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Lake Hartwell

Lake Hartwell -- also known as Hartwell Lake -- is a reservoir that borders Georgia and South Carolina. One of this area's largest and most popular water recreation spots, Lake Hartwell is the northernmost reservoir on the Savannah River. It is located just seven miles south from where the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers meet to form the Savannah River. Millions of visitors every year enjoy camping, biking, fishing, swimming, boating, fishing, and hunting in this area.


Lake Hartwell is known for its great fishing habitat for many species. Anglers can enjoy a selection of bream, crappie, and largemouth, hybrid, and striped bass. Channel catfish also make a home here, and anglers can cast for trout in Hartwell tailwaters. Largemouth bass are native, but the most popular game fish in this lake is the striped bass (rockfish). The lake also has numerous fish attractors, located mainly along shorelines and marked by buoys. The lone fish record for this lake occurred in Georgia in 2004, with a three-pound, seven-ounce redeye bass.

Note that the State of Georgia has a reciprocal fishing license agreement with South Carolina and that all banks and waters of all channels of the Savannah River from its mouth to the confluence of the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers and beyond to Ellicott's Rock are covered. Any angler meeting freshwater license requirements for Georgia or South Carolina may fish the banks and waters without having to obtain any other license.


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    Lake Hartwell Georgia Coordinates:
34.4652N -82.8455W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
56,000 acres
Maximum Depth:
185 ft
660 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Boaters can take advantage of numerous boat ramps along Lake Hartwell's shorelines in Georgia and in South Carolina. The lake also sports five commercial marinas with launch ramps, and some marinas also offer boat rentals.


Tugaloo State Park in Georgia offers 113 campsites, five backcountry sites, and 20 cottages. Reservations are required at this park located at the northeastern reaches of the lake, about 19 miles southeast of Toccoa, Georgia. The Army Corps of Engineers also maintains four campgrounds in Georgia at Milltown, Paynes Creek, Watsadler, and at the Georgia River Recreation Area, which is located below the dam in Hart County.

If you'd prefer to stay in a hotel, B&B, or resort, you can find plenty of accommodations in Georgia, especially in Hart County. However, if you want to enjoy some mountainous areas to the north, you might want to stay in or near Toccoa, Georgia, and enjoy the northern reaches of Lake Hartwell from Stephens County. Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Lake Hartwell is located about halfway between Atlanta, Georgia, and Greenville, South Carolina. Lake Hartwell covers a large area, extending from north of Clemson, South Carolina, and branching into Tallulah Gorge State Park to the west and east to north of Anderson, South Carolina. It flows south to Hartwell, Georgia. Lake Hartwell covers Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, and Stephens, Franklin, and Hart Counties in Georgia. The more populated portion of Lake Hartwell is on the South Carolina, or eastern, shoreline.

Fun times at Lake Hartwell  Lake Hartwell

  Lake Hartwell  Lake Hartwell

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  51 Avg. High  55 Avg. High  63/td> Avg. High  71 Avg. High  78 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  80 Avg. High  71 Avg. High  63 Avg. High  53
Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  41 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  59 Avg. Low  67 Avg. Low  70 Avg. Low  70 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  52 Avg. Low  42 Avg. Low  34