Camping & Cabins

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Get a Free Dispersed Camping Permit

Dispersed camping is primitive camping (like backpack camping or canoe camping) that occurs outside of developed campgrounds and within the general forest. RV and car camping are not allowed as dispersed camping. Camps should be at least 50 feet from water and trails, and ½ mile from any road or parking lot. No permit is required for dispersed camping on the Andrew Pickens district in the mountains.

Visitors who wish to disperse camp on the Long Cane, Enoree or Francis Marion ranger districts need to complete free permit below. Please include your name, e-mail address and mobile number and sign electronically.  Then email the completed form to the appropriate ranger district below.

Once approved, you’ll receive a signed Dispersed Camping Permit back via email. Please print off a copy of your signed permit and keep it on you while camping. Your permit must be approved before you can go dispersed camping. Incomplete permits will not be approved. Please abide by the rules and regulations outlined in the permit and enjoy your stay on your national forests!

Due to the volume of requests, submit your permits at least 24 to 48 hours ahead of your planned time dispersed camping to allow sufficient time to process the permit. Requests for weekend camping should be submitted by Thursday at noon to ensure time for processing.

Download a Primitive Camping Permit

Email your completed Dispersed Camping Permit application to the below address or call for more information:

Francis Marion Ranger District: SM.FS.fmrd@usda.gov; or call (843) 336-2200

Enoree Ranger District: alice.riddle@usda.gov ; or call (803) 276-4810

Long Cane Ranger District: glen.kansanback@usda.gov ; or call (803) 637-5396

There are no cabins for rent on the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests.

Camping is allowed in developed campgrounds and in designated primitive sites. Visitors who wish to camp outside these areas (dispersed camping) may obtain a free permit from the local district offices on the Long Cane, Enoree and Francis Marion districts. No permit is required on the Andrew Pickens district for dispersed camping.

Many of our campgrounds are available for reservation on recreation.gov. Some campgrounds have campsites available on a first-come-first-served basis. Campgrounds that require a fee for camping will have a self-serve pay station. 

Campfire permits are not required. However, please check with the local district office about fire conditions.

2019 Recreation Fee Increases

Areas & Activities


https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/scnfs/recreation/camping-cabins