Passes & Permits
Permits are required for:
- Selling any merchandise;
- Posting or distributing any handbill, circular, paper or notice;
- Conducting or participating in a public meeting assembly or special event;
- Groups of more than 75 people require a special-use permit to camp in either a campground or undesignated area.
- Groups of any size camping in undesignated areas will need a visitor pass/permit. Contact the local district office.
- Within the Chattooga River corridor, groups with more than 24 participants and/or commercial activities are prohibited without a Special Use Permit issued by the Forest Service.
See below to learn what pass or permit is right for you.
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.
Please be specific when listing the location of your entry and exit points on the permit. Include road names or GPS coordinates for the entry and exit point. (Example: Forest Service Road (FSR) #144, Laurel Hill Rd)
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 when you plan to dispersed camp to allow sufficient time to process the permit. Requests for weekend camping should be submitted by Thursday at noon to ensure time for processing.
Email your completed Dispersed Camping Permit application to the below address or call for more information:
Interagency passes are honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sites that charge standard entrance fees. Interagency Annual, Interagency Senior, Interagency Access, and Interagency Military passes allow the public to enter some fee areas without additional charge. This is convenient when traveling to several areas that charge an entrance fee. These passes may be obtained by mail order through the USGS website.
All Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests offices sell these passes, but please call ahead to ensure passes are in stock and collection officers are available to issue them. A list of recreation sites (by state) that sell passes is available, but please first call the federal site you will be visiting to ensure that they have the pass available.
Gold Star Family members can download and print a voucher to present to park staff, exchange for an Interagency Military Pass, or place on the vehicle dashboard at unstaffed sites (representations of the voucher are prohibited; the physical voucher or pass must be present).
Recreational passes and Permits are required for some activities on the forest.
Chattooga River Boating- A free self-service permit is required for each boating group on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. These are obtained at self-service stands located at the river access points.
Annual Rifle Range Pass Annual Rifle Range Passes are available for the Enoree and Long Cane District rifle ranges. Passes are available for purchase at the Enoree and Long Cane Ranger Districts offices, as well as at the Supervisor's Office. The Annual Rifle Range Pass is available on recreation.gov.
You can also order a pass via mail. You can download the application and the rules and regulations for our rifle ranges on our website. All you need to do is fill out the Rifle Range Annual Special Recreation Permit form and mail the form with payment to the district office managing the range you will primarily be using.
Firewood permits are available at all district offices for personal use. The minimum cost is $20 and only dead and down wood may be taken. Permits are also available at all district offices for miscellaneous forest products. The minimum cost for a permit is $20.
Special Use Permits grant certain rights or privileges to occupy and use a specific area. These permits contain specific terms and conditions that the permit holder must follow. They are issued to profit and non-profit organizations and include:
- Group activities that have 75 or more people or if a fee is collected for the activity
- Outfitting and guiding
- Recreation events, such as weddings, family reunions and bicycle races
If you're looking to obtain a special use permit for Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests, please fill out the appropriate form below and email it to our Special Uses Manager at email@example.com.
Alerts & Warnings
- Long Cane district office relocated; new phone number for public to contact
- Check the Call Before You Haul hotline before riding our OHV trails
- $5.7 Million Planned to Restore South Carolina Piedmont Streams, Water Quality
- America the Beautiful passes currently unavailable at Enoree, Long Cane offices
- Damaged bridges along the Enoree Passage of Palmetto Trail; exercise caution
- Please be aware of open well hazards on Sumter National Forest
- Enoree Ranger District Rifle Range Cleaning Schedule