Take your kids and your boat on a summer vacation worthy of your scrapbook. Spend a week at the lake and you’re guaranteed to fill your smartphone with photos of a happy family swimming, tubing, fishing and just cruising around in the sun.
Best of all, you won’t have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. South Carolina State Parks offer campgrounds, cabins and contemporary villas on the shores of the best freshwater lakes from the Midlands to the Upcountry. All of the parks feature at least one boat ramp providing access to the water. Some even have in-water refueling and day-use docks.
10 State Parks Where You Can Stay and Play on the Water
1. Baker Creek State Park
Located on Lake Thurmond in McCormick, Baker Creek State Park offers campsites and two boat ramps.
2. Calhoun Falls State Park
Calhoun Falls State Park is located on Lake Russell in Calhoun Falls. It offers campsites, one boat ramp and in-water refueling.
3. Devils Fork State Park
Located on Lake Jocassee in Salem, Devils Fork State Park offers campsites, contemporary villas, four boat ramps and a courtesy dock.
4. Dreher Island State Park
Dreher Island State Park, located in Prosperity on Lake Murray, offers campsites, cabins, three boat ramps and in-water refueling.
5. Hamilton Branch State Park
Hamilton Branch State Park is located on Lake Thurmond in Plum Branch and offers campsites and two boat ramps.
6. Hickory Knob State Resort Park
Hickory Knob State Resort Park is located on Lake Thurmond in McCormick. Accommodations include campsites, cabins, lodge rooms, group barracks and a historic house. You’ll also find a boat ramp (free for overnight guests; day-use visitors pay a fee) and a boat dock for overnight guests. The dock is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
7. Lake Greenwood State Park
Lake Greenwood State Park in Ninety Six offers campsites and two boat ramps.
8. Lake Hartwell State Park
Lake Hartwell State Park, located in Fair Play, offers campsites, cabins, two boat ramps and a courtesy dock.
9. Lake Wateree State Park
Lake Wateree State Park, located in Winnsboro, offers campsites one boat ramp and in-water refueling.
10. Sadlers Creek State Park
Located on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, Sadlers Creek State Park offers campsitesand one boat ramp.