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Hartwell Dam and Lake

Hartwell Lake is one of the southeast’s largest and most popular public recreation lakes. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1955 and 1963, the authorized purposes are flood risk management, water quality, water supply, downstream navigation, hydropower production, fish and wildlife protection, and recreation. Each year, millions of people utilize the many public parks, marinas, and campgrounds conveniently located around the lake to pursue a variety of outdoor recreational experiences –making Hartwell one of the most visited Corps lakes in the nation.

Hartwell Lake is a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca Rivers. The lake is created by Hartwell Dam located on the Savannah River seven miles below the point at which the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers join to form the Savannah. Extending 49 miles up the Tugaloo and 45 miles up the Seneca at normal pool elevation, Hartwell Lake comprises nearly 56,000 acres of water with a shoreline of 962 miles [READ MORE].

News & Events

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With the 2013 summer recreation season drawing to a close, officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District announce the annual autumn park closing schedule for recreation facilities at Hartwell Lake.

Paynes Creek and Georgia River campgrounds will close Sept. 9. Oconee Point, Coneross and Crescent campgrounds will close Oct. 1. Springfield Campground will close Nov. 1. Twin Lakes and Watsadler Campgrounds remain open year round.

Long Point and Mullins Ford day-use areas will completely close for the season on Sept. 9. Portions of Georgia River, Twelve Mile, River Forks, Twin Lakes, Singing Pines and Elrod Ferry day-use areas will close on Sept. 9, but ramps and fishing piers will remain open. Friendship and Poplar Springs day-use areas were closed during the 2013 season and will remain closed during the winter off season.


For additional information, contact the Hartwell Dam and Lake Office toll free at 1-888-893-0678.

Due to significant projected budget reductions in fiscal year 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District will reduce park operations and visitor services at lakes Hartwell and J. Strom Thurmond during the 2014 recreation season.

The Corps will close one campground and five day use areas on Hartwell Lake, and four campgrounds on Thurmond Lake. In addition, the Corps will partially close two day-use areas on Hartwell Lake, and two day use areas and two campgrounds on Thurmond Lake, with only the boat ramps remaining open in those areas.

The Corps selected recreation areas for full or partial closures based on an analysis of its recreation program, which included visitation numbers, costs to operate and maintain parks, and the location of similar facilities. These recreation areas were selected to minimize impacts to the public and surrounding communities while achieving the necessary cost reductions. READ MORE...
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District will open the following campgrounds for the 2014 recreation season on April 1 at Hartwell Lake:

• Springfield Campground, Anderson County, S.C. Open April 1 – Oct. 31. This campground is conveniently located only minutes away from Anderson, S.C., with a total of 79 sites (75 waterfront). All sites are equipped with electric (50-amp) and water hook-ups. Springfield also has four double sites for those wishing to camp together. Shower/restroom facilities are conveniently located throughout the park. Other amenities at the park include a dump station, swim beach, playgrounds, park attendant, and a boat ramp with courtesy dock and security lighting.

• Twin Lakes Campground, Pickens County, S.C. All sites are open April 1 – Nov. 30; from Dec. 1 - March 31 sites 25-58 are open. Twin Lakes campground is one of the most popular campgrounds on Hartwell Lake. The campground is located at the northern end of the lake in South Carolina. Clemson University is only minutes away, making Twin Lakes the campground of choice for Clemson Alumni during football season. Twin Lakes has a total of 102 sites (85 waterfront), all with electric (50-amp) and water hook-ups. Shower/restrooms facilities are conveniently located throughout the park. The following amenities are also available: dump stations, swim beach, boat ramp with courtesy dock, park attendant, playgrounds, fishing pier, picnic shelter and security lighting.

• Watsadler Campground, Hart County, Ga. All sites are open April 1 – Nov. 30; from Dec. 1 - March 31 sites 2-23 are open. The campground is located near the Hartwell Dam overlooking the "Big Water" section of the lake. This campground has a total of 51 sites (49 waterfront), all with electric (50-amp) and water hook ups. This campground features single and double sites. Other amenities at this campground include: shower/restroom facilities, dump station, playgrounds, park attendant, and boat ramp with courtesy dock and security lighting.

Reservations for campsites can be made by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service toll- free at 877-444-6777 or online at . For more information, contact the Hartwell Lake Operations Manager’s Office toll free at 888-893-0678. 

Since Oct. 1, 2011, eight people have died on properties surrounding Lakes Hartwell, Russell and Thurmond. Three of those fatalities occurred in a single place: Hartwell's Singing Pines Recreation Area. All three tragedies happened outside designated swimming areas and none of the victims wore life jackets.


Contact Information

Hartwell Lake Office
5625 Anderson Hwy
Hartwell, GA 30643-5259

Phone Numbers
706-856-0300 or toll free at