Spend the Day at Lake Hartwell State Park

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Thinking about a day trip to Lake Hartwell State 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 fanatics dream come true. Plus, you’ll find opportunities for hiking, swimming, camping and more. Enjoy the outdoors at Lake Hartwell State Park!

The lake at Lake Hartwell State Park

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

Activities Available at Lake Hartwell State Park

Lake Hartwell State Park offers day time visitors several different activities to enjoy. You can plan to do a bunch, or just tie up a hammock to the trees that line the lake and do nothing! 

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

Bird Watching 
Enjoy watching birds of prey circle over the lake in search of a delicious meal. Birds can also be viewed while hiking the trail within the park. 

There are 2 boat ramps and a boat dock, for those that own boats. There are no boat rental options within the park. 

For boat rental options on upstate lakes, see our Guide To Boat Safety and Rentals on Upstate Lakes

Life jackets for boating at Lake Hartwell State Park

The fishing in Lake Hartwell is top notch! The lake has been the location of national competitions. Try your hand at fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, bream, stripers, hybrid bass, and catfish. The park has a 140’ fishing dock to drop a hook from. 

No rod? No problem! Grab a rod and some tackle from the Tackle Loaner Program and while you’re there, grab a Junior Ranger packet for your children to complete. 

Practicing catch and release is recommended at Lake Hartwell. Due to high levels of pollutant in the water, eating the fish harvested from Lake Hartwell isn’t advised by DHEC

*A valid South Carolina fishing license is required

While swimming is permitted, there are no lifeguards. 

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

There’s a small playground adjacent to the boat slip. 

The playground at Lake Hartwell State Park

Camping At Lake Hartwell State Park 

The park offers guests several options for camping: 

Camper Cabins
These single room cabins are 12 x 12. They include one set of bunk beds, and one double bed. 

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

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

Tent Sites and RV pads include electrical and water hookups. Pets are allowed in the camping area, but must remain leashed. 

They range from $19 – $36 a night with a 2 night minimum stay, unless there is only one night availability on the calendar. 

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

Office Hours 
April-October | 9am – 5pm 
November – March | 11am – 12pm & 4pm – 5pm 

*Free with SC State Park Passports
$3 – Adults 
$1.50 – SC seniors
$1 – Children ages 6-15 
FREE – Children ages 5 & younger

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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