US 301 between Sylvania, Georgia and Allendale,
South Carolina. The Savannah River runs along the state
line. As you cross the bridge heading south, look to your
right. The turnoff to the boat ramp is about 1/4 mile
south of the bridge.
I wouldn't recommend swimming here. The water
appeared dark and didn't smell very pleasant. As for me,
I'm not a big fan of water that's not chlorinated.
US 301 - Georgia/South Carolina Border
This isn't much of a destination, it's more of an interesting side
attraction I discovered back in 2003. I decided to take US 301 as
an alternate to the high speed madness of Interstate 95. For the
most part, I was all alone on this old stretch of 2-lane freeway that
used to be one of the primary routes from the northeast to Florida.
As I approached the state line (which is at
the top of a tall bridge that crosses the Savannah River) I glanced to
my right (heading north) and noticed a relic from the old highway's
history: a rusty drawbridge.
wasn't any old drawbridge, though. Instead of raising and
lowering, as most do, this one rotated out of the way. It had been
turned to the open position and left that way for years, maybe
(see the updates below)
I'm not sure why things like this are so
interesting to me, but I was intrigued enough to turn the car around,
cross back over into Georgia, then follow a side road down to a boat
ramp, which was right under the old bridge. There were a few
people in a boat, and a few more in the water. I ignored them and
went about taking pictures.
The approach to the old bridge drops off
abruptly (it's blocked so that no one will drive off the edge). I
thought it made for a good photo. It was so humid along the
riverbank, though, that my lens fogged up.
If I had brought a kayak or canoe, it would
have been fun to float over to the old bridge, then climb up it.
Not at all safe, but fun.
leave the bridge and continue north, you might notice the old road
running alongside the new one for several miles. It's overgrown,
and it would be impossible to drive on it, but the raised road might
make for an interesting hike.
Send me a note if you
anonymous visitor wrote me with this information about the abandoned
I believe these pictures you took
are the same place as the new
Greenway Trail. It is funny that I happened to find your post. It
has only been opened a few months now. It is a 4 mile trail that leads
from the Education Center all the way to the Savannah River. I believe
the old road you are talking of may be the road they turned into the
to USA Map
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I drove to Florida last year (2006) and took
this way to Florida and it was a much more interesting drive
than I-95. I saw this bridge also. Lots of good roadside
archeology from the 1950s and 60s and some great "non
franchised" food opportunities along this route.
originally from SC, and I remember the draw bridge in your
article being shown on TV a day or two after Hurricane Hugo
(1989). Yes, the bridge was made to opened side ways, instead of
up and down. Hurricane Hugo broke the bridge and twisted it into
the open position, and it could not be repaired.
--- J. Ray
I would not advise swimming in the water in
this area either. Not because the water is dark or because it
isn't chlorinated but black water rivers in this area are prime
alligator and water moccasin habitats.
update: This is not
the bridge that Ray J mentioned in his reply. The bridge that
was severely damaged by Hugo was the Ben Sawyer Bridge which
spanned the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway between Mount
Pleasant and Sulivans Island via SC Hwy 703. Like Ray J, I am a
South Carolinian, a Charlestonian to be exact! When Hugo hit I
was living in the Columbia area. I evacuated my mother from
Charleston just hours before Hugo hit. It was 2 1/2 weeks before
we could return her to her home which, surprisingly, sustained
--- Jim P.
I ride this stretch of Highway on my
motorcycle, just to go to Sylvania GA. and have lunch. the towns
along here are severely poverty stricken. But as you said it is
an interesting ride.
--- Carl Childers
I have enjoyed your comments about your trips to the
GA/SC border along US 301. I have travelled that road since the 1950's
although not so much anymore. The old swinging bridge was originally the
ONLY bridge -- I remember well when traffic went both ways on it. It was
a VERY narrow stretch of road and you had to hold your breath it seemed
when passing a tractor trailer truck. The road was supported by wooden
timbers, and the guard rails were very flimsy. I remember an old truck
wreck along that stretch (that is now blocked off). The remains of the
truck were just left where they lay, apparently they couldn't get it out
of the deep ravine, so they just left it there. Every year after we'd
look for it and note the advancement of the undergrowth. I suppose it
may still be there,
Eventually, sometime in the late '60s I think, they
built the new bridge that is now in use. It became the southbound side
and the swinging bridge was the northbound side for a number of years.
The attached picture was made in the late '70s, not long before the old
bridge was completely closed. I suspect the wooden supports were needing
replacement and there was just not enough traffic to justify the cost.
It was very sad to see the deterioration of businesses
and livelihoods along 301 after I-95 opened. Of course, for the owners
of those places, it was way more than sad, it surely must have been
devastating. I can remember dozens of places that are now mostly in
ruins, some left no trace at all.
--- Erbie James