Old Towne Creek County Park

Old Towne Creek County Park, located on Old Towne Road in West Ashley, is a 67-acre former estate dotted with open fields mixed among groves of Live Oaks. It offers views of South Carolina’s first English settlement at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and the winding Old Towne Creek and surrounding salt marsh. 

For several years, the site was known as Ashem Farm. It was home to Charleston preservationists Ashby Farrow, Emily Ravenel Farrow, and “Miss Em’s” St. Andrews Riding Academy. 

In 2005, Mrs. Farrow established a conservation easement with the Historic Charleston Foundation to protect the property from future development. With her death in 2011, Ms. Farrow gifted her land to Lowcountry Land Trust, with the understanding that Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission would acquire the land as a public park. Aligned with CCPRC’s Mission, the easement stipulates that the site must provide public benefits, such as scenic views, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, education, and historic preservation. Mrs. Farrow’s actions have ensured that future generations of people and wildlife could enjoy all the resources Old Towne Creek has to offer. Following Ms. Farrow’s wishes, Lowcountry Land Trust will be constructing its headquarters office immediately south of Old Towne Creek County Park, on a neighboring portion of the original Ashem Farm property. CCPRC and Lowcountry Land Trust have mutually coordinated with the Historic Charleston Foundation for the past several years to ensure that the planning of this vital property best exemplifies Ms. Farrow’s vision for conservation and public access.

We are well on our way to creating a welcoming space with accessible trails and boardwalks, scenic marsh views, a nature-inspired playground, and opportunities to learn about the site’s history and ecology.


Phase I Development  

In Phase 1 of park construction, work will include interior and exterior renovations of one of the former buildings; roof replacement of existing stable buildings; construction of a new restroom/pavilion building; a new maintenance building; boardwalks, fencing, and gates; a paved vehicular entry and deceleration/turning lane on Old Towne Road; a pedestrian entrance; parking areas, concrete sidewalks and paths; crushed stone pathways; lush landscape areas; wayfinding signage; natural and cultural history interpretation signage; a small amphitheater; playground; site lighting; installation of water and sewer services; IT infrastructure; and the reconstruction of an existing impoundment for wildlife habitat enhancement.


Latest Update

January 16, 2024

Exciting progress has been made on the construction of Old Towne Creek County Park. Much work has been done on the new walking trails, and when complete the new park will feature over a mile of trails. The renovation has also begun on the existing building, historically called “The Rain Hut”, which will be the Park Center when complete. Foundation and slab work has also begun on the park’s Learning Center building. In addition, work continues on the dike within the park that will become part of the walking trail system. The park is on track to open in 2025.

Birds-eye view of the master plan for Old Towne Creek County Park

Digital rendering of a future office building, covered shelter, playground and walkways

Digital rendering of a walkway, entrance and covered shelter

Timeline

September 2023

A construction entrance was created along Old Towne Road and informational banners went up that included renderings of the park. In addition, preliminary groundwork was done for the gas, water, sewer, electrical, and IT lines. 


Giving Tree

Another unique aspect planned for the park is the creation of the Charleston County Parks Foundation Giving Tree, an outdoor art installation that allows people to purchase a custom engraved leaf or other adornments that will be placed on the installation to recognize loved ones while supporting the mission of the Foundation. Pre-sales to the public start May 16, visit our Giving Tree page for more information.