Have you visited Calhoun Falls State Park? My family and I recently started the Ultimate Outsider Challenge through South Carolina State Parks. We’ve quickly made our way through most of the parks in the Upstate and wanted to start branching out to some of the ones further away. When I saw a friend’s pictures of her family’s camping trip to Calhoun Falls State Park, I knew I had to go see it for myself.
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The Campgrounds at Calhoun Falls State Park
Situated on the shores of the beautiful Lake Russell, these campgrounds are some of the most desired in the SC state park system. There are 86 standard (RV or tent sites with water and electricity) and 14 walk-in tent sites. We stayed at one of the walk-in sites which are scattered along one of the points jutting out into the lake.
The tent sites do not have electric hook-ups but they do have shared water pumps. I chose T8 because it has one of the larger tent pads. We just bought a new tent and I was nervous about it being too big for the other sites. After being there though, I think it would have been fine at any of them.
Our site was the closest to the parking area and had a trail down to the water. The shore was grassy where we were but some of the other sites had little rocky beach areas that would be great spots for kids to splash.
The tent only campground has an outdoor shower area and single bathrooms. The standard campground nearby has two full bathroom buildings with showers and two playgrounds.
Cedar Bluff Nature Trail
During our stay, we checked out the Cedar Bluff Nature Trail. It is the only hiking trail at the park and is a 1.75 mile easy to moderate loop hike through the forest. The signage is not great so be careful as you go. We took a wrong turn at one point and ended up at one of the campground playgrounds instead of finishing the loop as we had planned. But it’s a pretty trail with multiple wooden bridges and steps and we didn’t mind getting lost in nature for a while.
More Things to do at Calhoun Falls State Park
We stuck to camping and hiking during our visit, but Calhoun Falls offers many other activities, especially on the lake. It’s the perfect spot for boating, paddling, and fishing. There is also a marina with rental boat slips available.
If you forget anything at home, the gift shop has you covered. It is definitely one of the nicest state park gift shops I’ve been to! We stopped in on our first morning to register and to get some cold treats for the kids and I was impressed at how much it had to offer from bundles of wood and s’mores ingredients to souvenirs and clothing items.
Visit Calhoun Falls State Park
46 Maintenance Shop Road
Calhoun Falls, SC
Hours and Admission
The park is open from 6am – 6pm (extended to 9 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time) and the Park Office is open from 9am – 5pm, daily.
Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children age 6-15. Children 5 and under are free. Admission is free for Park Passport holders.