"A" is for Ashley River Road
"A" is for Ashley River Road. The Ashley River Road--one of the oldest roads in South Carolina--began as a Native American trading path, paralleling the Ashley River, and later served the colonists of the original Charles Town settlement. The Lords Proprietors authorized the road in 1690. The modern road consists of an approximately fifteen-mile portion of S.C. Highway 61. During the colonial era, numerous plantations lined the route. In 1721 a law was passed to protect the shade trees along its route—a forerunner of modern ordinances that protect trees and require buffers. Scenic sections of the eleven-mile segment from Church Creek to S.C. Highway 165 are still canopied by forests festooned with Spanish moss. The Ashley River Road was designated a State Scenic Byway in 1998 and a National Scenic Byway in 2000.