There are plenty of places to go camping on Lake Hartwell, and in the summer months the campsites fill up pretty quickly! In this article, we’ll be talking about the best Lake Hartwell camping sites plus tips for getting the most out of your stay.
If camping isn’t your thing or the weather doesn’t cooperate for your stay, here are the top hotels on Lake Hartwell.
Lake Hartwell Camping and Cabins – Georgia Side
Tugaloo State Park has a lot to offer whether you’re staying the night or coming for a day visit. At Tugaloo, you’ll find accommodations for all kinds of campers. Most sites have water views, and there’s plenty of space to launch your boat. The 393 acre park also offers picnic shelters, a sandy beach, hiking, horseshoes, tennis, and volleyball.
For overnight stays, you can choose from 20 cottages, 6 yurts, 116 campsites, and a slightly more rustic pioneer campground. The site and the facilities at Tugaloo are well maintained and clean, but it can get a bit crowded during peak season. Opt for the more primitive pioneer campground if you’re looking for a bit more privacy.
Take a tour of the yurts at Tugaloo here.
Tips for camping at Tugaloo State Park
- Yurts are a little bit of a hike from the parking so be prepared to carry your gear in (more tips for staying in the yurts)
- While there are many campsites for RVs, some larger campers might have trouble with the narrow roads
- Cabins offer shared dock space if you’d like to bring your boat
- The park is large, and you can expect to have to drive to the beach area from some of the campsites
The Watsadler Campground is one of the most popular spots for Lake Hartwell camping. It is owned and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) who keep it very clean.
The 36 acre campground has 51 campsites with water and electric, a boat ramp, and a courtesy boat dock. You’ll also find 2 playgrounds for the kiddos as well as restrooms and showers.
Take a bicycle tour of Watsadler campground.
This campground is ideally located on big water which means that waterfront sites have incredible views, and the campsites are comfortably shaded by big trees with plenty of space for your camp kitchen. You’ll also find the hosts at this campground to be extremely polite and helpful.
Tips for camping at Watsadler Campground
- Campsites are large and right on the water with plenty of space for RVs and tents
- This campground is a very easy drive to the town of Hartwell where you’ll find plenty of shopping and restaurants
- Some sites are a little close to the highway, so opt for a location deeper into the grounds for a quieter experience
- The campground is open year-round, but some sites are closed during the winter
Another USACE campground, the Paynes Creek location is a great option if you’re looking for something a bit more secluded. At nearly 400 acres and with a 9 mile biking/hiking trail, this Lake Hartwell campground is perfect for outdoors enthusiasts.
Take a tour of one of the unique campsites at Paynes Creek.
Most of the campsites are on the lake and offer lakefront grills and picnic tables. There are 2 boat ramps and 1 courtesy boat dock plus 3 playgrounds and 2 beaches for the kiddos.
Tips for camping at Paynes Creek
- The area is very hilly and some steep roads may be difficult to navigate for large RVs
- The campground experiences occasional water outages and restrictions. We recommend calling ahead to ensure that water access is not restricted.
- The location is a bit remote, but the town of Hartwell is within a 20 minute drive
This USACE campground is technically not on the lake, but rather sits on the river below the Hartwell Dam. The primitive camping location offers simple campsites with a fire ring and picnic table but no power or water hookups. A community water spigot and grey water dump are provided. There are public restrooms nearby but no showers.
If you’re looking for a rustic getaway and a place to do some trout fishing, you won’t beat it. The campsite does not have attendants but is gated and patrolled by rangers and local law enforcement.
Tips for camping at Georgia River Campground
- This campground is open seasonally from May through September
- Enjoy trout fishing from the 2 piers at this location
- Air horns give a 1 minute warning that water will be spilling into the river from the hydropower plant causing the water levels at this campground to rise quickly.
- For safety’s sake, it is not recommended to get into the river for fishing or swimming.
Lake Hartwell Camping – South Carolina Side
This state park in Anderson, South Carolina is nearly 400 acres and offers a 100 foot fishing pier. There are also 6 miles of biking and walking trails, 66 camping sites (52 RV/tent and 14 tent only), 2 playgrounds, youth group camping sites, picnic shelters and more.
Visitors will often encounter deer and other wildlife on the grounds, and families enjoy hunting down the 30 geocache locations.
Tips for camping at Sadler’s Creek
- There’s a six mile trail for biking or hiking and a second 1/2 mile nature walk. Both trails are mostly level and easy enough for families with small children.
- One playground is located in loop 2 of the campsites. The other playground is adjacent to 2 large lakeside pavilions.
- The 100 foot fishing pier is lit for the evening and has handicap access.
Twin Lakes Campground and recreation area near Pendleton, SC is one of the most popular campgrounds on Lake Hartwell. With 156 acres, 102 campsites, 5 shower facilities, 5 playgrounds, and 1 beach, it’s easy to understand why.
Separated from the campgrounds by a gatehouse is a public recreation area with boat ramp, several picnic sites and shelters, a playground, and 2 beach areas.
Take a tour of Twin Lakes Campground
Tips for camping at Twin Lakes
- While most of the sites are level, the northernmost campsites are sloped.
- Book as far in advance as possible because this is the busiest campground on the lake
- Plan to bring in supplies with you as the nearest shopping is 15-20 minutes away
Oconee point is located on a peninsula in the north end of the lake with an ideal location for visiting Clemson or Anderson, SC. The park offers 70 campsites with water and electric facilities. Visitors can also enjoy a beach area, boat ramp, courtesy dock, and 2 playgrounds.
All the sites in this campground are lakefront, however, some campsites are a bit more crowded than others. This campground is owned and maintained by the USACE who keep the grounds and facilities up to date and clean.
Tips for camping at Oconee Point
- Sites 1-17 offer the most space and excellent water views. Campsites 33-40 are the most closely packed.
- The beach is closest to campsites 43-52. A bathhouse and playground are also nearby.
- Most sites have easy access to the lake
The Springfield Campground, another USACE campground on Lake Hartwell, SC is a 60 acre wooded campground with 79 camping sites, a beach area, 3 playgrounds, a courtesy dock, and boat ramp.
Some say the single and double campsites here are the best on the lake offering incredible sunrise and sunset views.
Take a tour of Springfield Campground
Tips for camping at Springfield
- The campsites are large and some have pull-through for easy navigation of RVs and motorhomes
- Roads are paved and easy to navigate with large vehicles
- You can pull a boat up to most sites, but boats are not allowed at the campsites nearest the beach.
Coneross is a USACE maintained campground with 163 acres of wooded land and 106 campsites. The majority of the sites have water and electric hookups, but 12 sites are considered primitive with a tent pad only.
There are 2 beaches and 4 playgrounds in this waterfront campground with large sites and easy access for large campers and RVs. One boat ramp and one dock are also provided for lake access.
Tips for camping at Coneross
- Primitive sites are gathered in their own area and right on the water
- The campground is great for families with space for biking and a nice sandy beach
- McAdams Pizza nearby delivers to the campground
Crescent group is one of the smaller campgrounds on Lake Hartwell, but is great for group camping. There are 2 spacious lakeside group shelters, but no dock or boat ramp. All sites have full water and electric hookups.
Tips for camping at Crescent Group
- This campground is recommended for large groups
- There is only one shower facility
- Waterfront sites offer beautiful sunset views
Lake Hartwell State Park in South Carolina is a 680 acre park with 115 RV/tent sites and 13 tent only sites. Water and electric hookups are provided on the RV sites. There are 2 boat ramps and a 140 foot fishing pier.
There are 12×12 cabins available for rent on the lake and include 1 double bed and 1 bunk bed, heating and air conditioning, and wi-fi. There is no running water in the cabins, but restrooms with showers are nearby.
Tips for camping at Lake Hartwell State Park
- Most sites have a lake view but some sites have a wooded view
- The ranger station and store is well stocked and has free wi-fi
- This campground is located near I-85, and you might notice some highway noise
A well maintained KOA site with cabins, patio sites, and an attentive staff. There’s a pool, playgrounds, mini golf, and a game room. However, some amenities are currently under renovation and not available for use. RV campers will love that this location is very convenient to I-85, but this site has no lake access.
Tips for staying at Lake Hartwell KOA
- This is a good location for families with kids, but call ahead to make sure all amenities are open for use
- Pull through sites available for convenience
- Some upgraded sites include patios and swings
Tiger cove is a privately owned campground and RV park. This location is adjacent to the Green Ponds Landing Event Center which is a host to fishing tournaments and more.
This campground offers a boat ramp and dock, but the campsites are located in a wooded area above the dock and are not on the water. The seasonal lakeside grill and bar offers weekly live music and a festive setting.
Tips for camping at Tiger Cove
- There are 4 ‘cabins’ are available for rent at this site
- The site is a within walking distance of Green Pond Event Center
- The campground has sloped campsites that may be hard for large campers and RVs
- We recommend visiting this campground before making a reservation