“New” Roxbury Park – Near Edisto

Recently opened to the public this 157-acre passive park along the Toogoodoo Creek offers nature lovers quite a treat.   Within Roxbury Park are eight unique ecosystems where birding and wildlife observation are excellent year round while hiking or biking along the well-maintained trails and/or canoeing or kayaking on the two large ponds or on Toogoodoo Creek.  This ecosystem diversity includes:  hardwood forest, loblolly forest, hayfield, brackish pond, freshwater pond, tidal creek with marsh and swamp.  For photos and information visit the website:  http://roxburypark.org/ecosystem-diversity.html.  Recently spotted hanging around the ponds and creek were Roseate Spoonbills and White Pelicans.

Roxbury Park is owned and operated by the Town of Meggett, which purchased the land in 2011 from a developer who had planned 60 homesites on the property.  Charleston County Rural Greenbelt funding was key in preserving this land, as was Meggett Town Council leadership, in particular the vision of conservationist, Tom Hutto.  Improvements to the park are on-going:  The boat launching facilities will be completed in Spring 2014, after which time canoes and kayaks will be allowed in the park.

The park is located on a tract that was once a part of Roxbury Plantation, at the intersection of Toogoodoo Creek and Highway 174, between Charleston and Edisto Island.

Directions from the Charleston area: from Highway 17 South turn onto Highway 174 and proceed until you cross the bridge over Toogoodoo Creek.  Immediately after crossing the bridge the gate to Roxbury Park is on your left.

The park is open to the public at no charge on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.  Please read the detailed guidelines for park usage on the website, but here are a few answers to your questions:

Yes, dogs are allowed on leash only. Fishing is permitted in both ponds on a catch-and-release basis only. A porta-potty is provided in the designated parking area.

Some upcoming planned activities at Roxbury include a series of fungi walks led by park manager, Ken Carman, at 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 21, 22, 28, and 29 – sign up on the park website, http://roxburypark.org/home.html.  Also, the CMNA is planning an excursion at Roxbury for late February-early March – stay tuned for details.  In the meantime, go for a visit and explore the well-marked trails. And refer your friends to the website and Facebook for Roxbury Park, the newest addition to our wonderful network of passive nature parks in the Greater Charleston area.