Welcome to the website of Carolina Heritage Outfitters located in the Middle of the Edisto River in South Carolina. The owner Chris Burbulak and along with our CHO Crew invite you to call us or email us with any questions you may have about an Adventure on the Edisto. Whether it’s a wilderness canoe trip in the Cypress Trees of the Edisto or a relaxing and quite stay in one of our three man made Treehouse would love to have you as our guest.
Founded in 1989, Carolina Heritage is the original outfitter and the only treehouse camping on the Edisto River. The 48-acre Edisto River Refuge’s walking trails: some large, others mostly deer trails.
Whether floating down the Edisto on the way to your private overnight site, walking the trails, or relaxing on the deck of your private treehouse, you are in a fragile ecosystem, an annual flood plain (thus Tree houses). Great blue heron, egrets, wood storks, pileated woodpeckers, wood ducks, wild turkey, deer, muskrats and raccoon are residents on the refuge. Frogs and owls serenade.
Treehouse Adventure F.A.Q.S
What time do we arrive in the a.m.?
We have only one treehouse shuttle a day, so we ask everyone to be here at 9:30 am. That gives you time to paddle the 13 miles to the treehouse with plenty of daylight.
Do you recommend nearby camping/lodging if we drive in the night before?
When you reserve, we e-mail you camping/motel/B&B recommendations.
There are only two of on my trip, does that mean we are only able to book the small treehouse or if that is already taken could we use one of the bigger houses if it is available?
Yes, on any night but Saturday, 2 people can book any treehouse available for the price of just two… except for Saturday nights, which can be booked by two for the price of two only when booked 1 week in advance of that Saturday. If ever you’d like to book, please give me a call, as I take cc info over the phone, which is also a great time to answer questions.
Canoes- is it one or 2 people per canoe?
We have 2-person canoes.
How to Prepare for Rain and Thunderstorms?
Always prepare for rain, whether or not it is predicted. Regarding thunderstorms, they are predicted almost every summer afternoon, but often don’t materialize. If they do, remember you are on a river where all the trees are taller than you, so if something is going to be struck, it is probably not you. My philosophy is to stay comfortable and as dry as possible; if that means getting off the river and bundling up, then so be it. Typically around here thunderstorms don’t last long. I’d suggest wearing a big floppy hat or a baseball cap and bringing a raincoat with a hood (keeps the rain out of your neck), possibly even an umbrella. That’s what I do.
The treehouses include comfortable amenities, but they are constructed deep in the swamp where water is not piped in. As in other sorts of camping, canoeists carry in their own drinking water and use the river water for washing up. We do have nice outhouses.
Mosquitoes are totally rain dependent out here, so it’s hard to tell. They’re typically not bad, and a can of spray does fine: there are no mosquitoes on moving water; once in, tiki torches on the dining decks contain citronella, and the treehouses are screened. Mosquitoes appear with the warm weather, but we never have gnats or biting flies. When mosquitoes do appear, it can happen spring, summer or fall. Typically there’s not an outbreak, but we always recommend carrying bug spray.
Why Canoes Instead of Kayaks?
Not only do canoes have more overnight storage capacity, but… the Edisto has many sharp curves, and our canoes handle them easily; long kayaks don’t turn well on sharp curves with a moderate to strong current. Only short kayaks (8′ or so) can handle the curves handily, and they don’t have storage capacity.
When is the best season to come?
In the summer people who come to the river love to swim; there’s a ‘lazy river’ float around treehouse island that takes about 45 minutes, which some folks do over and over. While summer is hot, it’s cooler here than anywhere else around. Spring and fall are both great times for bonfires and hiking the property. Since the water is typically a few feet higher and faster than in summer, spring and fall requires more canoeing skills.
The web site says we may see alligators… but then it also says you can swim….
There are very few gators up here: rarely do paddlers or fishermen see one. The few that are here typically hang out in the swamp rather than the river. Last year our guests saw 2 gators (some wanted to see more). People come up to here to swim. In the summer the water is shallow and you can see right into it.
If we’re flying in, do you provide coolers?
Our guests come from all over the country. We are happy to lend you whatever you need.
Why do you recommend children be 11 years old? Any leeway on that?
Not much, in all honesty.
But, given that, there are times that slightly younger children may accompany your group on the river. When the water is low and warm in the summer, children as young as 8 might accompany adults if there is one adult per child and the adult is a good and strong canoeist.
When you’re closed in winter, do you still answer phones for reservations and gift certificates?
We do. If you leave a message we’ll usually return your call by the end of the day. If not, we‘re on vacation, so please give us a day or so to respond 🙂
Is there any cell service in case of emergency?
Yes, there’s decent (not excellent) cell service with Verizon. Usually it works well. Others work fairly well on messaging.
What is the cancellation Policy?
Weather: The weather forecast in this area will probably call for some percentage of rain and thunderstorms, and you’ll want to be prepared for that. Normal for this area is 40-80% chance of rain and thunderstorms every day, typically brief in duration. It is your option to reschedule or cancel with refund if rain and thunderstorms are predicted at 90% or more by weather.com for zip code 29477, 2 days or less in advance of your arrival date. If we should close river trips and treehouses due to flooding, you have the option to reschedule or receive a refund.
Personal: Reservations may be cancelled for any reason at least 45 days in advance of your trip for a full refund less the 6% credit card company fee for processing your deposit twice. Please note that no refunds for any reason are given if cancellation is 45 days or less prior to the adventure. A funeral or medical emergency is unfortunately within that. But…
If we’re able to re-rent your treehouse, we will refund your deposit. If we can’t re-rent, then both you and we share the financial loss, as we receive only 50% of anticipated revenue. Rescheduling at the last minute means that the treehouse sits empty when others might have been able to rent it. You may want to consider travel insurance to protect yourself in case of personal emergencies.