The Sumter National Forest is made up of more than 371,000 acres in South Carolina. The land offers many outdoor opportunities, including hiking, fishing, paddling and much more. Here are BBOnline's recommendations for your trip:
Historic Russell Homestead
112 Andrew Pickens Circle
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
The Russell Homestead in the Sumter National Forest is listed on the National Historic Register. In the late 1800s, the Russell home was a busy Appalachian farmestead. The family provided overnight lodging and home cooked meals to those who traveled to this high land to get away from the hot summer. At times, 80 visitors would stay in the house all at once. The farm had 10 buildings besides the main house, including a blacksmith shop and a spring house. The house was destroyed by fire in 1988, and only the chimney remains.
This national forest is loaded with waterfalls that range from 12 to 75 feet in height, and all within a short distance of your Abbeville bed and breakfast. The King Creek Falls offers hikers a view of a 70-foot waterfall after a moderate hike. You will find a place to relax, rest and feel the spray of the falls. It is about a 40-minute hike. If you're a camera buff, you will enjoy the 50-foot Spoonauger Falls. The afternoon light of the summer months displays the best photo opportunities on this easy 20-minute hike. If you prefer a longer adventure, visit the Opossum Creek Falls. It has a 50-foot fall and the hike takes two hours one way.
Long Cane Ranger Distirct
810 Buncombe St.
Edgefield, SC 29824
You can also enjoy the forest on horseback. The Long Cane District, close to your Abbeville Inn, offers the 26.7 mile Long Cane Horse Trail. You'll see the United States' largest shagbark hickory tree, a historic cemetery and the famed Charleston Road on this ride. You might even get a look at some of the wildlife. Fell Camp is the trailhead, and it offers opportunities for hiking, birding, biking and other recreation.
Fishing Long Cane Ranger District
This district runs through Abbeville and offers fishing at its finest. The Savannah River has largemouth bass, crappie, striped bass, catfish and bream. For a scenic fishing spot, visit Turkey Stevens Canoe Trail. You'll find bream and redeye bass here. Parson's Mountain Lake has a boat ramp and the lake offers fishermen opportunities for bluegill, shellcrackers and largemouth bass. Lick Fork Lake Recreation Area has a host of catfish, a boat ramp and a barrier free fishing pier. If you're looking for a secluded area that offers great fishing, visit Fury's Ferry Boat Ramp.
The Forks Area Trail system offers a mountain biking experience that includes six stacked loops. Bikers and hikers have 34 miles of trials through interesting varieties of landscape. This area is closed during deer season, in mid-October. Price's Bottom is a recreational area that offers not only biking but also hiking and canoeing. Bikers can enjoy a ride on the Wine Turkey Trail and also the Modoc Trail. For a very scenic ride, there's the 5.7-mile Horn Creek Trail.
Abbeville offers close access to the Sumter National Forest and the fun, exercise and beauty it has to offer.