Parks & Trails
Sumter abounds in scenic beauty, an irresistible enticement for nature lovers. Family fun and relaxation, adventures in challenging the elements, and everything in between awaits the traveler. Our scenic beauty and sun-soaked climate offer the best in outdoor fun year round, and there's always something exciting to do! Located in the Midlands Plain region of the state, Sumter County's verdant woods, rushing rivers and scenic lakes quicken the blood and delight the senses.
Boating, birding, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and horseback riding come naturally to most residents and visitors. The world-famous Swan Lake Iris Gardens feature all eight known swan species and the most intensive plantings of Japanese Iris in the United States. Manchester State Forest is home to Poinsett State Park, annual equestrian events, mountain biking and ATV trails, the High Hills Extension of the SC Palmetto Trail and some of the best hunting in the state. The Lynches River and Woods Bay State Park offer a breathtaking trip for paddling enthusiasts. Woods Bay State Park is one of the mysterious "Carolina Bays," whose origins are still a puzzle to scientists. Sumter is also home to the award-winning Sumter High School Environmental Center, which has been named as a National Wildlife Habitat and received the 2006 SC Wildlife Federation Conservation Award in Education.
Deer, quail, duck, wild boar, pheasant and turkey abound in the dense forests of Sumter County. With an exceptionally long deer season, privately managed quail lands and excellent waterfowl hunting in the Santee Swamp, Sumter is a paradise for the outdoor sportsman.
Year-round fishing is a pleasure at Lake Marion, part of the Santee-Cooper lake system that sprawls across more than 110,000 acres in Sumter, Clarendon, Orangeburg and Berkeley Counties. The lake teems with largemouth and striped bass, catfish and crappie. It is accessible from Sumter County via Packs Landing, Rimini Landing and Sparkleberry Landing.
Wildly popular among international and domestic visitors with its moss-draped cypress trees, 150 birds species and diverse eco-system, Sparkleberry Swamp is considered to be one of the most beautiful swamps in South Carolina. Need a kayak or canoe? Schedule a group or private tour through Blueway Adventures and they'll provide all you need.
Take an outdoor journey through Sumter…it's the natural thing to do. Visit our Discover Sumter Map to explore the location of places to stay and play in Sumter, South Carolina!