Author: Jason Alamo
Published: August 16, 2019
Sometimes it’s hard to find a getaway where you can actually get away from people. Let alone, just a few miles down the road from the hustle and bustle of the CSRA. I have managed to stumble across a hidden gem just 24 miles down the road on exit 1, in the Sumter National Forest. Lick Fork lake seems to be a forgotten paradise, or at least that’s how it feels every time I go camping or fishing out there. Very seldom do I run across anyone fishing the 10 acre pond, enjoying the primitive camping or hiking the miles of walking trails. Even less frequently do I run across a park ranger or park employee.
With so much funding being cut for state parks, Lick Fork Lake is a park that is in dire need of your support. Currently the park is open May 1 through November 15th every year. There is a modest $3 parking fee for day use and overnight camping is a mere $7.00 a night!! The park does offer restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings, small grills and a primitive camping pad at their 9 camp sites. As of late, potable water is not available. The campsites are first come, first serve, and there is a 14 day limit to camping.
The 10 acre pond offers a non-motorized boat ramp, a handicap accessible fishing pier and is stocked yearly with bream, bass, crappie and catfish. Every year for the park re-opening in May, Lick Fork Lake hosts a children’s fishing rodeo. The rest of the open season fishing is available to all with a South Carolina fishing license. The small pond offers lots of fallen timber numerous man made fish attractors, shaded shore lines and varies in depth. Bass fishing is great from a kayak and at night you will find numerous locals perched on the shore line, answering the jingling bells of their catfish rods.
As much as I love being the only one out here, every time I come to camp and fish, it really breaks my heart to see such a wonderful park go neglected and unenjoyed. So please, pack up your kayak, bike, and tent and head on down exit 1 towards Edgefield. 24 miles from I-20, and just a dozen miles past Sportsman’s Corner on the right hand sign you will see a little sign(and I do mean a little sign) that says “Lick Fork Lake. Sumter National Forest” take a right hand turn, head down a mile or so until you see the park entrance. The fee station is a self-serve, honesty station, so please pay you park fee or camping fee and get out there and enjoy all this little hidden gem has to offer.
If you happen to see some tattooed guy fishing from a kayak while you are there, be sure to say hello to me! I would love to hear about your Lick Fork Lake experience. Be sure to follow my fishing and camping blogs on line at www.newcomersguide.com and you can follow my fishing adventures on youtube at Bassholes Kayak Fishing or via www.bassholeskayakfishing.com
Tight lines, get out there and explore!