Geography of Kershaw County, South Carolina

by | March 14, 2024

Kershaw County, located in central South Carolina, is characterized by its diverse geography, rich history, and vibrant community. Covering an area of approximately 740 square miles, Kershaw County is known for its rolling hills, lush forests, and scenic waterways shaped by its geographical features. Check climateforcities to learn more about the state of South Carolina.


Kershaw County lies within the Piedmont region of South Carolina, situated between the sandhills to the east and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the northwest. The county’s landscape is characterized by rolling hills, fertile valleys, and wooded areas, with elevations ranging from around 100 feet above sea level in the eastern part of the county to over 600 feet in the western part.

The county is traversed by several major rivers, including the Wateree River, which forms the eastern boundary of the county, and the Little River, which flows through the northern part of the county. These rivers, along with numerous smaller creeks and streams, provide habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife and offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.


Kershaw County experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. The climate is influenced by the county’s inland location and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which moderates temperatures and contributes to the region’s relatively mild winters and warm summers.

Summers in Kershaw County are hot and humid, with average high temperatures ranging from the upper 80s to the low 90s Fahrenheit. High humidity levels can make the summer heat feel more oppressive, particularly during heatwaves. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, bringing heavy rainfall and occasional gusty winds.

Winters in Kershaw County are mild, with average high temperatures typically in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit. Frost is rare, but freezing temperatures can occur occasionally, particularly in the northern part of the county. Snowfall is infrequent but possible, usually occurring as light dustings or brief flurries.

Spring and fall are transitional seasons in Kershaw County, characterized by fluctuating temperatures and changing foliage. Spring brings warmer weather and the blooming of flowers, while fall sees temperatures gradually cooling and the onset of colorful foliage as the leaves change before winter sets in.

Rivers and Lakes

Kershaw County is home to several rivers, streams, and lakes, which play a crucial role in the region’s ecology, economy, and recreation.

The Wateree River forms the eastern boundary of Kershaw County, flowing southward toward its confluence with the Congaree River. The river provides habitat for a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, and panfish, making it popular among anglers. The Wateree River also offers opportunities for boating, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.

The Little River flows through the northern part of Kershaw County, meandering through scenic valleys and wooded areas. This river provides habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species, including trout, bass, and otters. The Little River is popular among anglers, particularly for fly fishing, and offers opportunities for boating and tubing.

In addition to rivers, Kershaw County contains several lakes and reservoirs, both natural and man-made. Lake Wateree, a large reservoir formed by the Wateree Dam on the Wateree River, is one of the largest lakes in the county. This reservoir offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports, attracting visitors from across the region.


The vegetation of Kershaw County is predominantly composed of forests, grasslands, and wetlands.

Deciduous forests cover much of the county, consisting of species such as oak, hickory, and pine. These forests provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including deer, turkeys, and songbirds, and contribute to the county’s scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.

Grasslands and meadows are also common in Kershaw County, particularly in the northern and western parts of the county where agriculture is prevalent. These grasslands provide habitat for grassland birds, small mammals, and pollinators, as well as grazing land for livestock.

Wetlands, including swamps, marshes, and floodplains, are found throughout Kershaw County, particularly along the banks of rivers and streams. These wetlands provide important habitat for a variety of plant and animal species, including wading birds, amphibians, and aquatic insects. They also serve as natural filters, helping to improve water quality and reduce flooding.

Human Impact

Human activity has had a significant impact on the geography of Kershaw County, particularly in terms of agriculture, urbanization, and transportation.

Agriculture is a major land use in Kershaw County, with large tracts of land devoted to the production of crops such as cotton, soybeans, and corn, as well as livestock grazing. The fertile soils of the region, combined with adequate rainfall and a favorable climate, support a thriving agricultural industry that contributes to the local economy.

Urbanization and suburban sprawl have led to the conversion of agricultural land and natural habitats into residential and commercial developments in some parts of Kershaw County, particularly around the larger towns and cities such as Camden and Lugoff. While this has brought economic growth and opportunities to the region, it has also raised concerns about habitat loss, water pollution, and traffic congestion.

Transportation infrastructure in Kershaw County includes highways, railroads, and airports, which facilitate the movement of goods and people within the region and beyond. Interstate 20 runs east-west through the county, providing access to major cities such as Columbia and Augusta. Railroads, including the Norfolk Southern Railway, serve industrial facilities and agricultural markets in the county, while airports in nearby towns offer connections to regional and national destinations.


In conclusion, Kershaw County, South Carolina, offers a diverse array of geographical features, including rivers, forests, and wetlands. The county’s humid subtropical climate, with its hot summers and mild winters, influences life in the region and shapes activities such as agriculture, recreation, and tourism. While human activity has altered the landscape, efforts to conserve and protect the county’s natural resources ensure that its geography remains a defining feature of the region for generations to come.