by Amanda Norcross
Half the fun of a stay at Edisto River Treehouses is getting there! You have to canoe or kayak your way to this treehouse hotel in Canadys, South Carolina. There’s a treehouse for up to six guests and another one for up to eight people, so families have some great options here.
Each treehouse is privately nestled along the river’s edge for total seclusion. All have kitchenettes with propane stove tops (and outside, propane grills), but there is no electricity here. Each unit has an outhouse. This is camping at its best!
Our Editor Loves
- Treehouses accessed by boat
- Off-the-grid camping experience
- Wildlife refuge
- Water Sports
Last June 2018 my daughter gave me this river trip for Father's Day. My daughter and I along with two teenage boys I've been mentoring for about eight years now, pulled up at the outpost in my jacked up 2001 Ford F150 that we call "Big Foot". After we unloaded some of our gear, one of the boys parked Big Foot in an area that looked to be marked off for parking on three sides with plastic tape beside a sign that read "PARKING". Meanwhile, the host lady was having a problem with my daughter's credit card and was snippy about it. Turns out it was their problem not ours. With the credit card problem resolved the lady came out of the office and wanted to know whose idea it was to park Big Foot inside the tape as there was some SCE&G electrical work scheduled to be done in that area at some future date. We apologized and moved the truck. As other river travelers began to arrive, I was informed by the gentleman host that I should park my truck perpendicular to the road, not parallel. OK. As the other folks unloaded and began to mingle, I sensed that they received a warmer welcome than we did. (I am not a sensitive person). It was then suggested by the gentleman host that I should move Big Foot to the other side of the road to make room for the crowds that would be arriving the next morning. After that there was one more move because the truck was not far enough away from the outpost. By now the safety briefing was about to begin. I arrived to find that they were waiting for me and I got the stink eye. I should note that I am a mayor of a small town and I know a stink eye when I see one. I apologized once again but it was a long walk from my fourth parking spot. The portage up river was standard. Once we were on our own, the trip was much more enjoyable. We stayed in the #2 middle tree house. It was rustic just as we expected and well stocked but not easily identifiable. They should mark it with a #2. The river access however was not what we had hoped for. There was a steep bank with lots of roots. It was not easy to take our loaded canoes out. The river at our location was too swift also with lots of roots and limbs, not good for swimming. The best part of the trip was the river itself. Our two days on the river were a great father daughter experience and a first for my boys. We started the second day of paddling early to beat the heat and the second day was as good as the first. There was no one at the outpost to help us take out, but thanks to the two strong young men with us, that was not a problem. There were no crowds in the parking lot, not even one additional vehicle, as I walked all the way to the far end to retrieve Big Foot. If paddling the river is the main reason for your adventure, I suggest taking a day trip. If you want to stay overnight and swim, don't get tree house #2. I am glad we did the trip for the memorable experience, but I would not do it again.
by Marc J
This was my second trip to the Large treehouse, and this time I brought along the grandmother and child, in addition to the wife. Both times have been just great. You spend 3-4 hours on the river, which is plenty. The water is clean and cool, great for swimming. Few bugs, several birds.
The large treehouse is plenty big, easily sleeping 4. The gas stoves indoor and outside worked great to make steaks for dinner and coffee in the morning. It's quiet and peaceful, with a little babbling brook to help you go to sleep at night.
Have only spent the one night there, honestly thinking about spending two nights so that you can just relax and read a book, go exploring, chill. The 11 am departure time comes quicker than you think, especially when you have to pack up everything back into the canoe.
Low risk of tipping over canoe, but I recommend dry bags for all your stuff. I also brought along a waterproof speaker for music, and a big usb battery pack to power a usb fan at night (middle of the summer is still hot at night). Bring sunscreen as most of the time on the river, you are in the sun. Plates, utensils, french press are all included. Large treehouse is hard to find, it's quite a bit down river of the first two, look for the life preserver in the tree, it's there!