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Big Oaks Recreation Are

Located just past the Georgia/South Carolina border, this park offers picnic areas right on the lake, restrooms, a boat ramp, and facilities for the handicapped. A paved 2.75-mile (roundtrip) walking trail is also available.

Swimming, boating, and water skiing are top reasons to visit Lake Hartwell in northeast Georgia. Largemouth bass, hybrid bass, striper, black crappie, and bream can be found in the sparkling waters of this 55,590-acre reservoir. You’ll be glad you read this!


Located adjacent to the Lake Hartwell Dam Visitor Center, Big Oaks offers picnic areas, a playground, and a paved walking trail (handicap accessible) to view the dam and the Savannah River. A small visitor center is available and you can request to watch a short film about the building of the dam.

Swimming, boating, and fishing are the prime activities at this beautiful reservoir. The US Army Corps of Engineers built the Hartwell Dam and Lake in 1955-63 with multiple purposes including hydropower, flood control, navigation, water quality, fish and wildlife management, and recreation. Over 8 million people visit public recreation spaces at the lakes and their surrounding shorelines each year.

Located on the Tugaloo River arm of the lake, Paynes Creek Campground features 51 sites with electric and water hookups; many of these are waterfront. The campground also has shower/restroom facilities, a dump station, playgrounds, and swim beaches.

Picnic Area

The picnic area at Big Oaks Recreation Area is a great place to spend the day with family and friends. Enjoy a scenic view of Lake Hartwell from the picnic pavilion or take a walk on the paved (handicap-accessible) walking trail. The trail also leads to the historic Hartwell Dam and provides views of the Savannah River and Lake Hartwell. The dam is a popular site for walking or biking and is the location of the annual Lake Hartwell Dam Run.

The park is home to 2 playgrounds, 3 designated swim beaches, restrooms, a boat launching ramp, facilities for the handicapped, a courtesy dock, and ramp security lighting. A $5 per vehicle day use fee is charged to enter the park. This article is worth reading.


The park offers restrooms, a swimming area, a playground, and a picnic shelter (Reservable!) in addition to a boat ramp and courtesy dock. It is open May 1 – Sept. 30 and has 20 cottages, 6 yurts, and 116 RV and tent campsites as well as a more primitive pioneer campground.

This USACE recreation area on the south side of Hartwell Dam overlooking the “Big Water” section of the lake is a favorite spot for fishing and camping with sweeping views of the lake. It has a paved hiking/biking trail and restrooms.

This day-use area is a popular place for families to gather at the lake. There are 2 beaches, playgrounds, and 4 picnic shelters at this Corps of Engineers-managed recreation area. There is also a courtesy dock and ramp security lighting. This is the location for the annual Lake Hartwell Dam Run across the Georgia/South Carolina border and has restrooms, a picnic area, and a 100-foot fishing pier.

Boat Ramp

Located in Georgia on the border of South Carolina, Lake Hartwell is a 56,000-acre man-made lake. Featuring a 962-mile shoreline, this popular Corps of Engineers-managed lake is a premier destination for swimming, boating, and fishing. Largemouth and hybrid bass, striped bass, crappie, catfish, and bream are all commonly found in the lake’s clear waters.

The Paynes Creek campground area offers a boat ramp, restrooms, picnic shelter (Reservable!), courtesy dock, ramp security lighting, and designated swim beaches. This campground is open year-round.

Other recreational activities around Lake Hartwell include camping, golfing, hiking, and picnicking. The nearby town of Seneca offers visitors a quaint downtown district with antique shops and restaurants. The Historic Ballenger House and Train Depot Museum are two of the most notable attractions in town. The county also has several other museums and historical sites to explore. Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls are two popular hiking spots that offer stunning views of the area. Click here for more interesting articles.



Driving directions from Southern Pressure Washing to Big Oaks Recreation Area

Driving directions from Big Oaks Recreation Area to Richard B. Russell State Park