Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests are found in Charleston County and Berkeley County just north of Charleston, South Carolina. More specifically, Sumter National Forest is in west-central and northwestern South Carolina while Francis Marion National Forest is in southeastern South Carolina. To access the forest, you can use several routes including US 17, 25, US 176, SC 41, SC 45, SC 72, and SC 10.
The closest urban areas close to the forest include Moncks Corner, Charleston, Edgefield, Union, Newberry, and Walhalla. The forest encompasses a total area of about 620,000 acres of land and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The forest was established on July 10, 1936. Several attractions draw visitors to the forest.
Some of these attractions include the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge Mountains, several archeological sites, 15 waterfalls like King Creek Falls, and the Chattooga River which is a designated Wild and Scenic River. The forest also has a famous seed orchard, and visitors can get to enjoy the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center, where people can learn about the red wolf.
Besides these attractions, guests can also enjoy several other amenities including boat ramps, dispersed camping, picnic sites, visitor center (at Francis Marion), trails (500+ miles), 26 campgrounds, ten shooting ranges, scenic drives, ten lookout towers, five wilderness areas, and an archeological site.
These amenities facilitate activities like hunting, fishing, boating, camping, canoeing, rafting, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, horseback riding, swimming, and ORV riding. The forest is also home to four officially designated wilderness areas that are a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
These areas include Wambaw Swamp Wilderness, Hell Hole Bay Wilderness, and Little Wambaw Creek Wilderness. Like other National Forests, visitors can bring their dogs into Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests. That said, visitors are always expected to maintain immediate control of their dogs and ensure that their dogs are well-behaved.