The town of Edgefield has taken pride in the political initiative of its native sons for nearly 200 years and today dubs itself the "Home of Ten Governors." This legacy began in 1816 with Gov. Andrew Pickens II, who was instrumental in the construction of South Carolina's roads and canals. Perhaps the best known of those hailing from Edgefield was James Strom Thurmond (1902-2003), a state governor, presidential candidate and oldest person ever to serve in the U.S. senate. Thurmond retired in 2003 at age 100 and passed away in Edgefield six months later.
To learn more about Thurmond and his hometown gubernatorial predecessors, your best bet is to hit the Ten Governors Rail-Trail. Stretching from town nearly 1 mile southeast to Slade Lake, the trail features 10 granite markers, each providing a biographical narrative of a governor hailing from the area.
Like many rail-trails, this one is popular with walkers, runners, inline skaters and cyclists. What sets it apart, aside from history, is that it remains lighted and open for 24-hour use.
From the trailhead parking area at Main and Mims streets, the 10-foot-wide, paved path winds past ballparks, neighborhoods and trailside benches before crossing a long, wooden bridge (formerly a railroad trestle). The otherwise flat trail descends steeply for a short stretch, then curves toward Slade Lake, where it skirts the shore along a bridge. The lake's fishing pier and boat launch are open to the public (fishing permitted Wednesdays and weekends April-November).
Parking and Trail Access
Take I-20 to Exit 18 and head north on SR 19/Edgefield Highway. In Trenton, SR 19 becomes US Highway 25/Augusta Road, which enters downtown Edgefield as Main Street. Park in the lot on the south side of the Main and Mims Street intersection.
Town of Edgefield
400 Main Street
Edgefield, SC 29824