Sumter National Forest in South Carolina offers many opportunities for recreational activities. The Enoree District covers a large area in the central part of the state including sections of Newberry, Laurens, Union, Chester, and Fairfield Counties. Activities that visitors may enjoy include hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and camping.
A 36 mile section of South Carolina’s Palmetto Trail passes through the Enoree District. The Palmetto Trail will eventually run from the mountains in the northern part of the state to the coast. The trail crosses the Enoree River and several creeks. It also passes scenic Sedalia, Macedonia, and Johns Creek lakes, which are excellent fishing spots. Another popular trail is the Jew’s Harp Spring Hiking Trail in Union County. The spring once provided water for a 19th century plantation, Orange Hall, now in ruins. The trailhead is located at Collins Creek Seasonal Camp. Water from the spring is unsafe to drink.
The Buncombe Horse Trail is located in Newberry County. This 31 mile trail winds through hills and valleys, passing points of interest such as plantation sites and old cemeteries. Hikers and mountain bikers are also welcome on the trail, which is open all year. The area offers an excellent opportunity to view wildlife. There is a $3 day use fee.
The Enoree District of the forest offers a challenging off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail for ATVs and dirt bikes. Maximum vehicle width is 50 inches. There are 23 miles of trail, but the interconnecting loop sections allow riders to choose the length of their ride. The OHV trail is open from the last Thursday in March each year to January 1 of the following year. The trail is accessed near the town of Whitmire. There is a day use fee of $5 per OHV.
There are several popular fishing areas in Sumter National Forest. The National Forest Service maintains four boat ramps on the Broad River. The Enoree River and the Tyger River are suitable for canoes and flat bottom boats. Sedalia Lake, Johns Creek Lake, and Pittman Lake are good spots for fishing. The Molly’s Rock Picnic Area also has a small pond that is stocked with fish. There is a fishing pier, as well as a nature trail and restrooms.
Hunting is allowed in the national forest in season. The abundant wildlife makes this one of the best hunting area in the state. Target shooting is available at the Fair Forest Rifle Range, the Indian Creek Rifle Range, and the Philson Crossroads Rifle Range. Collins Creek, Rocky Branch, and Herbert Seasonal Camps are open during hunting season. Sedalia Campground, Brick House Campground, and Woods Ferry Recreation Area are open for camping year round.
The mild weather in central South Carolina allows for the enjoyment of outdoor recreational activities year round. Visitors to the Enoree District of the Sumter National Forest have plenty of activities from which to choose.