Wateree Passage

Palmetto Trail

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike
  • Mountain Bike


11.40 miles




Natural, Boardwalk

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Picnic Area
  • Scenic Observation
  • Camping
  • Parking
  • Trail Head
  • Restrooms
  • Fishing
  • Point of Interest
  • Water Launch
  • Pets
  • No Fee
  • Camping


The Wateree Passage begins in Poinsett State Park and runs to the Wateree River, crossing through Manchester State Forest and traveling along the remnants of the old SC Railroad through Sumter Junction. The passage is one of the most diverse sections of the Palmetto Trail, traversing a variety of landscapes, from high hills down to a magnificent river swamp.

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You will find a bit of everything during your hike or ride on this easy to moderate trail. Follow the yellow blazes for a walk through a diverse area of swamp and almost mountainous terrain. Although, the ascent is only to approximately 230 feet, it’s the highest point in the area and provides a spectacular view. When you cross each of the eight trestles, stop and take in the view. As you pass under towering hardwoods and cypress trees you may be treated to a large variety of animals and birds. Some flowering plants normally only found in the mountains may also be seen here. The High Hills of Santee Passage and the Wateree Passage link-up at Poinsett State Park.

Camping: Tent and RV campsites and cabins available (reservations required) at Poinsett State Park, call 1-866-345-PARK (7275). Equestrian campground available outside Poinsett.

Notice: Wateree Passage Audio Tour

Additional Information

Manchester State Forest, 7640 Headquarters Road, Wedgefield, SC 29168, ph (803) 494-8196.

Mountain Biking in Manchester State Forest requires a permit, apply at website below.



Poinsett State Park Trailhead: From Columbia or Sumter on US Hwy 378, turn south onto SC 261 and travel 10 miles, through Wedgefield, to Poinsett Park Road (S-43-63). Turn right (west) and drive to the park. Manchester State Forest offers free day-use parking on left of Poinsett Park Road just before entering Poinsett State Park. Continue into the park for day or overnight use. Find trailhead at park headquarters.

Campbell Creek Road Parking Area: From US Hwy 378 near Sumter, take SC 261 south through Wedgefield a little over 8 miles. Turn right onto Headquarters Road at the Manchester State Forest sign. That road will cross over unpaved River Road and becomes a dirt/loose gravel road. The first dirt road on the left is Campbell Pond Road. Take this road until you reach a wide intersection with a locked yellow gate in front of you. Park on left off the road. Look for Palmetto Trail signs near the locked yellow gate.

Foxville Road Parking Area: From US Hwy 378, take SC 261 south, through Wedgefield, for 5.8 miles. Turn right onto Middleton Road opposite Orangehill Church. Drive 2.6 miles on paved, then unpaved road. Turn left and immediate left onto Foxville Road (unmarked). At 0.7 mile, take left fork; at 0.7 mile farther park on left where kiosk is located. Yellow gate on right indicates access to trail. Note: Foxville Road may be deeply rutted in places and may not be suitable for vehicles with low clearance.

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Palmetto Conservation Foundation | 722 King Street, Columbia, SC 29205 | (803) 771-0870 | Email

Manchester State Forest | 7640 Headquarters Road, Wedgefield, SC 29168 | (803) 494-8196

Download Coordinates
KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 33.82376097696497
Long: -80.59983833935463