Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests’ offices will close to observe Memorial Day

Release Date: May 23, 2022

Columbia, SC, May 23, 2022 — All Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests’ offices and ranger stations will be closed on Monday, May 30, in honor of Memorial Day.  We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, May 31, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We look forward to seeing you then!

As you, your friends, and family enjoy the great outdoors, help us keep recreation areas clean by taking with you any trash from your visit.  Also, if you arrive at your destination and there are too many people, we encourage you to have alternative destinations that you’ve always wanted to explore.  We want you to have an enjoyable experience and to help mitigate overuse impacts to high traffic areas.

Know Before You Go.  You are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.  Below are few recommended good habits.  Please exercise due caution while out on trails or near waterfalls to help ensure a safe experience for everyone:

  • Let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return.
  • Bring a map and a compass and learn how to use them to navigate.  Don’t rely only on your cell phone for navigation.
  • Bring a first aid kit with you in case of emergencies.
  • Bring plenty of water for you and everyone in your group, including pets, and remember to take frequent breaks during hot weather.
  • If traveling with pets do not leave them unattended in your car.
  • Wear good hiking shoes and appropriate clothing for the season.
  • Wear blaze orange while out in the forest during hunting season.
  • Check current and expected weather conditions before reaching your destination, and plan accordingly.
  • Keep your distance from local wildlife.
  • Pace yourself and know your limits; take breaks to prevent exhaustion.
  • Heed all posted warning signs at waterfalls.
  • Never jump off waterfalls or dive into waterfall pools, unseen hazards may lurk below the surface.
  • Never go into the water upstream from a waterfall; the current can pull you over the edge.
  • Enjoy waterfalls from a distance.

To protect public health and safety, all forest visitors are encouraged to:

  • Avoid visiting the forest if you are sick.
  • Follow the CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing. 
  • Stay at least six feet apart from others.
  • Stay out of closed areas and check https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/scnfs/home to see if your destination is open before you visit.
  • Please plan to use restrooms before or after your visit to the forest.  Not all sites on the national forests have restroom facilities (or some may be closed).  Unmanaged waste creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.
  • If an area is crowded, look for a less occupied location or return at a later time.  Consider avoiding the forest during high-use periods.

For more information about recreation opportunities on the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests, visit our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/scnfs or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scnfs.

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