About the Wateree Passage




Easy to Moderate




The Wateree Passage begins in Poinsett State Park then continues through a section of Manchester State Forest traveling along the remnants of the old SC Railroad through Sumter Junction. It continues until it crosses over the Wateree River and through the Dominion property along Hwy 601.   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. After two miles, the trail climbs Molly’s Bluff (elevation 260 feet), one of the higher elevations in Sumter County. The bluff offers excellent vistas across Wateree swamp to Richland County.


The directions for the parking area below are ONLY for our National Trails Day event on June 3rd. This parking area has been removed and is being relocated for all other trail users. 

Directions from Columbia to the Wateree parking area

  • From I77 take Bluff Road exit – Highway 48. Travel approximately 23 miles through Gadsen. Parking is across from the intersection at Highway 601
  • From I77 take Garners Ferry (Highway 378) approximately 12 miles Highway 764. Travel approximately 12 miles through Eastover to the intersection with Highway 601. Turn right. Parking lot approximately 2 miles on left
  • From I77 take Garners Ferry (Highway 378) approximately 16 miles. Take a right on Highway 601. Parking is approximately 6 miles on left

New Wateree Parking Area:

  • Directions to the Traveling South on I77 from Charlotte, take the Garners Ferry Road exit (Highway 378, exit #9) Travel East for 18 miles, turn right onto McCords Ferry Road ( US Highway 601). Travel 10 miles to the Palmetto Trail Wateree Passage parking area. (You will pass the Farmstead Road parking area at mile 7.) Entrance is on your left.
  • Traveling North on I77 from Charleston, take the Bluff Road exit (Highway 48, exit #5). Travel 27 miles to the intersection at US highway 601. Turn right, parking area is on your immediate left.
Trail signs
No motorized vehicles or equestrians.

Tent and RV campsites and cabins available (reservations required) at Poinsett State Park. Equestrian campground available outside Poinsett.

Interactive Maps Without Wifi

We have partnered with Avenza Maps in order to offer interactive maps that don't require an internet connection. Using the Avenza App, you can download maps onto your mobile device before you hit the trail, so that you locate yourself and be aware of where you are, even in the remotest of places. Offline location helps you stay on track, on the trail, and out of potential danger.

Get the Map


Poinsett State Park Trailhead: From the junction of US 378 and SC 261 S., travel 10.1 miles south on SC 261 to Poinsett Park Road (S-43-63), turn right (west), travel 2.7 miles to the Poinsett State Park Headquarters.

Campbell Creek Rd. Parking Area: From US 378 near Sumter, take SC 261 south through Wedgefield for 9.2 miles. At the Manchester State Forest sign turn right onto Headquarters Road for 1 mile. Turn left onto Campbell Creek Rd(unmarked). and go 1.6 miles to the intersection with Evenwood Lane (unmarked). This wide intersection is the parking area.

Foxville Rd. Parking Area:  From US 378 near Sumter, take SC 261 south through Wedgefield for 5.8 turn right onto Middleton Rd. opposite Orangehill Church. Paved road becomes unpaved after 1.4 miles; continue 1.1 miles. Turn left and another immediate left onto Foxville Rd. (unmarked). Travel for .7 miles to a small parking area with a kiosk on the right. Walk pass the kiosk and turn left onto the Parking Lot Trail; it is .6 miles down an old rail bed to the Wateree Passage. Note: Foxville Rd can be difficult to drive on in wet weather for non 4 wheel drive vehicles.

Farmstead Road Trailhead: From the intersection of US 378 and US  601 travel south on US 601 S for 7.3 miles. Turn left onto Farmstead Road, the concrete parking lot and trailhead is on the right.


Tent and RV campsites and cabins available (reservations required) at Poinsett State Park. Equestrian campground available outside Poinsett.

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.


Wateree Passage Share Owners

Deane Ackerman
Elaine Yates Ardis & Kelly E. Ardis, In Memory of Kevin W. Ardis
Carey Ayer
Snick & Cindy Barber
Kathryn Barton
Dr. Hans Brings
Wylie Caldwell
Beth Chukusky
Emily Chukusky
Michael Chukusky

Scotlan Cox
Kristen Cutler
Diane Epstein
deHoll Family
Molly Driggers
Kay Dyar
Nikki Childress
Mr. & Mrs. Jimmy Gist, Sr.
Lyn Hamilton
Barton Hayward

Sumer Jarvis

Kevin Jarvis
Suellen Jones
Hope Mizzell

Carolyn Moores
Robert Olson
Austin Page
Garland Page

Julie Poppell
Walker Pruett
Grace Rentiers
Judy Rivers

Lana Kay Singleton
Betsy Spahr
Richard Watkins
Jan Steensen Crangle
Daphne Sipes
Clint Tate
Nancy Whiteside

South Carolina Society Children of the American Revolution