South Carolina’s Sumter National Forest is a popular recreational area for hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. The Enoree Ranger District is located in the central piedmont area, a short drive from major population centers in Columbia and Greenville. Fishing is allowed in the three major rivers that flow through the national forest as well as in a number of small lakes. Fishing areas are managed in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. A valid South Carolina fishing license is required for fishing on national forest land.
A small fishing pond is located at Molly’s Rock Picnic Area, once the site of a plantation home. The one acre pond was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Ranger District manages it for catfish, and there is a 5 fish limit. A fishing pier and restrooms are available onsite. No boating or swimming is allowed in the lake. Molly’s Rock is located north of Newberry off US Hwy 176 and Forest Service Road 387.
Canoes and flat bottom boats less than 14 feet in length are recommended in the Broad, Tyger, and Enoree Rivers that flow through Sumter National Forest. Woods Ferry Recreation Area, near the town of Leeds, allows easy access for fishing and boating in the Broad River, on the eastern side of the national forest. Restrooms, water, and picnic facilities are available in the day use area. Overnight camping is also allowed. River access is also available at the Broad River Boat Ramp east of Monarch Mills. Fishermen wanting to launch small boats on the Tyger River can use the gravel boat ramp at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, located off SC Hwy 16. An easy access concrete boat ramp is available at Beatty’s Bridge off US Hwy 176 south of Union. The Enoree River may be accessed at several points in the national forest. Ramps are located at Jones Bridge on SC Hwy 98, and on Forest Service Roads 336A and 339.
Several small lakes in Sumter National Forest are managed for a variety of fish including channel catfish and largemouth bass. Only electric motors are allowed on these lakes. The Johns Creek Lake Complex is located near Cross Keys off SC Hwy 18 and Forest Service Road 347. Sedalia Lake is located near Johns Creek Lake off the same road. Wildcat Lake is also off Forest Service Road 347. Macedonia Lake is located off Forest Service Road 444, approximately 12 miles west of Union. Pittman Lake is located northeast of Whitmire off Hwy 72 and Forest Service Road 434. Maps of Sumter National Forest are available for purchase in district offices and online.