Clemson Experimental Forest

Upon consultation with law enforcement and emergency management agencies, Clemson University has temporarily closed access to recreation areas, including the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex (formerly known as Y-Beach), the rowing facility, and public areas of the Clemson Experimental Forest (CEF). These closures are effective immediately. Parking areas, both designated and roadside, are also closed in the interest of public health and slowing the spread of COVID-19.  

Earlier this week Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order stating, “law enforcement has the ability to disperse groups of people who pose a risk to the public's safety and to the safety of others.” Additionally, the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism announced all state parks are closed through April 30.  With the previous closing of other public lands, parks, and forests in the area, Clemson has begun experiencing unsafe and overcrowded conditions which tax local resources. This is contributing to an unsafe situation with groups gathering in excess of the numbers permissible under the current state regulations. Local officials have reported crowds gathering along the beach, on trails and in parking areas, which compromises the degree of social distancing needed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Other areas are currently being evaluated for closure should excessive use create an unsafe situation. 

Clemson University officials regret that this temporary closure is necessary and will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the University’s recreation spaces are reopened as soon as conditions allow. While this decision has not been made lightly, it is in the protection of public safety and is temporary. We appreciate your patience and understanding. For additional information and updates on Clemson University’s response and policy, can be found at


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    The Clemson Experimental Forest's 17,500 acres are dedicated to education, research and demonstration in order to better understand and manage forest resources for the benefit of society. These essential resources include clean air, clean water, pleasing aesthetic qualities, abundant wildlife, protection of species and habitat diversity, recreation opportunities, along with commodity products from the forest. The forest is managed strictly for perpetual sustained or improved yield of these products. The Clemson Experimental Forest personnel, equipment, supplies, roads, recreation facilities and maintenance are solely supported by revenue generated by the Forest.


    The prime directive for the forest is to be a well-managed, self-sustaining, ecologically healthy, living laboratory, classroom and recreational resource for the benefit of the university, commerce and citizenry of South Carolina, vouchsafed with a mandate to protect and promote in perpetuity the forest as an irreplaceable educational, environmental, scientific and social asset.

    • The Clemson Experimental Forest is a national exemplar of a teaching, research and public-service resource for a top-tier university.
    • The forest enhances Thomas Green Clemson's vision of the university as "high seminary of learning."
    • The forest leads by example, developing, evaluating and demonstrating best scientific natural resource  management practices.
    • The forest serves as a rejuvenating sanctuary, revitalizing the bond between people and the natural environment and benefiting the community at large.
    • The forest will generate revenues from fees, grants, endowments and forest products sales, enabling it to be self-supporting.
    • The forest is a multipurpose greenspace, offering a diversity of opportunities and benefits to students, faculty and staff and the public.
    • The forest is managed consistent with the intent of it being the nation's gift to Clemson University, showing the federal government's faith and confidence in the university to use the land for teaching, research and service.
    • This working forest is to be used to meet current teaching, research and public-oriented needs and held in trust to meet the needs of future generations.The forest holds a unique status, serving as a historical and scientific repository of regional land-use and research. It is an invaluable evolving record for present and future generations of scholars and public-policymakers.


    The public is invited to comment on the management and operation of the Clemson Experimental Forest. The Forest Manager or his designee will respond to your inquiry with an initial response as quickly as possible (within 10 days of receipt). Some inquiries may require consultation and response by others in the University administration. We appreciate your interest and thank you for your support. 

    Russell Hardee

    Forest Manager
    266-B Lehotsky Hall
    Clemson, SC 29634
    (864) 656-4833