Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina and is one of the largest and most popular recreational lakes in the southeast. It is often referred to as the “the Great Lake of the South.” 

The entire lake covers 56,000 acres of water with a shoreline of 962 miles.  The entire Lake Hartwell property contains 76,450 acres of land and water.

Lake Hartwell

The lake is created by Hartwell Dam, a concrete and embankment dam located on the Savannah River. Hartwell Dam and Reservoir was constructed in 1955 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a flood control, hydropower, and navigation project. The lake was named after Nancy Hart, a Revolutionary War hero.

Since its construction, Hartwell Reservoir has provided good fishing habitat for many species. It is now widely recognized as one of the top fishing lakes in the country. Lake Hartwell has also provided a wonderful refuge for recreation since its completion in 1963.

Access to Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell offers an oasis of opportunities for water recreation and community gathering spots nestle into the 76,450 acres environment.

There are many access points to Lake Hartwell and some of these include:

Green Pond Landing
470 Green Pond Road
Anderson, SC 29626
(864) 231-7275

Portman Marina
1629 Marina Road
Anderson, SC 29625

Big Water Marina
320 Big Water Road
Starr, SC 29684

There are nine campgrounds, with a total of 524 campsites at Lake Hartwell. Many of the campgrounds include restrooms, showers, boat ramps, playgrounds, electric and water hook up, courtesy docs, group camping, and designated swimming areas.

Boat Ramps at Lake Hartwell

Rules and Regulations in Lake Hartwell

Before heading to a spot where you can cast a line out on Lake Hartwell to catch a striped bass or catfish or taking the kids to fish from the fishing pier at Lake Hartwell State Park, you must have a fishing license. Much like any other state, a fishing license is required for all people age 16 and older in South Carolina. Check the Lake Hartwell fishing regulations and purchase your fishing license first if you don’t have one. It can be purchased from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website.

There are guidelines for general uses of Lake Hartwell including the types of private uses and activities which may be permitted such as boat docks, underbrushing. Here are important contacts to reach:

Anderson County Sheriff Lake Patrol
1335 E River St
Anderson, SC 29624

Palmetto Boat Center
141 Country Manor Rd.
Piedmont, SC 29673
(864) 269-6200

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
5625 Anderson Highway (Hwy. 29)
Hartwell, GA 30643

Strickland Marine Center
4520 Highway 24
Anderson, SC 29626

SC Department of Natural Resources
311 Natural Resources Drive
Clemson, SC 29631

Recreation in Lake Hartwell

Already one of the Southeast’s largest and most popular public recreation lakes, Lake Hartwell offers fishing, recreational and professional boating, camping, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Check out things to do near Lake Hartwell.

Restaurants in and around Lake Hartwell

  • The Galley Restaurant
  • Waldrops Landing Restaurant
  • Gazebo Restaurant & Deli
  • Lakeside Harbor Cafe
  • Tiger Cove Grill
  • The local pub and eatery
  • Tilly’s Tiki Bar and Grill
  • Boat House Grill

Click here to see more information about these Lake Hartwell restaurants.

Lake Hartwell Distance from Hot Spots

The lake is close to Greenville and can be reached in just under an hour making it a popular weekend destination for any kind of water recreations as well as camping and biking.

Upstate SC Farmers Market
64 miles from Downtown Greenville
Atlanta Georgia
112 miles from Atlanta, Georgia
34 miles from Anderson

Real Estate in Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell’s shores have abundant real estate developments ranging from high-end residential developments to individual lots. Whether you are looking for homes tucked in quiet neighborhoods to lakefront properties offering stunning views of the lake, there is something you can find in Lake Hartwell.

See Homes for Sale on Lake Hartwell

Rental/Vacation Homes in Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell is known for great fishing and almost 1000 miles of shoreline. It is one of the southeast’s most popular lakes. For this reason alone, Lake Hartwell has no shortage of rental and vacation homes. A simple search online and you will find myriads of rental opportunities ranging from lakefront family rental cottages to pet friendly vacation rental properties.