Clemson Experimental Forest

All areas of the Clemson Experimental Forest (CEF) are currently open to the general public with the exception of the Doyle Bottom Road area, also known as Keowee Heights, which continues to remain closed due to recovery and restoration efforts after recent storms and the April, 2020 EF-3 tornado.

Due to the April, 2020 tornado and recent wet weather events, crews are working to ensure all roads and trails are clear and free of damaged or downed trees from the recent storms. Timber salvage operations are still underway near many of the popular trails creating hazardous conditions for recreational users. The Keowee Heights/Doyle Bottom Rd will remain closed until the continued recovery efforts can be completed in early 2021. When this area is cleared and deemed safe, announcements will be made regarding the opening of this area.

Guests will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines provided by SCDHEC, the CDC and Clemson University. Avoid parking in areas that are beyond capacity. Crowded parking areas may be closed without notice. CEF staff and local law enforcement agencies will be monitoring the visitation to ensure compliance.

Things to remember when visiting the CEF:

  • Stay home if you are sick or think you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. There are no public restroom facilities- please plan your visit accordingly. There is no potable water available.
  • Maintain social distancing at all times, do not congregate with other families or visitors and do not approach others during your visit. All dogs must remain under the control of the owner at all times. Do not allow your pets approach other visitors. There are no picnic facilities open.
  • Stay on designated trails during your visit.
  • Know your location at all times. Maps are available online at our webpage.

* If you need emergency assistance during your visit, call 911. 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