National Forest Foundation

Our Forests

Find a Forest

Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests

The Francis Marion National Forest and the Sumter National Forest, although managed together, are located in different areas in South Carolina. With a combined area of more than 600,000 acres, these Forests offer a diverse landscape.

At 252,368 acres, the Francis Marion National Forest is named for the Revolutionary War General Francis Marion, and is located in Berkeley and Charleston counties. The Sumter National Forest is comprised of over 365,000 acres in the northwest corner of the state, among three Ranger Districts: Enoree, Long Cane, and Andrew Pickens.

The Sumter National Forest is part of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, which also covers area in North Carolina and Georgia. The mountainous terrain ranges in elevation from 1,240 feet above sea level at the southeastern edge along the Chattooga River to 3,672 feet on Glade Mountain in North Carolina.

The Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests provide many opportunities to fish and canoe or paddle, from the white water of the Wild and Scenic Chattooga to the peaceful black water of Wambaw Creek. The Chattooga River is a Wild and Scenic River, and is the fastest flowing white water river in the east.

In the Sumter National Forest, three rivers flow through the Enoree Ranger District: Broad River, Enoree River, and Tyger River. While in the Andrew Pickens District, you'll find 15 waterfalls, up to 75 feet in height. The Francis Marion National Forest features three canoe trails: Chicken Creek, Echaw Creek, and Wambaw Creek.

The Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests provide some of the best year-round birding opportunities in South Carolina. The forests encompass all major habitat types in the mountains, piedmont, and coastal plain.

There are many recreation opportunities and amenities, including picnic spots, hunting, fishing, rifle ranges, trails.

These lands offer a diverse history. Cherokee and other tribes of Native Americans hunted and built villages in this region. Revolutionary War battles were won and lost. Farmers toiled in the fields, and family-owned companies harvested timber. Irish immigrants built railroads and tunnels, while others mined gold.

Make sure you stop in the Sewee Center to learn more about the unique heritage and natural history of South Carolina's low-country.

South Carolina Forests

First-timer’s Adventure

Hike to the King Creek Falls. This 70-foot tumble through a laurel-choked gorge is on King Creek. After a moderate 30-minute hike, you will reach a spot where you can relax all day long and enjoy the spray from the falls. Perhaps it is the backward slant of the rocks, but in any case the drop appears to be much higher than 70 feet.

Statistics

State(s):

South Carolina

Nearest Large Urban Area(s):

Columbia, Charleston

Notes & Conditions:

A Wildlife Management Area permit is required to hunt on National Forest land. Consult the rules and regulations for hunting and fishing in South Carolina. They are published annually and are available from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.