozens of hours ripping out and cutting through dense brush, vines and weeds on the east side of the cemetery. The hot, sweaty work requires gloves, a chain saw, pole saw, loppers and a weed-eater.“We usually ...

widdleswife@aol.com

Historic Cottageville Cemetery, nestled in a wooded glade off Jacksonboro Road, has a new lease on life since longtime residents stepped in to eradicate tangled vines and underbrush that covered boundary fences.

Thomas Reeves, his son Ronnie Reeves and daughter-in-law Gena Reeves, have spent dozens of hours ripping out and cutting through dense brush, vines and weeds on the east side of the cemetery. The hot, sweaty work requires gloves, a chain saw, pole saw, loppers and a weed-eater.

“We usually do it early in the morning or early evening,” Gena said. “It’s about an hour or an hour and a half every day.”

With the east side fence line cleaned up, the trio will now focus on the west side, Thomas said.

The cemetery’s setting couldn’t be more picturesque: Inside yellow brick gates flanking the entrance, well-worn paths encircle and bisect the cemetery beneath moss-draped oaks and towering pines. Some headstones are modern and striking; others are ancient, moss-covered and barely legible.

The site was founded in 1885, when three members of Cottageville United Methodist Church set out on horseback to find a suitable burial ground.

The Rev. Dr. George Peirce, Dr. A. E. Williams and Captain Ben Willis, also a doctor, came upon the wooded acreage and agreed it would make a suitable cemetery for their families and the growing community of Cottageville. Peirce promptly dismounted and said a prayer to consecrate the property.

Anna Adams Willis, who owned the land, agreed to donate it. A century later, her descendants donated additional land for the cemetery.

Familiar names engraved on more than 500 headstones include Ackerman, Peirce, Adams, Breland, Cone, DuRant, Free, Griffith, Reeves, Smith and Willis.

Thomas Reeves, a third-generation Cottageville resident, has many relatives buried there: mother, father, wife, son, brother-in-law and nephew.

Referring to his late wife, Ute, Thomas said, “I know she’d like for it to be cleaned up and stay nice.”

The cemetery is operated by a small board of trustees representing different denominations, trustee Chairman Norman Davis said. Donations for upkeep are always welcome, and can be mailed to Stephanie Fuller, P.O. Box 205, Cottageville, S.C. 29435.

Like many Southern burial grounds, Cottageville Cemetery is supposedly haunted: Legend says drivers who circle the graveyard three times and honk the horn will see spirits of the deceased rise from their graves.

“I think it’s just the headlights reflecting off the gravestones,” Davis said.

The cemetery is routinely patrolled by police, so it’s probably best to not check out that particular piece of local lore.

Woman wakes from two-year coma to identify her attacker 'as rare as it gets,' sheriff says

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS) — A Jackson County, West Virginia man is charged with trying to kill his sister who awakened from a two-year coma and identified her brother as her alleged attacker.Daniel Palmer III, 55, of Cottageville is charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding for the June 2020 attack that left his sister, Wanda Palmer, with life-threatening injur...

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS) — A Jackson County, West Virginia man is charged with trying to kill his sister who awakened from a two-year coma and identified her brother as her alleged attacker.

Daniel Palmer III, 55, of Cottageville is charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding for the June 2020 attack that left his sister, Wanda Palmer, with life-threatening injuries and led to her being in a nursing home in a coma for the last two years.

"From an investigator's standpoint, this is about as rare as it gets. I think it's a true testament to the perseverance and the strength of the victim herself," Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger said shortly after Palmer's arrest on Friday.

Wanda Palmer was found by neighbors unconscious with serious head injuries at her home on June 10, 2020. When deputies arrived, they found Palmer slumped over on her couch, unresponsive and severely injured, a criminal complaint filed in Jackson County Magistrate Court said.

"I wouldn't have wagered a nickel for her life that morning, she was in that bad of shape. Quite honestly, she was unconscious, circling the drain medically. Massive, massive amounts of head trauma, consistent with some sort of machete or hatchet-type injury," Mellinger said.

Mellinger also said investigators have not been able to recover the weapon.

Court documents said the brother and sister had a "violent history" and identified Daniel Palmer as a suspect early on in the investigation but said investigators did not have enough evidence to file charges until recently with the victim's statement that identified her brother as the person she said attacked her.

The court documents also indicated that investigators conducted an interview with Daniel. He denied any involvement in the crime and claimed he had not been to his sister's home in days. But a witness said they saw him in the front doorway of Wanda's home at midnight on the day she was assaulted.

"We've been all over the state trying to eliminate suspects, develop leads, execute search warrants. This hasn't been a stale case for two years but without any real credible information leading up to this. We had some persons of interest, but it takes some time to eliminate others and narrow it down and that's kind of where we were at," Mellinger said on Friday.

On June 27, a deputy received a call from Wanda's Adult Protective Services worker who informed the investigator that she had started to utter single words and seemed to appropriately respond when questioned.

On July 12, two deputies went to the nursing home facility she was being cared for in New Martinsville.

According to the criminal complaint, a deputy entered her room alone and started speaking with her, asking her open-ended questions. The deputy noted that Wanda recalled living in her trailer near her mother's home and that she also remembered being hurt there.

"She made mention of her head," the deputy wrote in the complaint, noting that was the area of her body where she was injured. The deputy reported she claimed the person who wounded her was her brother and then identified her brother as Daniel.

"When asked why Daniel assaulted her, Wanda stated that 'he was mean,' " the complaint said.

The deputy also stated that Wanda appeared "oriented" to her situation and her answers to questions were "coherent" and "relevant."

"She asked for prayer," the deputy said.

Community members and friends are stunned by the remarkable turn in the case.

"For her to be able to wake up and give the name, thank God. That's all I can say, thank God, because she definitely deserves justice. Definitely," Myssi Powers said.

Powers said she has known Daniel and Wanda for many years.

"The only thing I can say is, he's not a good person. He was not a good person. I know, just listening to other people talk, that he had been mean to Wanda in the past," Powers said.

It took hours once Daniel was in custody Friday morning to get him to cooperate enough to be arraigned by a magistrate. The magistrate had to physically come to the sheriff's office from the courthouse to do the arraignment because he was so combative.

Bond was set at $500,000, and he was taken to the South Central Regional Jail.

Forested area near Good Hope Landing along Edisto River protected, transferred to SC DNR

COTTAGEVILLE — A tract of nearly 150 acres of hardwood trees along the Edisto River — home to guarded bird species like the wood stork — was recently transferred to the state for conservation and is now protected.The property, situated adjacent to the popular Good Hope Landing, provides a number of wetland benefits: floodwater storage, wildlife habitat and protection of drinking water quality.Several rare, threatened and endangered species — such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and southern bald eagle, th...

COTTAGEVILLE — A tract of nearly 150 acres of hardwood trees along the Edisto River — home to guarded bird species like the wood stork — was recently transferred to the state for conservation and is now protected.

The property, situated adjacent to the popular Good Hope Landing, provides a number of wetland benefits: floodwater storage, wildlife habitat and protection of drinking water quality.

Several rare, threatened and endangered species — such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and southern bald eagle, the Atlantic sturgeon fish and Carolina birds-in-a-nest flower — call the space home.

Additionally, about a third of all state priority fish species are found in the surrounding Edisto River system.

And since this tract is immediately downstream from the landing, it is either the first or last site users see when they’re getting on or off the river.

The big hardwood trees there, probably second growth after being logged decades ago, have a huge impact on the landing’s users and are aesthetically important to protect, said Patrick Moore, a senior project manager at Open Space Institute.

The institute this month announced the land transfer to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The property sits across from the 1,375-acre Edisto River Wildlife Management Area, which the state also oversees.

The addition of this land to the wildlife management area means creating a safeguard of public and recreational access and drinking water for downstream communities, said Nate Berry, OSI’s senior vice president in South Carolina.

A number of groups chipped in to make the move possible, including the Waste Management company, the S.C. Conservation Bank and the Coastal Conservation League.

When environmentalists heard the property was going to be sold and possibly logged, OSI stepped in and purchased it to keep that from happening, Moore said. Waste Management contributed funds for the effort, too, and DNR secured a grant from the conservation bank for the transfer.

“Acquisition of this property will protect another important parcel along the Edisto, one of the longest, free-flowing rivers in the United States that provides critical habitat for game and non-game species,” said DNR Director Robert Boyles.

The Edisto is the longest blackwater river in the country, meandering some 250 miles from Edgefield and Saluda counties to the Atlantic Ocean at Edisto Island, according to the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Boyles said DNR is appreciative of partnering with the other organizations to provide more land where the public can enjoy outdoor activities. The river already has a 62-mile canoe and kayak trail that offers camping and picnic sites for single and multi-day trips, according to a news release.

With the addition of the property near Good Hope Landing, OSI has conserved more than 35,000 acres in South Carolina over the past five years.

Kayaking the Edisto River — South Carolina’s natural hidden treasure in the Lowcountry

“Hold still, little bird,” I muttered to myself as I squinted through the viewfinder of my camera. Despite my command, the bird refused to stay put on the branch as I tried to focus long enough to release the shutter. With a click I was the owner of yet another high-definition digital photo of … an empty tree branch.The object of my frustration on this day is a bright yellow prothonotary warbler, a migratory songbird that thrives in the flooded woodlands of the swampy rivers of the South Carolina Lowcountry....

“Hold still, little bird,” I muttered to myself as I squinted through the viewfinder of my camera. Despite my command, the bird refused to stay put on the branch as I tried to focus long enough to release the shutter. With a click I was the owner of yet another high-definition digital photo of … an empty tree branch.

The object of my frustration on this day is a bright yellow prothonotary warbler, a migratory songbird that thrives in the flooded woodlands of the swampy rivers of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Wintering in South America, the prothonotary warbler can be found in spring and summer in the Carolinas where breeding pairs can be spotted in trees along the riverbank or deep in the swamp. Its song is a bright twee-twee-twee-twee and as it darts among the low branches above the black water of a swamp, it seems to almost demand a photo.

This spring morning, as I paddle a quiet stretch of the Edisto River, a warbler darts among the branches of a low willow hunting snails and insects. With its yellow colors flashing like a lightning bug in daytime, I am compelled to stop once again and fill the memory card on my camera with photos of tree branches in an obsession that seems to amuse the little bird. Finally, both of us are relieved as I obtain a photo or two and both of us depart satisfied from the encounter.

The subject of my photo lives with others of his kind along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Edisto River that you can ever see. The Edisto River is the longest river system contained entirely in South Carolina. Rising from Saluda and Edgefield counties, the Edisto corkscrews 250 miles along the Lowcountry to the sea and forms the “E” of the critical ACE Basin water system.

Artesian wells and crystal clear springs bubble from the limestone bedrock along the upper river and near the coast it becomes a rich, blackwater river where deep swamps open to salt marsh horizons. To spend time kayaking or boating along the Edisto is to experience a special paradise on earth.

This section of warbler-haunted Edisto described above runs approximately seven miles from Good Hope Landing to Sullivan’s Ferry near Cottageville. Good Hope Landing is a beautiful, easily accessible boat landing that allows you easy access to the river. Its 10-foot sandy bluff is crowned by a majestic live oak and the river here is wide and relatively straight.

As the current carries you along you can spot an abundance of wildlife. Egrets and herons wade in the shallows, songbirds (including prothonotary warblers) inhabit the trees and in the water, terrapin, gar and even the elusive alligator can be spotted. The river is filled with redbreast bream, catfish and bass — making this a popular as a destination for anglers.

A few miles downstream there is a narrow portion, where willows grow close and fallen trees can snag unwary boaters or those floating along in innertubes, a favorite summer pastime for hundreds of visitors every year. At four miles, you will pass Long Creek Landing, another serviceable launching location, and shortly after will pass beneath the highway bridge of U.S.-17A at the privately owned Jellico’s Landing.

Up to this point, the Edisto has been wild and scenic with few houses or other reminders of human habitation. From the bridge at Jellico’s, well-sited river houses and cottages line the river and form the community of Sullivan’s Landing. Dating from at least as far back as 1820, Sullivan’s was one of many such river crossings in the Lowcountry before bridges and modern highways took hold. The 1820 record of the South Carolina state legislature reveals that the toll for Sullivan’s Ferry was “for every two-horse carriage, 50 cents … horse and rider, 10 cents, and 5 cents for every foot passenger and head of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats and hogs …”

Recently, I kayaked from Good Hope to Sullivan’s Ferry with a group of friends and we found the old ferry site to be far quieter that it might have been in 1820. We enjoyed a beautiful spring day with the smooth Edisto reflecting the deep blue of a sky filled with lazy clouds. Recent rains had raised river levels and we enjoyed exploring side channels into coves of swampy flooded forest and hidden oxbow lakes.

After many hours leisurely exploring and encountering wildlife, we arrived at Sullivan’s Ferry for the journey home. We were all of the opinion that this section of the Edisto River was the most beautiful we had ever encountered — and I am certain that you will feel the same way. Should you chance to encounter a little yellow bird in a willow tree, I am certain he will share his opinion of the river, too.

Good Hope Landing and Sullivan’s Ferry Landing are both located near Cottageville and are only a little over an hour’s drive from the Beaufort area. To get there, take Interstate 95 or U.S.-17-A to Walterboro and stay on 17-A to Cottageville. In Cottageville, turn left onto Pierce Road. At 4 miles, turn right onto State Road S-15-35 to the dead end at Good Hope Landing. Sullivan’s Ferry is located at the end of Sullivan’s Ferry Road approximately 3 miles from Cottageville just off 17-A. Both landings are managed by the South Carolina DNR and are well-maintained. There are no facilities, so pack accordingly.

The river in this section is swift when the water is up but very easy to manage, despite a few areas of overhang and snags. Careful preparation and good company will ensure you have a safe, enjoyable day on the water.

For more information, visit the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail site at https://ercktrail.org or obtain a detailed map at https://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/river/edisto-guide.html

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