lake hartwell boating

boating on Lake Hartwell

Pontoon boat rentals, jet ski rentals, kayak rentals and canoe rentals are available on Lake Hartwell in Athens, Clemson, Hartwell, Lavonia, Mountain Rest, Seneca, Starr and Townville. Before going out on any lake, make sure to get a good laminated boat map. It should show all the navigational markers, boat ramps and recreational areas.

You can sign up for a safe boating course from either the US Power Squadrons at 866-430-2628, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary at 864-224-0593/706-376-0096, SC Dept of Natural Resources at 864-654-8266 ext. 18, the GA Department of Natural Resources at 770-535-5499 or call 864-972-2085 or go to For hunting and boating educational classes in SC, call 800-277-4301.

By boat you can…

Explore Andersonville Island, which is only accessible by boat. It’s a large island on Lake Hartwell near Portman Marina that is usually marked on Lake Hartwell maps, near buoys LBC1 – LBC9 and S1 – S13. The wildlife and ruins make this a fun island to explore.

Discover an island with 50 graves dating back to the 1700 and 1800’s. The large island is located near buoy S-55 and S-53 on Lake Hartwell. To find the graves, beach your boat on the North side of the island and hike to the tallest point on the island.

Visit “Broyles Party Island” which is located near Broyles Rec. Area and is only accessible by boat. It is a very popular Lake Hartwell spot to hang out by boat.

Go to Clemson’s Larry W. Abernathy Park which has a few new free public city boat docks, a restroom, picnic area and playground. From the docks you can either go to places on Hwy 123 like a gas station, fast food places, Waffle House (open 24 hours), hardware, liquor and drug store or go down the nice boardwalk to downtown Clemson. Close to buoy S-100 on Lake Hartwell, go down the cove right before you go under the Hwy 123 bridge, then you will see the city docks.

Eat at one of several Lake Hartwell area restaurants that can be accessed by boat in cities such as Anderson, Clemson, Fair Play, Hartwell, Lavonia, Seneca and Townville.

Georgia Hartwell Region | Georgia Toccoa Region | South Carolina Clemson Region | South Carolina Anderson Region
Georgia Hartwell Region
Sandy Creek Park
400 Holman Rd
Athens, GA 30607
On Lake Chapman, opened Tues. through Sun., hours vary by season), park entrance fee is $2 per person (kids under 4 and seniors are free) and disc golf fee is $1 per person. This pleasant park has a beach, playground, fishing pier, tent camping sites, dog runs, picnic area, horse trails, boat ramp, hiking trails, disc golf course, seasonal inexpensive canoe, kayak and paddle boat rentals; basketball and tennis courts.
Watson Mill Bridge
State Park
650 Watson Mill Rd
Comer, GA 30629
3 miles South of Comer, on GA Hwy 22
You can see an 1880’s covered bridge while hiking on one of the easy trails that start at the concessions area, picnic area, campsites, horse stalls, horse trails, no horse rentals, bike trail, fishing, canoe and pedal boat rentals
Elrod Ferry Recreation Area
From Hartwell GA, go north on US Hwy 29 for 2.5 miles
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, courtesy dock, restrooms, picnic area, playgrounds, volleyball court, swimming beaches and handicapped facilities
Hart State Park
330 Hart Rd.
Hartwell, GA
North of Hartwell on Hwy 29, turn left on Ridge Rd and go 2 miles
On Lake Hartwell: 78 tent, trailer and RV sites, electrical/water, 5 lake side cabins, picnic areas, restrooms, playground, 2 swimming beaches, 2 boat ramps, docks, store, canoe, Jon boat and pontoon boat seasonal rentals, fishing, hiking and biking (1.5 mile multi-use trail).
Lake Hartwell Dam Area & Hartwell Project Visitor’s Center
Located 1 mile passed the Savannah River/Lake Hartwell Dam on the GA side or 5 miles from Hartwell, GA.
In GA, Big Oaks Recreation Area is right next to the visitor’s center and has a picnic area, playground, restrooms, boat ramp and facilities for handicapped.
In SC, about 1 mile from the dam is Singing Pines Recreation area. It is on Lake Hartwell, has a boat ramp, swimming beach, picnic areas, a playground, bathrooms and facilities for handicapped.
big oaks recreation
Hartwell Marina
149 Hartwell Marine Rd.
Hartwell, GA 30643
Open 9am to 6pm daily
On Lake Hartwell: It is located 2 miles from downtown Hartwell on N. Forrest Ave. I wouldn’t try to walk to town from the Marina because the road is narrow and has no sidewalks. Slips, fuel, boat repair, haul-out service, recovery service, bottom repair, ship’s store and the new Leland’s Lakeside Grille with outdoor picnic table seating are located here.
Milltown Campground
1920 Milltown Rd
Hartwell, GA 30643
Off Hwy 51
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, restrooms, dump station and playground.
Paynes Creek Campground
518 Ramp Rd
Hartwell, GA 30643
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, restrooms, dump station, playground, swimming beach and facilities for handicapped.
Watsadler Campground
286 Watsadler Rd
Hartwell, GA 30643
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, restrooms, dump station, electrical/water and playground.
Georgia Toccoa Region
moccasin creek state park Moccasin Creek State Park
3655 GA Hwy 197
Clarkesville, GA 30523
Near the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery
On Lake Burton, hiking, RV and tent camping, boat ramp, dock, wheelchair accessible fishing pier, playground, seasonal canoe/Jon boat rental and fishing
Laurel Park
3100 Old Cleveland Hwy
(Hwy 129)
Gainesville, GA
Exit 24 off of I-985, turn left on Jessee Jewell Pkwy, turn right on Limestone Pkwy, turn right on Hwy 129
Playground, water playground for small children ($1), restrooms, tennis courts, picnic areas, boat ramp and a 1 mile walking trail
Lake Lanier Islands
700 Holiday Td
Lake Lanier Islands, GA 30518
Hotel, water park, 18 hole golf course, houseboat rentals, camping, fishing pier, boat rentals, beach and horseback riding.
Unicoi State Park
Hwy 356
Helen, GA
Lake with a beach, rental canoe and pedal boats, several hiking trails, fishing streams, camp sites, lighted tennis courts, playgrounds, a lodge, cabins and a restaurant. You can hike from the Little Creek Campground to Anna Ruby Falls, it’s 4.6 miles one way (it is easier to hike down from Anna Ruby to Unicoi). There is also a 3 mile trail that goes to Helen.
Stephens County Recreational Area
From Toccoa go 10 miles on Hwy 123 North
Boat ramp, courtesy dock, restrooms, picnic and fishing area
South Carolina Clemson Region
Abernathy Park
Nice board walk on Lake Hartwell, public city courtesy boat docks, restrooms, picnic area and playground, within walking distance of downtown Clemson.
abernathy park
Twelve Mile Recreation Area
Near Clemson, from Hwy 123 turn onto Hwy 132, travel 1 mile
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, courtesy dock, restrooms, picnic area, swimming beach, playground and facilities for handicapped.
Fair Play Recreation Area
I-85 South, exit 2 turn left recreation area is at the end of this road
$4 per car
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, restrooms, picnic area, swimming beach and playground
Lake Hartwell State Recreation Area
19138-A Hwy 11 South,
Fair Play, SC 29643
I-85, exit 1, Hwy 11 toward Walhalla, ½ mile, look for signs
$2 for adults, under 15 free
On Lake Hartwell: 117 camping sites, 2 – one room cabins, RV, electrical/water, dump station, boat ramps, nature trail, fishing, restrooms, picnic area, playground, store, laundry area and they accept reservations. The park’s Information Center displays vintage fishing equipment.
Paris Mountain State Park
2401 State Park Rd (off US 25)
Greenville, SC 29609
5 Miles north of the city, this hillside park has pedal boats on lakes, stocked fishing ponds, picnic areas, biking and hiking trails
Harbor Light Marina – North
1476 Harbor Light Marina Rd
Lavonia, GA 30553
I-85, exit 177
Open Mon. – Thurs., 9am – 5:30 pm
Fri. and Sat., 9am to 6pm
On Lake Hartwell: fuel, boat rentals, slips, mobile pump-out boat, service dept., private showers, restrooms and a ships store.
Harbor Light Marina – South
15 Knox Bridge Crossing
Lavonia, GA 30553
Open Fri. 1pm to 6pm, Sat. 9am to 6pm
On Lake Hartwell: fuel, mobile pump-out boat, free wireless internet, DirecTV satellite ready, private showers, restrooms and a ship store.
tugaloo state park On Lake Hartwell
Tugaloo State Park

1763 Tugaloo State Park Rd.
Lavonia, GA 30553
Exit 173 off I-85, follow signs
On Lake Hartwell, 108 camp sites, most are on a wooded peninsula with great lake views, RV, cable TV, electrical/water, dump station, store, 20 lakeside cottages (some have private boat docks!), 5 primitive camp sites, swimming beach, tennis courts, picnic areas, playground, fishing, 2 boat ramps, 4 miles of hiking trails, miniature golf, volleyball, horseshoes and seasonal canoe rentals.
Oconee State Park
624 State Park Rd.
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
Fishing, swimming, picnicking, carpet golf, boat rentals, RV/tent camping, cabins (most of which are along the park lake and have fireplaces) and hiking trails. They consist of the Lake Trail, which is a 45 min. nature walk around the park’s lake, the Oconee Trail which is an easy to moderate 3 hour round trip hike with lake and beaver pond views, the Old Water Wheel Site Trail which is a moderate 2.5 mile hike and the 3 hour strenuous Tamassee Knob trail, which takes you to the top of Tamassee Mountain and provides great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Twin Lakes Campground
Run by the Corp. of Engineers
140 Winnebago Trail
Pendleton, SC 29670
Located off US Hwy 76, 5 miles west of Pendleton
On Lake Hartwell: 102 camp sites, electric, water, pets allowed, RV, sewer hook-up, sewer dump station, boat ramp, restrooms, picnic area, playground, swimming beach and facilities for handicapped
Clemson Marina
150 Clemson Marina Dr.
Seneca, SC 29678
High Falls Park
671 High Falls Rd
Seneca, SC 29672
7am to dark
On Lake Keowee, the 1830 historical Alexander/Cannon/Hill House is here as well as camp sites, boat ramp, fishing pier, miniature golf, playground, horseshoes, volleyball, park store and a softball field.
Lake Keowee Marina
156 Keowee Marina Dr.
Seneca, SC 29678
Tues. – Sat. 9 – 5, Sun. 10 – 4, Closed Mon.
On Lake Keowee: deck or pontoon boat rentals, boat ramp, restrooms, store and meals are served at the Tiki Hut (, 864-882-0800) which is open during some seasons.
lake keowee marina
South Cove Park
Seneca, SC 29672
7am to dark
On Lake Keowee, camp sites, boat ramps, handicapped accessible fishing pier, sandy beach, miniature golf, horseshoes and 4 tennis courts
Oconee Point Campground
Run by the Corp. of Engineers
200 Oconee Point Rd
County Rd 21
Seneca, SC 29678
On Lake Hartwell: 75 sites, electric, water, RV, sewer dump station, boat ramp and restrooms
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
108 Residence Dr.
(SC 11 at SC 133)
Sunset, SC 29685
On Lake Keowee, hike, fish, picnic and visit the small Cherokee Indian Interpretive Center (FREE, open daily 11am – 12 pm and 4 pm-5 pm) where you can learn about the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians, that once lived in the Keowee Valley. Boat ramp and wooded campsites are available and a 3 bedroom cabin on Lake Keowee with a private boat dock. Restrooms are provided by the Interpretive Center. The parks 4 mile Raven Rock hiking trail is strenuous and takes about 3 hours.
Friendship Recreation Area
From Townville go 1.5 miles West on SC 24, follow park signs
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, courtesy dock, restrooms, picnic areas and swimming beach
Waldrop’s Restaurant & Store
(Near Lake Hartwell’s T-10 and T-20 buoys), walk from Weldon Island boat ramps.
Breakfast, burgers, sandwiches and beer, they also have a store.
Coneross Campground
699 Coneross Park Rd
Townville, SC 29689
I-85, take exit 11 on Hwy 24 towards Townville, go 1.5 miles past Townville, take right on Coneross Creek Rd. Follow park signs.
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, courtesy dock, camp sites, restrooms, dump station, electrical/water, playground, swimming beach and handicapped facilities
lake hartwell cabins Lake Hartwell Camping and Cabins
400 Ponderosa Point
Townville, SC 29689
3.3 miles North of I-85, exit 11, open year round, extended stay available
On Lake Hartwell: 9 cabins, RV and tent sites, boat ramp, dock, laundry facilities, boat rentals, outdoor pool, tennis, basketball, horseshoes, volleyball, playground, miniature golf, 35 acres of hiking/biking trails, wireless internet
South Cove County Park
415 S. Pine St.
Walhalla, SC
Between Seneca and Walhalla, on Hwy 28 turn North onto Hwy 188
On Lake Keowee: camping, electric, water, horseshoe pits, fishing, beach, swimming, restrooms, picnic area, playground, tennis, volleyball, 2 boat ramps, a handicapped fishing pier , an antebellum grave yard, no alcohol allowed.
BO’s Quick Stop
8835 Toccoa Hwy (123)
Westminster, SC 29693
On Lake Hartwell, a store with a dock. Bo’s is near Stevens Creek Boat Ramp on the GA side of the lake, near the 123 fishing pier.
South Carolina Anderson Region
Broyles Recreation Area
Close to I-85 exit 11, go East on Hwy 24, on Right
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, restrooms, picnic area, swimming beach and playground.
Darwin H. Wright Park
Close to exit 21 off I-85, go East, off Hwy 178 (Liberty Hwy)
Anderson, SC
Open March – Oct.
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp and dock, handicapped accessible fishing pier, restrooms, 9 hole disc golf course, picnic area, playground and swimming beach
Portman Marina
1629 Marina Rd.
Anderson, SC 29625
1 mile east of exit 14 off of I-85
Open 9am – 5pm
On Lake Hartwell: 24 hour fuel with a MasterCard, Visa or Portman credit card, slips, courtesy dock, pump-out station, cable TV, phones, two popular Restaurants that have inside and outside seating, bars, and are more upscale then other choices on the lake. The Galley – open Tues. – Sat. 5 to 10pm, 864-287-3215, seafood, steaks, specialty dishes and Nami Asian Bistro – open Tues. – Sat. 5:30 – 10pm, 864-287-3219 – sushi and other Asian dishes.
portman marina
River Forks Recreation Area
Corp of Engineers
Anderson, SC
Off Hwy 187 near Old Robert’s Church Rd, follow signs
May 1 – Oct 1, 6am – 10pm
$4 per vehicle, $3 boat launching fee
On Lake Hartwell: good swimming beaches, playground, restrooms, picnic areas, boat ramp and facilities for handicapped
Sadler’s Creek State Park
940 Sadler’s Creek Rd
Anderson, SC 29626
12 miles South of I-85 on SC 187
$2 for people over 16
On Lake Hartwell: boat ramp, campground, water/electrical, dump station, picnic area, restrooms and a new playground on the lake.
The park has a .6 mile walking trail by the lake that is just right for families with small children. The playground, picnic area and short nature trail are located by the park office/picnic shelter.
The 7.8 mile mountain bike trail has a single track and is fairly flat. To find the bike trail, stay on main road through park and look for a wooden fence before the cul-de-sac, park at wooden fence and the trailhead is behind fence to the left.
Springfield Campground
Corp of Engineers campground
1915 Providence Church Rd
Anderson, SC 29625
9 miles SW of Anderson
Off of Hwy 187
April – Sept, on Lake Hartwell, $22 single family rate, 75 sites on waterfront, electric, water, dogs allowed, RV, sewer dump station, boat ramp, restrooms, playground, swimming beach and facilities for handicapped.
Big Water Marina
320 Big Water Road
Starr, SC 29684
Open 9am to 5pm, closed on Tuesdays
Pontoon boat rental (pets welcome), store, sailing lessons, ramp, slips, fuel, pump-out station, picnic area and boat bottom painting.