Nearly 259,000 acres between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, with the Santee River to the north and the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean to the east, offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities ranging from hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and camping, to OHV and canoe trails, and rifle ranges.
- Boggy Head Rifle Range, near Moncks Corner. 100-yard backstop, shooting tables for pistols, rifles or shotguns. Bring own paper targets.
- Buck Hall Recreation Area, near McClellanville. (Locator Map) The popular site on the Intracoastal Waterway and next to the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge offers boating, the Awendaw Creek Canoe Trail, family camping, fishing and picnicking. The Palmetto Trail (Awendaw Passage) mountain biking trail extends from the Buck Hall Recreation Area to the Swamp Fox Trailhead on U.S. 17.
- Canal Recreation Area, on S.C. 52 between Bonneau and Moncks Corner next to Lake Moultrie. Picnic tables and shelter, grills, vault toilets, water pump.
- Chicken Creek Canoe Trail, near McClellanville. 8.2-mile trail covers portion of the Santee River to Chicken Creek, back onto the Santee and up Wambaw Creek to the bridge at Echaw Road. Camping at Elmwood Recreation Area is nearby.
- Echaw Creek Canoe Trail, near McClellanville. A 3- or 6-mile route on a small blackwater tidal creek that winds through oak-hickory stands and cypress-tupelo swamps to the Santee River. Rated moderate to difficult. Camping on left side of creek (traveling downstream) permitted; right side is private land.
- Hellhole Bay Wilderness, near Cordesville. (Locator Map) The 2,125-acre opening in the forest offers a mile-long canoe trail during the wet season, and a muddy hike during the dry season. Primitive camping is allowed.
- Huger Recreation Area, on S.C. 402 near Huger Creek. Picnic tables and shelter, grills, boat ramp, spigot water, vault toilets.
- Jericho Horse Trail, near Moncks Corner. 19-mile loop is also open to mountain bikers. Primitive camping allowed with permit: (843) 887-3257 or (843) 336-3248 weekdays.
- I'on Swamp Interpretive Trail, near Charleston. A 2.5-mile moderate walk through a wetland traverses embankments built as far back as the 1700s to create a patchwork of fields for rice production. Open year-round, but from December through March, a large portion of the trail may be submerged to provide habitat for waterfowl.
- Sewee Shell Ring Interpretive Trail, near Charleston. A one-mile trail includes a 120-foot boardwalk overlooking a prehistoric shell mound, salt marsh, tidal creek and the Intracoastal Waterway.
- Tuxbury Horse Trail, north of Charleston off S.C. 41 west. 14-mile loop trail along old railroad logging trams is also open to mountain bikers and hikers. Picnic shelter, vault toilets.
- Twin Ponds Rifle Range, near Charleston. 100-yard backstop, shooting tables for pistols, rifles or shotguns. Bring own paper targets. - Wambaw Cycle Trail (North Loop) (South Loop), north of Charleston on U.S. 17. Figure-eight motorcycle, OHV and mountain bike trail. Allows tent camping. Vault toilets, picnic tables. $5 per OHV per day, $50 per person per season. (803) 561-4025.
- Wambaw Swamp Wilderness and Little Wambaw Swamp Wilderness, near McClellanville. (Locator Map) Oddly, Wambaw Swamp is listed as 4,815 acres and Little Wambaw Swamp is listed as 5,047 acres. Regardless, the swamps feature large bald cypress and water tupelo trees, wild orchids, pickerel weed and bladderwort. Includes the Wambaw Creek Canoe Trail (rated easy). There are no hiking trails, but Little Wambaw has remains of raised railroad tram lines that cross the area and may provide slightly higher ground for camping; camping at Elmwood Recreation Area is nearby.
Sumter National Forest
4931 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29212
Nearly 371,000 acres across three non-contiguous ranger districts offer outstanding hiking, boating, hunting and equestrian opportunities in the piedmont (Enoree, Long Cane), and numerous waterfalls (.pdf), hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and whitewater rafting and kayaking in the mountainous western edge of the state (Andrew Pickens).
- Cedar Creek Rifle Range, near Walhalla off Rich Mountain Road. Five shooting tables, including three under a shelter, accommodate targets at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards. Bring your own paper targets. Ten minutes from the Cassidy Bridge Hunt Camp.
- Chattooga Picnic Area and Fishing Pier, near Mountain Rest. Stone and timber picnic shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Wheelchair-accessible boardwalk, picnic area, tables and grills, accessible toilets. Adjacent to the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery and Ellicot Rock Wilderness (below). 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round. - Chatooga Wild and Scenic River. (More Information) With headwaters in North Carolina and stretches in Georgia and South Carolina, the 50-mile Chatooga is one of the longest and most spectacular free-flowing mountain rivers in the Southeast. Stretches of the river are open for tightly regulated whitewater canoeing and kayaking, and tubing. Licensed outfitters take boaters on Sections III and IV. The river is also popular for trout fishing, and the Chatooga Trail (moderately to extremely difficult) runs along the bank. A short trail from parking off U.S. 76 at the Georgia/S.C. state line (Locator Map) leads to an overlook at Bull Sluice, one of the most famous rapids, and access to the Chatooga Trail. - Ellicott Rock Wilderness, near Mountain Rest (Locator Map). South Carolina is home to about 2,859 acres of the 8,274-acre wilderness area shared with North Carolina (3,394 acres) and Georgia (2,021 acres). The steep terrain offers hiking, primitive camping, fishing, waterfalls and access to the Foothills Trail. Adjacent to the Chattooga Picnic Area and Fishing Pier (above) and Walhalla State Fish Hatchery.
- Rocky Gap and Willis Knob Horse Trails, near Walhalla. Rocky Gap covers 12.5 miles over several loops; Willis Knob is a single 15-mile loop. Trails cross deeply dissected ridges and descend into the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River corridor. Several access points allow trips of various lengths. Whetstone Horse Camp is nearby.
- Russell Farmstead, near Walhalla. Remnants of an 1800s farmstead listed in the National Register of Historic Places include outbuildings, sheds and spring house.
- Yellow Branch Picnic Area and Nature Trail, north of Walhalla on S.C. 28. Civilian Conservation Corps stone and wood shelter with picnic tables, pit toilet. A 0.4-mile loop hiking trail across the road goes to Yellow Branch creek. Stumphouse Tunnel Park and Isaqueena Falls are nearby.
- Broad River, western Chester County. Several boat ramps offer access to about 32 miles of the Board River in the forest, including at Woods Ferry Recreation area (below). The river is rated moderate, for novice paddlers or better. Small boats with motors may be used from Woods Ferry to the Neal Shoals Dam. Canoes and rafts are better for the remainder of the river. Primitive camping is allowed along the river with a permit.
- Buncombe Horse Trail, off I-26 at Exit 60 (S.C. 66). 31.5 miles of trail through forested hills and valley is also open to mountain bikers. Primitive camping along trail is allowed. $3, $25 annual pass. - Enoree OHV Trail, off I-26 at Exit 60 (S.C. 66). 23 miles of trail open to ATVs, dirt bikes and mountain bikes. Open last Friday in March through first Monday after January 1. $5, $50 season pass.
- Enoree River Canoe Trail. The 36-mile route has several access points. Water levels vary according to time of year and the amount of rainfall; difficulty ranges from beginner to novice. Canoes and flat-bottom boats less than 14 feet long are recommended. Primitive camping is allowed along the river with a permit.
- Jew's Harp Spring Hiking Trail, off Interstate 26 at exit 72, near Collins Creek Seasonal Camp. Short, easy walk (0.7 miles from Collins Creek Seasonal Camp; 0.2 miles from SR 45/Maybinton Road) to spring featuring granite bowl carved in shape of Jew's harp in 1800s. Water (not safe to drink) flows at rate of 3.5 gallons per minute to keep the bowl filled at all times but does not overflow. Molly's Rock Picnic Area (below) is nearby.
- Molly's Rock Picnic Area, off Interstate 26 at exit 72, near Collins Creek Seasonal Camp. Picnic shelter built by Civilian Conservation Corps on the site of an old homestead near a massive granite boulder known locally as Molly's Rock. Picnic tables, fireplace, one-acre fishing pond with wheelchair accessible fishing pier, short nature trail, large open playfield, drinking water, restrooms.
- Tyger River Canoe Trail. The 24-mile route has several access points. Water levels vary according to time of year and the amount of rainfall; difficulty ranges from beginner to novice. Canoes and flat-bottom boats less than 14 feet long are recommended. Primitive camping is allowed along the river with a permit. Sedalia Campground is nearby.
- Woods Ferry Horse Trail, near Chester. Nine miles of easy-to-moderate interconnecting loops offer rides of varying lengths over a primarly red clay terrain. Primitive camping is allowed along the trail with a permit.
- Woods Ferry Recreation Area, near Chester. (Locator Map) Offers picnicking (two picnic shelters and other tables), fishing, canoeing, camping, horse camping, horseback riding (see above) along the Broad River. Open year-round; no water available November 1 to March 31. No day use fee.
- Beaver Dam Rifle Range, near Edgefield. Covered right-handed, left-handed and accessible shooting benches for pistols and rifles with 25- and 100-yard backstops.
- Candy Branch Rifle Range, near Abbeville. Covered right-handed, left-handed and accessible shooting benches for pistols and rifles with 25- and 100-yard backstops.
- Cedar Springs OHV Trail, between Edgefield and Abbeville. 11.9 miles of trail for all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes. Two one-way loops and two-way connector; one section includes basketball-sized and larger rocks. Vault toilet, picnic tables. Open last Friday in March through first Monday after January 1. $5, $50 for season.
- Forks Area Trail System, off of S.C. 28 north of Augusta. 34 miles of mountain bike trails on six stacked loops ranging from 4 to 7.5 miles. Also available for hiking. Water, vault toilets, picnic tables. Closes for deer rifle season in October. No fee.
- Fury's Ferry Boat Ramp at Savannah River bridge near state line on S.C. 28. Provides access to river between Thurmond Reservoir and Stevens Creek Dam. Includes a small, shaded picnic area.
- Lick Fork Lake Recreation Area, near Edgefield. (Locator Map) Offers swimming, picnicking, boat ramp, fishing pier, hiking and camping on a nine-acre lake.
- Little River Boat Ramp, near Abbeville. Access to fishing along the backwaters of Thurmond Reservoir. - Long Cane Horse Trail, off S.C. 10 and S 24-47 near Abbeville. 26.7-mile loop trail through Long Cane Scenic Area passes the largest Shagbark Hickory tree in the United States. Also open to hiking, mountain biking. Camping available at Fell Camp, 66 sites at trailhead. Water, vault toilets, hitching post and tie rails, picnic shelter (can be reserved). $3.
- Modoc Trail, near Modoc. 5.5-mile trail (one way) on natural, packed clay for mountain biking and hiking along Stevens Creek. Paved parking lot, information board. Adjacent to Wine-Turkey Trail (below).
- Parson's Mountain Recreation Area, off S.C. 28 near Abbeville on 28-acre lake nestled below 800-foot summit. (Locator Map) Offers - camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming (with full bathouse), picnicking. $3 per vehicle.
- Parson's Mountain OHV Trail, off S.C. 28 near Abbeville. 10.9 miles (one way) for all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes. Two-way cut through allows riding single large loop or two smaller loops. Open last Friday in March through first Monday after January 1. $5, $50 for season.
- Price's Bottom, south of Edgefield off S.C. 23. Hiking, biking on the 12-mile Wine-Turkey Trail and 5.5-mile (one way) Modoc Trail, and canoeing on 12-mile Turkey-Stevens Canoe Trail.
- Woods Ferry Recreation Area, near Union. (Locator Map) Offers camping, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding and picnicking (tables, grills, shelter). Restrooms. April through October. No fees for day use.