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Botany Bay Driving Tour open, beach to reopen in July

The driving tour portion of Botany Bay Plantation is now open to the public, with plans by state officials to hopefully reopen the beach to the public the end of July.
The now public coastal plantation was closed from the significant damage it sustained from Hurricane Matthew. The October 2016 storm left the plantation riddled with debris and damage, with much of the historic park initially impassible to state crews.
Now, the self-guided map and driving tour of the plantation is re-open. This is an “at your pace” tour that any visitor can take after first checking into the guest station.
According to state parks officials, a construction crew is expected to soon begin repairs to the bridge on the property. That bridge is the causeway to the once shell-covered beach portion of the plantation. These bridge repairs are expected to be complete by the end of July, according to officials with the S.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
Until the beach reopens, officials are not confirming how much of the beach might be lost to erosion from last season’s hurricane.
Historic remains of the plantation’s original plantation house are still intact and can be viewed by visitors on the driving tour. Much of the property’s other original sites – including a manmade lake, monuments, and markers for its sites and an original well - are also still intact and can be seen on the driving tour.
Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area is located on Botany Bay Road on Edisto Island, only a few miles from coastal Edisto Beach. It was deeded to the state and once part of a once-privately owned property. Now, the property is managed and run by the state’s public parks program. Monetary donations from the public and visitors are accepted at the entrance.
Botany Bay wasn’t the only coastal park to be closed after Hurricane Matthew. Many parts of Huntington Island State Park in Beaufort also recently reopened to the public after being closed since October. As of early June, the park’s gift shop, most of the walking trails, the lighthouse and the nature center are now open. A portion of the beachfront pier is also reopening to the public.

Heather Walters (1297 Posts)