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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division


Maritime Heritage Trails

The Maritime Research Division manages both the Cooper River and Ashley River Maritime Heritage Trails.

The Maritime Research Division manages two interpretive heritage trails: The Cooper River Heritage Trail and the Ashley River Heritage Trail.  These trails provide a unique opportunity for the public to experience a variety of maritime sites that serve as a representation of the many submerged and foreshore archaeological sites in South Carolina.  Through these trails, visitors are able to see sites in native riverine environments, giving an added dimension to the history of South Carolina. Several of the sites along the trails have been used for maritime archaeology training courses offered through the Division as well as other organizations to teach archaeological recording techniques.  Both trails are now designated Marine Protected Areas through NOAA's Marine Protected Areas Center. Diver and paddlers are encouraged to take a self-guided tour of the trails to learn about the local maritime history using information provided on trail slates available for download from each trail's webpage.

The Ashley River Heritage Trail

The Ashley River Heritage Trail is a canoe/kayak trail on which eight maritime archaeological sites are exposed at low tide.

The Cooper River Heritage Trail

The Cooper River Heritage Trail is an underwater diving trail consisting of six sites that range from a Revolutionary War British gunboat to a 19th century barge.

Related Information

2003. Spirek, James & Harris, Lynn. "Maritime Heritage on Display: Underwater Examples from South Carolina." Submerged Cultural Resource Management: Preserving and Interpreting our Sunken Maritime Heritage. Spirek, James & Scott-Ireton, Della (eds.). Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York, New York. pp. 165-176.