Andrew Pickens Ranger District Side
The Ranger District was named for Andrew Pickens, an able commander of South Carolina's rebel militia during the American Revolution. Born of Scots-Irish immigrants near Paxtang, Pennsylvania, Pickens served in the state legislature and became a U.S. Congressman before eventually establishing his home in the nearby Tamassee area.
The District's Roots
Prior to Euro-America settlement, Cherokee and other Native-American peoples lived in this area. Public acquisition of these lands started with a purchase from John Lochrie on march 10, 1917. The largest tract purchased to date was from the Oconee Timber Company in the late 1920s totaling more than 17,000 acres.
This area was originally part of the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests in South Carolina in 1936. Much of the area had been cleared and farmed prior to Forest Service acquisition. efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps to plant and stabilize cleared lands and construct roads and facilities in those early years have helped to shape the forest into the treasure it is today.
Linking the Future to the Past
Current management by the Forest Service emphasizes the restoration and maintenance of forest ecosystems and processes that existed in these foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains prior to European settlement. Efforts include management for plant and animal species that have become threatened or in danger of extinction due to loss of native habitats. You're invited to step inside or to call the U.S. Forest Service at (864) 638-9568 to ask how you can help us fulfill our mission of "Caring for the Land and Serving People" here on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District.
Oconee County Side
Oconee County is situated in South Carolina's "Golden Corner" on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Hike the trails of the Sumter National Forest, camp in Oconee State Park, visit historic Oconee Station State Historic Site or Walhalla Fish Hatchery. Travel down the mountain to visit the towns of Seneca or Walhalla for food, shops, and museums.