Geography of McCormick County, South Carolina

McCormick County, located in western South Carolina, is characterized by its diverse geography, including rolling hills, lush forests, and the winding rivers and lakes that traverse the area. From its scenic landscapes and outdoor recreation opportunities to its rich history and cultural heritage, McCormick County offers a blend of natural beauty and small-town charm that defines its identity.


According to Electronicsmatter, McCormick County covers an area of approximately 360 square miles (930 square kilometers) in western South Carolina. It is bordered by several other counties, including Greenwood County to the north, Edgefield County to the east, and Abbeville County to the south. The county’s landscape is primarily characterized by rolling hills, with fertile valleys and woodlands interspersed throughout the region.

To the west, McCormick County is part of the Piedmont Plateau, a region of gently rolling hills and valleys that extends from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coastal plain. The Piedmont Plateau is known for its fertile soil, diverse vegetation, and scenic beauty, making it a popular destination for outdoor recreation and nature enthusiasts.


McCormick County experiences a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are typically hot and humid, with average high temperatures in the 80s to 90s°F (27-32°C) and occasional thunderstorms. The region receives ample rainfall during the summer months, which helps to sustain the area’s lush vegetation and agricultural crops.

Winters in McCormick County are mild and relatively dry, with average high temperatures in the 50s to 60s°F (10-16°C) and lows often dropping into the 30s°F (around 0°C). Snowfall is rare but not unheard of, particularly in the higher elevations of the Piedmont Plateau.

Spring and fall are transitional seasons characterized by mild temperatures and changing weather patterns. Spring brings blooming flowers and the return of migratory birds, while fall brings cooler temperatures and vibrant foliage colors, particularly in the wooded areas of McCormick County.

Rivers and Lakes:

McCormick County is traversed by several rivers and streams, providing habitat for fish and wildlife and offering recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Some of the notable rivers and waterways in McCormick County include:

  1. Savannah River: The Savannah River forms the western boundary of McCormick County, separating South Carolina from Georgia. The river is a major waterway in the region, providing habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife and offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
  2. Stevens Creek: Stevens Creek is a tributary of the Savannah River that flows through the eastern part of McCormick County. The creek is known for its scenic beauty, with rocky shoals, wooded banks, and crystal-clear water that attract kayakers, anglers, and nature enthusiasts.

In addition to its rivers and streams, McCormick County is home to several lakes and reservoirs, including Lake Thurmond (also known as Clarks Hill Lake), which spans the border between South Carolina and Georgia. Lake Thurmond offers opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, and camping, with marinas and recreational facilities available for visitors to enjoy.

Parks and Natural Areas:

McCormick County is home to several parks and natural areas that showcase the region’s scenic beauty and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Some of the notable parks and natural areas in McCormick County include:

  1. Baker Creek State Park: Located on the shores of Lake Thurmond, Baker Creek State Park is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, including camping, boating, fishing, and hiking. The park offers scenic views of the lake and surrounding woodlands, as well as picnic areas and interpretive programs for visitors to enjoy.
  2. McCalla State Natural Area: Situated along the Savannah River in the western part of McCormick County, McCalla State Natural Area is a protected area that preserves a diverse array of plant and animal species. The natural area offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing, with interpretive signage and guided tours available for visitors to learn more about the region’s ecology and natural history.


Agriculture is an important industry in McCormick County, with crops such as cotton, soybeans, and corn contributing to the county’s agricultural economy. The fertile soil and relatively mild climate make it well-suited for farming, and agriculture has been a traditional way of life in the area for generations.

In addition to crop farming, McCormick County is also known for its livestock production, including cattle, poultry, and dairy products. The county’s farms and ranches contribute to the local economy and provide employment opportunities for residents.

Communities and Economy:

McCormick County is home to several small towns and communities, each offering its own unique blend of rural charm and hospitality. The largest town and county seat is McCormick, known for its historic downtown district, cultural attractions, and annual events such as the Gold Rush Festival.

Other communities in McCormick County include Willington, Parksville, and Modoc, each with its own distinct personality and sense of community. These towns serve as centers of commerce, education, and culture for residents of the surrounding area.

The economy of McCormick County is diverse, with key sectors including agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing. In addition to its thriving agricultural industry and natural attractions, the county is home to several small businesses and services that cater to residents and visitors alike.


In summary, McCormick County, South Carolina, is a region of diverse landscapes, including rolling hills, lush forests, and scenic rivers and lakes. From its outdoor recreation opportunities and agricultural heritage to its small towns and historic sites, McCormick County offers a unique blend of natural beauty and small-town charm that makes it a desirable destination for visitors and residents alike. With its humid subtropical climate, fertile soil, and strong sense of community, McCormick County remains a treasured gem in western South Carolina.

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