Bird Watching

Spend the day at Lake Hartwell State Park

Planning a day trip to Hartwell Lake National Park? Lake Hartwell State Park sits on the border of Georgia and South Carolina. Surrounded by 56,000 acres of lake, this state park is a fishing fanatic’s dream come true.. Plus, you’ll find opportunities for hiking, swimming, camping, and more. Enjoy the outdoors at Lake Hartwell National Park!

The lake at Lake Hartwell State Park

Looking for more SC State Parks to visit? Here’s our guide to South Carolina’s 47 state parks and our Upstate SC state park highlights.

Activities available at Lake Hartwell State Park

Hartwell Lake National Park offers day visitors several different activities. You can plan to make a bunch of them, or just tie a hammock to the trees that line the lake and do nothing!

If you are looking for activities, the park offers the following:

Bird watching
Enjoy birding of prey around the lake in search of a delicious meal. Birds can also be seen while hiking the trail in the park.

Pleasure cruising
There are 2 ramps and a dock for the boats. There are no boat rental options in the park.

For boat rental options on upstate lakes, see our Guide to Boat Safety and Rental on Upstate Lakes.

Boating life jackets at Hartwell Lake State Park

The fishing at Hartwell Lake is top notch! The lake was the site of national competitions. Try your hand at fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, bream, stripers, hybrid bass and catfish. The park has a 140-foot fishing pier to deposit a hook.

No stem? No problem! Take a cane and gear from the Gear Loan Program and while you’re at it take a Junior Ranger Package for your children to complete.

It is recommended to practice the catch and release at Lake Hartwell. Due to the high levels of pollutants in the water, it is not advisable to eat fish harvested from Hartwell Lake. DHEC.

* A valid South Carolina fishing license is required

Although swimming is permitted, there are no lifeguards.

Length: 0.7 miles / 1.2 miles if you form a loop and get back on the road

There is a small playground adjacent to the boat slide.

The Hartwell Lake State Park Playground

Camping at Lake Hartwell State Park

The park offers its customers several camping options:

Motorhome cabins
These single cabins are 12 x 12 in size. They include a set of bunk beds and a double bed.

You will enjoy the view from a six foot porch facing the lake, heating and air conditioning, interior lights, electrical outlets and Wi-Fi. They are a great option if you don’t have a tent or if the weather is bad. require better protection from the elements.

They are $ 48 a night with a 2 night minimum stay, unless there is only one night available on the schedule.

RV tent sites and cushions include power and water hookups. Animals are allowed in the camping area, but must be kept on a leash.

They range from $ 19 to $ 36 a night with a 2 night minimum stay, unless there is only one night available on the schedule.

Hartwell Lake State Park website
19138 – A Hwy 11 South, Fair Play | 864.972.3352

Working hours
April-October | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November – March | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

*Release with SC State Park Passports
$ 3 – Adults
$ 1.50 – SC seniors
$ 1 – Children 6 to 15 years old
FREE – Children 5 and under