About the Ashley River Project

BeesFerryRoad hcf photo The Ashley River Corridor, stretching north for approximately twelve miles along the Ashley River from Church Creek in Charleston County to Bacon’s Bridge Road in Dorchester County, is a special place in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  The corridor includes historic plantations and gardens, rural landscapes, churches, residences, archaeological sites and historic properties.  These individual components are divided among a number of governmental jurisdictions, but are all connected by a scenic road, a meandering river, and a shared past. The Ashley River Corridor is part of the region’s past and future, and efforts to protect it are entering their fourth decade.  Despite its appreciation by residents, landowners, conservation and preservation groups, suburban growth pressures continually threaten the unique character of the Corridor.

Butterfly Lakes, aerial

 In 2007, Historic Charleston Foundation received a grant from the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to expand the Ashley River Historic District, which was originally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The expanded district was designated in 2010 and now encompasses more than 23,000 acres.  The area that was most recently added to the National Register lies to the west of Ashley River Road (Highway 61).  This area is significant for its association with the inland rice culture that dominated the landscape, economy, and society of the Lowcountry in the 18th and early 19th century and for the phosphate mining industry that helped the region recover from the agricultural and economic upheaval during the Reconstruction era.  

Conservation Spotlight

Poplar Grove and Watson Hill: A Case Study In Coalition Building and Land Conservation

Two converging development threats in the Ashley River Corridor beginning in 2003 catalyzed a major conservation effort led by the Coastal Conservation League, Ducks Unlimited, the Lowcountry Open Land Trust and others…