Recreation & Sports
With a four-season climate conducive to almost any outdoor sport, Sumter is known for the active lifestyles of its citizens. Abounding in scenic beauty, the area is an irresistible enticement for nature lovers, and state-of-the-art recreational facilities offer the chance to enjoy a wide variety of sports.
With five courses in Sumter County and more than 40 others within an hour's drive, Sumter is the sweetest spot to golf! Sumter's courses offer a challenge to golfers of every skill level, and our mild four-season climate is great for year-round play. Sumter's own golf courses are Beech Creek Golf Club, Links at Lakewood and Crystal Lakes. There are also private courses, Carolina Lakes at Shaw AFB and Sunset Country Club.
World famous Swan Lake Iris Gardens features all eight known swan species and the most intensive plantings of Japanese iris in the United States, with over a mile and a half of trails to get in your steps or just for just a leisurely walk with your camera.
If the great outdoors is your way to keep fit, we have plenty of nature to explore. Try fishing at Poinsett State Park, Second Mill Pond, or Pack’s Landing. All locations are open to the public. Pack’s Landing, south of Pinewood, also provides private hunting and fishing excursions. In addition to fishing, Poinsett State Park offers 1,000 acres dotted with beautiful cabins, campsites, rentable paddle boats, paddle boards, and even a facility to host gatherings. Manchester State Forest is approximately 28,675 acres and is a great place to explore. If you are into mountain biking, trail riding, OHV, fishing, hunting or you just need to practice at the rifle and pistol range, this adventure is for you. You'll also find annual equestrian, mountain biking and enduro events in this area. Additionally, the Wateree, High Hills of the Santee, and Lake Marion passages of the SC Palmetto Trail can all be found in Sumter, South Carolina!
Lake Marion offers 100,000 acres of prime fishing. The Lynches River and Woods Bay State Natural Area are a breathtaking trip for paddling enthusiasts. Neighboring Lake Wateree Recreation Area has been a favorite of Shaw families for generations, with cabins and boat rentals available in season, picnic pavilions, RV sites and a recreation center. Active-duty military, military retirees, reservists, National Guardsmen, and current Department of Defense employees and their immediate family members provided they carry a DOD identification card are authorized to use the facility, as well as sponsored guests (the sponsor must be present on the grounds).
Sumter boasts more than 30 parks, from quiet "green spaces" to fully-equipped outdoor sports complexes. Palmetto Tennis Center is one of the largest public tennis complexes in South Carolina. It boasts 24 state of the art tennis courts and is lit for night play. Three on-site tennis pros offer private lessons and group clinics for beginner to advanced players. Other amenities include two ball machines, stringing service, restrooms and pro shop. Admission for regular play is free of charge! The City of Sumter Aquatics Center offers family swimming, exercise classes, lifeguard training and more. This center meets requirements for competition swim meets and equipped with swim lanes, slide, and wade-pool entrance with fountain and hosts an annual Triathlon. Dillon Park features soccer, football, softball, golf (at adjacent Crystal Lakes Golf Course), a walking track and equestrian ring. For exercise walkers, the Cypress Trail offers more than a half dozen routes throughout various areas of Sumter County. Boating, golfing, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and horseback riding come naturally to most residents and visitors.
Youth sports programs, like football, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, double dutch, golf and more can be found through the Sumter County PARD program. Where they also offer senior programs, after school and summer programs and various activities at over nine community centers around the county.
For more information on recreational opportunities, please call the Sumter Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visitors Center) at (803) 436-2640.