Manchester State Forest
Trail Activities: t
- Mountain Bike
Trail Features: t
Boasting three easy-to-moderate loop trails, the Manchester State Forest is among the most popular outdoor getaways in the Midlands. The Manchester Horse, Governor’s Ride, and Red Horse trails with connectors combine to provide 20 miles of riding pleasure.
Boasting three easy-to-moderate loop trails, the Manchester State Forest is among the most popular outdoor getaways in the Midlands. The Manchester Horse, Governor’s Ride, and Red Horse trails with connectors combine to provide 20 miles of riding pleasure. At one time, this state forest in South Carolina’s sandhills region was plantation country. Today it is a pine-oak forest managed for commercial timber use and outdoor recreation, which includes hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian. From parking areas on Poinsett Road, Center Trail Road, and Mill Creek County Park, you will switchback through rolling sand hills, across several country roads, and open fields. You will also ride through stands of massive oak, red cedars with lacy Spanish moss, and familiar longleaf pines. In the spring, you will see an abundance of dogwood, magnolia, and azalea. Red fox, deer, and wild turkey also make their home here. The equestrian trails within Manchester State Forest also connect with similar trails in Poinsett State Park and Mill Creek County Park through the Palmetto Trail’s High Hills of Santee Passage.
It is not necessary for horses to be shod. Insect repellent is recommended during warm months.
NOTE: For information about trail closings, click here: Manchester State Forest.
Length: Manchester Horse 7.7 miles, Governors Ride Horse 7.3 miles, Red Horse 4.0 miles, and connector trails 1.6 miles
Hours: All trails are open daily from January 2 through September 14. Trails and roads designated as Equine Trails on this trail guide are open from sunrise to sunset on Sunday only during deer hunting season from September 15 through January 1.
Camping: There is no camping available on the Forest. However, equestrian campsites are available at adjacent Poinsett State Park (water, restrooms, but no electricity). There is also full service camping available at Mill Creek County Park.Directions:
From Columbia: Drive east to a junction with SC 261. Turn south on SC 261 and follow for 10 miles to Poinsett Park Road (Sumter County S-43-63). Turn right and look for the trailhead on the left.