With little more than a sleeping bag and pad for creature comforts, tent camping is generally not the travel choice of those who enjoy being pampered on their vacation. Roughing it in a tent becomes even more of a chore when you stay in a hike-in tent site and have to haul your gear through the woods.
With one extraordinary exception: Rustic Tent Site H-6 at Hamilton Branch State Park.
Set at the tip of a peninsula overlooking the 70,000-acre Lake Thurmond, the spacious campsite offers phenomenal 270-degree views of the Savannah River reservoir, part of a chain of lakes that make up South Carolina’s freshwater coast.
But that’s not what makes this site a glamping stand-out.
Despite its name, the rustic camping spot offers luxuries you wouldn’t expect to find in the most high-end campgrounds, let alone those reserved for tents. While there is no electricity on the site, there’s a roomy pavilion with an outdoor kitchen, barbecue grill and two picnic tables; a stone fire pit with two Adirondack chairs; a Pawleys Island hammock hanging in the shade; and a small beach providing access to the water for swimming, fishing or kayaking. All of the amenities are reserved exclusively for campers staying on the site.
The premier campsite is one of six primitive waterfront tent sites in The Point campground located at the westernmost edge of the 731-acre Hamilton Branch State Park. All of the campsites are pet-friendly and offer plenty of privacy for those looking for a quiet retreat to rest and relax.
A well-appointed bathroom, solely for the use of Point campers, is located in the parking area of the campground.
There, you’ll also find heavy-duty handcarts for hauling your gear down the flat, wooded path that leads to the six campsites. The closest site is 126 feet from the parking area. For campers staying in H-6 at the end of the trail, it’s an easy quarter-mile walk.
With plenty of space to accommodate multiple tents, H-6 serves up to 10 campers. The other five sites feature one tent pad for up to six guests, along with a fire ring, picnic table and equally stunning views of the lake.