Spend a day on Lake Hartwell, one of the largest lakes in the Southeast, known for its fishing, water adventures, and scenic dining. Catch legendary largemouth bass, enjoy inflatable obstacle courses at splash parks, rent a boat for water fun, and dock at lakeside restaurants. Lake Hartwell offers a perfect blend of outdoor activities, breathtaking views, and delicious dining options.

Big, Mighty.

First opened for recreational purposes in 1968, the 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell (which Lake Keowee feeds directly into) is one of the largest lakes in the Southeast, with more than 950 miles of shoreline; it also forms part of the border between South Carolina and Georgia. Admired for its breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the lake is a haven for boaters, fishermen, kayakers, campers, and hikers.

If you’re into fishing, the largemouth bass are legendary and almost always biting at Lake Hartwell, with the lake hosting multiple Bassmaster Classics. Fish of more than 20 pounds are not uncommon, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re passed by several of those sleek, fast-running fishing boats while you’re out on the lake as it’s constantly hosting some of the nation’s finest anglers.

Its nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline cover parts of six counties in both South Carolina and Georgia. The lake runs 49 miles up the Tugaloo River and 45 miles up the Seneca River, with the main body of open water stretching six miles across at its widest point.

From kayaking to jetskiing, a day on Lake Hartwell is more than a splash of fun—it’s a tidal wave.

Before you start packing your fishing pole
here’s everything you need to know about things to do + our insider tips.
If anyone asks you, “Water you doing at the lake later?”, we’ve got you covered. 

A black-and-white graphic depiction of a sailboat floating on water.

Whether you're an experienced angler or new to fishing, you're going to have a blast reelin’ in the big ones on Lake Hartwell. And hey, if you want some local know-how to help you out, here's a quick list of top-notch South Carolina fishing guides from around the lake.

📍 Mike Harter, LLC, Lake Hartwell Fishing Guide  
260 Ramey Rd., Westminster; 805.316.4400
Captain Mike Harter
🐟: Largemouth & Spotted Bass, Stripers, Hybrids & Crappie
🛥️: ’21 Nitro Z21 XL Pro Bass Boat & ’22 Bennington Tritoon
🎣: Half, ¾-Day, Full-Day Guided Fishing Trips, Pontoon Fishing & Cruises, Electronics Training
🧑: 3-6 Guests

📍 Electric City Charters & Watersports
470 Green Pond Rd., Anderson; 864.367.9566
Captain Roth Mathews
🐟: Largemouth & Spotted Bass
🛥️: 21’ Sportsman Center Console
🎣: Half-Day/4-Hour Charters
🧑: 4 Guests

📍 Limit Chaser Outdoors Guide Service
5365 South Carolina 24, Anderson; 864.940.2089
Captain Wyatt Fulbright
🐟: Stripers
🛥️: 20’ Blue Wave Bay Boat
🎣: Half-Day/6-Hour Charters
🧑: 3 Guests

🌊 The Shores of Asbury
When you’re ready to bump up the fun factor, visit Lake Hartwell’s The Shores of Asbury, where you’ll enjoy water adventures for hours on end. Situated just a few minutes from I-85 in Anderson, they have an RV resort with two dining options: The Waterfront Grill and El Arriero, but the chief attraction here is the Aqua Zone, a seasonal inflatable obstacle course that floats on the water. There’s even a Kid Zone obstacle course for the little ones.

🌊 Big Water Marina & Campground
If you’re further south on the lake, past Sadlers Creek State Park, you can also hit up Splash Island at Big Water Marina & Campground. Designed for those 46” and up, their Wibit inflatable obstacle course offers big fun with slides, towers, hurdles, monkey bars, and more where you can splash around in 1 or 2-hour time slots. Delicious food is available onsite from J.R. Cash’s Grill & Bar.


Rent a boat (or whatever type of watercraft *floats your boat*) from these South Carolina outfitters, which are just a sampling of available outfitters on Lake Hartwell.

📍 Clemson Marina
150 Clemson Marina Dr., Seneca; 864.653.6767
🛥️: Pontoons, Tritoons & Runabouts
*Boats are pet-friendly

📍 Tri-County Boat Rentals
117 Sage Brush Ct., Six Mile; 864.617.9187
🛥️: Pontoons, Tritoons, Deck Boats, Ski Boats & Water Toys (Water Skis, Wakeboards, Kneeboards & Tubes)
*Boats delivered to you

📍 Pontoon & Jet Ski Rental
208 Ledford Farm Rd., Fair Play; 864.314.0556
🛥️: Pontoons & Jet Skis

📍 Lake Valet, LLC
🛥️: Pontoon Rentals
*Boats delivered to you

The Western Carolina Sailing Club has been navigating the waters of Lake Hartwell with wind-powered grace and style for more than sixty years. They provide a family-oriented sailing environment on the lake with racing, cruising, and junior events offered for club members. The Club offers a Junior “Learn to Sail” camp every July and the Adult “Learn to Sail” classes are taught in the fall and spring; both are open to non-members. They also host an annual two-day Bloody Mary Regatta each fall.

Lake Hartwell State Park occupies 680 acres along Lake Hartwell’s western shoreline on the South Carolina-Georgia border. The park offers 115 paved campsites for RV or tent camping, 8 unique one-room camper cabins, fishing (along with a 140-ft fishing pier), a ¾-mile Beech Bluff nature trail, scenic lake views, and two boat ramps providing private boat access to Lake Hartwell. The park participates in the SCDNR Tackle Loaner Program, meaning you can rent fishing rods and reels from the park office to start catching largemouth bass, bream, stripers, hybrid bass, crappie, and catfish.  

A graphic depiction of a pushpin torn-off piece of paper saying "Nearby State Parks: Lake Hartwell & Sadlers Creek State Parks".

This South Carolina State Park occupies 395 rural acres along Lake Hartwell’s eastern shoreline. The park offers six miles of hiking and biking trails, 37 lakefront campground sites, fishing (along with a 100-ft fishing pier in a deep-water cove), scenic lake views, and two boat ramps providing private boat access to Lake Hartwell. Sadlers Creek participates in the SCDNR Tackle Loaner Program, meaning you can rent fishing rods and reels from the park office to start catching that bass, bream, crappie, catfish, and trout you see hanging about!

Dock your boat at these lakeside restaurants for a unique and convenient dining experience on the South Carolina side of Lake Hartwell.  

📍 The Galley Restaurant
1629 Marina Rd., Anderson
Located at Portman Marina in the northern section of the lake, this upscale waterfront restaurant features fresh seafood, steaks, pasta, sushi, and patio seating.

📍 The Grill at Clemson Marina
150 Clemson Marina Dr., Seneca
This northern Lake Hartwell restaurant near Clemson serves up American fare in a casual setting. Expect burgers, shrimp, fish, sandwiches, salads, wings, and rice bowls.

📍 J.R. Cash’s Grill & Bar
 320 Big Water Rd., Starr
Located in Big Water Marina, this lakeside dining spot serves American fare that is fresh and scratch-made. J.R.’s is known for its salads, sandwiches, and prime rib.


Created between 1955 and 1963 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a flood control and hydropower project, 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell is one of the Top 5 most-visited Corps sites in the United States, largely because of its outstanding boating, waterskiing, and legendary largemouth and striped bass fishing. Interstate 85 bisects Hartwell Lake and makes the area easily accessible to visitors. Lake Hartwell itself does not have any waterfalls, as it is a man-made reservoir created by the Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River.

A vector outline graphic depiction of Lake Hartwell along with its central coordinates.