Manchester State Forest

Palmetto Trail Guide and Rules
OHV Trail Guide and Rules
Mountain Bike Trail Guide and Rules
Horse Trail Guide and Rules
Manchester Rifle and Pistol Range

Manchester Trails Map (pdf)
MSF Wildlife Management Area Map (pdf)
Oak Lea Wildlife Management Area Map (pdf)
Get a Permit

Manchester State Forest, in Sumter and Clarendon Counties, consists of approximately 28,675 acres of mixed pine and hardwood species native to the midlands of South Carolina. Soil type is light sand, interspersed with swamps and bays.


The forest is managed to yield a variety of forest products, from pulpwood and sawtimber to poles and pine straw. Stands of non-native slash pine, planted in the 1960s, are being gradually harvested and replaced with longleaf pine. In 1989 the forest was severely damaged by Hurricane Hugo. Sixty-five percent of the timber base was destroyed. Since then hundreds of acres have been salvaged and replanted.

Manchester State Forest practices principles of high quality multiple-use and sustained-yield forest management.

Multiple use management includes enhancing timber production, fish and wildlife habitat, air and water quality, soil conservation, scenic beauty, scientific research, and recreational opportunities. It does not mean that all uses must coexist at the same time. Depending on the circumstances on different parts of the forest, one use might be dominant while other uses are subordinated.

Sustained yield means assuring that the renewable resources of the forest will always be available without impairing the productivity of the land.

Operating funds for the forest, as well as a portion of salaries, are generated from the sale of timber products, land leases, Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Permits, and recreational use permits. Twenty-five percent of the Forest's gross income is paid to Sumter County for use in the local school district.




WMA hunting permit required

Manchester State Forest is included in the Wildlife Management Area Program on Manchester (pdf) and Oak Lea (pdf) through a cooperative agreement between the Department of Natural Resource and the South Carolina Forestry Commission. Hunting seasons and regulations for Manchester State Forest are published in the Department of Natural Resources Rules and Regulations Brochures. Maps of the hunting areas on Manchester are available at the forest headquarters.

All persons must wear orange on WMAs
A law passed in May 2015 requires deer hunters to wear international orange on all South Carolina wildlife management areas (WMAs). Specifically, the act requires "All nonexempt persons must wear a hat, coat, or vest of solid international orange while on Wildlife Management Area lands during deer hunting season.”
WMA regulations exempt persons hunting for dove, turkey, ducks, geese, and other migratory birds including crow from the requirement of wearing international orange. All other persons on a WMA during deer season
must wear international orange."
A list and graphic of all South Carolina WMAs can be found at:

2021 Dog Hunting Application ​

There will not be an Oak Lea WMA draw hunt. Please see the SCDNR rules and regulation Hunting and Fishing guide for dates and more information. 



State fishing license required

There are four ponds and several creeks on the forest which are available to the public for year-round fishing. Only electric motors are allowed on the ponds.



Map to Manchester

For further information contact :

Manchester State Forest
6740 Headquarters Road
Wedgefield, SC 29168

Phone: (803) 494-8196

Forest Director: James Douglas

Email :


Manchester office hours:
Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Manchester Rifle & Pistol Range - 803-494-4885







Forest Recreation / Reference Resources / Forest Management