Whether you are looking to water ski, float on a kayak, or spend time in a great spot for fishing, the Savannah River, Augusta Canal and Lake Thurmond have a lot to offer for those who enjoy being on the water. .

LAKE THURMOND, also known locally as Clarks Hill Lake, is the largest Corps of Engineers lake east of the Mississippi, according to Explore Georgia, and includes more than 70,000 acres of water and 1,200 miles of shoreline. It hosts many fishing tournaments throughout the year and is known for its bass, crappie, crappie and catfish. The lake has several boat launch sites, beach access and other amenities.

the SAVANNAH RIVER stretches just over 300 miles from North Carolina to Savannah where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It passes through Augusta, which gives Garden City the opportunity to host various water activities, including the Ironman triathlon, and to give its residents the opportunity to get in the water. Some boaters will even head south for a little trip to Savannah.

the AUGUSTA CANAL runs parallel to the Savannah River and flows into it at various points. The canal stretches five miles from the gates of Savannah Rapids in Martinez to the King and Sibley Mills in downtown Augusta.

So where should you go to go out? Here is a list of suggestions classified by activity:

Kayaking / canoeing

Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental offers tandem and individual kayaks for rent down the Augusta Canal to Lake Olmstead. At the end of the day, renters can use the company’s van to transport their kayaks to Savannah Rapids for $ 5. Those who bring their own kayaks can purchase a van ride for $ 10 each. More experienced kayakers can also rent kayaks to access the Savannah River, which runs parallel to the canal.

Kayaking the Augusta Canal is one of the area's many water options.

Paddlers who are not ready to take a solo canal or river trip can use other services like Cole Watkins Tours. The company offers other tours including a trip to Stallings Island and another from J. Strom Thurmond Dam to Betty’s Branch. Tours cost $ 50 for adults and $ 25 for children 12 and under. Discounted rates are available for those bringing their own kayaks. Rentals are also available for solo trips for $ 30 for single kayaks and $ 50 for tandem kayaks.

For kayaking adventures on the Savannah River, Two Dudes and a Boat Kayak Rentals offers tours and rentals. Tours begin at the Hammonds Ferry Ramp at 186 Hammonds Ferry Road in North Augusta and venture to the Savannah Rapids before returning to the Two Dudes location at Fifth Street Marina. Kayakers will see Rae’s Creek and downtown Augusta. The cost is $ 60 per person. Night tours and canoe rentals are also available.

Located at Riverside Park in Evans, Betty’s Branch provides an access point for kayakers and flows to the Savannah River. Outdoor Augusta is located at the entry point and offers kayaks for rent. Single kayaks cost $ 30, tandems $ 40, canoes $ 40, and stand-up paddleboards $ 30. They also offer tours ranging from $ 30 to $ 50.

Those with their own kayaks or canoes can also take off from the following launch pad locations:

  • Savannah Rapids Pavilion: 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez (on the Savannnah River and Augusta Canal)
  • Lake Olmstead: 2200 Broad St., Augusta (accesses the Augusta Canal)
  • Branch of Betty: 25 Dolphin Way, Evans (accesses the Savannah River)
  • Hammond Ferry Ramp: Hammond’s Ferry Road, North Augusta, (803) 441-4300 (on the Savannah River)
There are many ways to access Lake Thurmond for boating, fishing, and other activities.

Pleasure cruising

Boaters can access the Augusta Canal, Savannah River or Lake Thurmond at the following motorized boat ramps:

AUGUSTA CANAL

  • Lake Olmstead: 2200 Broad Street, Augusta (accesses the Augusta Canal)
  • Hammond Ferry Ramp: Hammond’s Ferry Road, North Augusta, (803) 441-4300

SAVANNAH RIVER

  • Branch of Betty: 25 Dolphin Way, Evans (accesses the Savannah River)
  • Fifth Street Marina: 1 Fifth St., Augusta (on the Savannah River)
  • New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam: 1853 Lock and Dam Road, Augusta (on the Savannah River)

LAKE THURMOND

Appling

  • Lake Springs Park: 3900 Lake Springs Road, Appling
  • Petersburg Campground: 3998 Petersburg Road
  • Ridge Road Campground: Ridge Road
  • Wildwood Park: 3780 Dogwood Lane
  • Winfield Campground: 7701 Winfield Road

Lincolnton

  • Amity Recreation Area: 5782 Thomson Highway
  • Bussey Point Recreation Area: Double branch route
  • Chamberlain Ferry Ramp: 4567 Chamberlain Road S Ferry
  • Double branch ramp: 1034 Cherokee Drive
  • Eddie Fletcher Park: 1972 Rowland-York Drive
  • Elijah Clark State Park: 2959 McCormick Highway
  • Gills Point Recreation Area: Gills Point Road
  • Murray Creek Ramp: Savannah Scenic Way S.

Thomson

  • Big Hart Campground: 5258 Washington Road

In south carolina

  • Clarks Hill Park: just off Georgia State Highway 221 near the dam, McCormick
  • Hickory Knob State Park and Resort: 1591 Resort Drive, McCormick
  • Long Cane Creek Picnic Area: Hwy. 28, McCormick; (803) 637-5396
  • Parksville Recreation Area: located on US 221 / SC 28 in Parksville, approximately ten miles south of McCormick
  • Modoc ramp: Gilchrist Ferry Road, Modoc, South Carolina

Nautical clubs

Boaters looking to get together with new friends and join a local club have two local options.

The Augusta Sailing Club hosts social events for local boaters as well as children's camps and regattas.

The Augusta Sailing Club, Inc., at 5462 Sailing Road in Appling, is a non-profit organization established in 1953 to promote sailing. It hosts regattas and provides a social place for members and their guests. For more information on membership, contact [email protected] All new members must be sponsored by a primary sponsor and two secondary sponsors. Sponsors must be active or honorary members and a sponsor must have been a member for at least five years.

The Freedom Club at Lake Clarks Hill is located at 4271 Old Lincolnton Road in Appling. The club started in Sarasota, Florida, and now has over 250 locations nationwide. For pricing and membership information, contact (706) 524-8855 or [email protected]

A Petersburg boat sails on the Augusta Canal.

Boat tours

If you’re not ready to invest in your own boat, or kayaking isn’t relaxing for you, riverboats are available for trips on the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River.

Petersburg Boat Tours offers guided boat tours along the canal with an overview of 19th-century textile factories, Confederate Powder Works, and two of Georgia’s only remaining 18th-century houses. Prices range from $ 12 to $ 27 per person and include admission to the Augusta Canal Discovery Center. Seasonal offers vary with music cruises available during the cooler months. Find all the options on augustacanal.com.

The Patriots Riverboat Tours offer one-hour public guided tours for $ 7 for children and $ 15 for adults. A two-hour sunset excursion is also available for adults for $ 25. Private games can be purchased from $ 355 for one hour to $ 495 for two hours. Contact them at (803) 730-9739 for reservations.

Ray Bussey (left), who lives in Lincoln County, Ga., And Ryan Blaedow hold the fish that struck a blueback herring alive in 15 feet of water while fishing on Thurmond Lake in April 2020.

Peach

Check the city and state requirements for fishing rules at each location.

Appling

Access Lake Thurmond from five locations in Appling.

  • Lake Springs Recreation Area: 3900 Lake Springs Road
  • Petersburg Campground: 3998 Petersburg Road
  • Ridge Road Campground: Ridge Road
  • Wildwood Park: 3780 Dogwood Lane
  • West dam recreation area: Sparrow lane

Augusta

Fishing grounds vary in Augusta from the canal to the ponds.

  • Lake Olmstead: 2200 Broad St., Augusta (accesses the Augusta Canal)
  • New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam: 1853 Lock and Dam Road, Augusta; (706) 793-9403 (on the Savannah River)
  • Mayor’s fishing hole: 1823 Lock and Dam Road, Augusta (pond)
  • Merry Land Brick Pond Parks: 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Augusta (706) 722-8263 (pond)

Evans

  • Branch of Betty: 25 Dolphin Way, Evans (accesses the Savannah River)

Hephzibah

  • Diamond Lakes: 4335 Windsor Spring Road, Hephzibah; (706) 771-2980

Lincolnton

Access Lake Thurmond from four locations in Lincolnton.

  • Amity Recreation Area: 5782 Thomson Highway
  • Bussey Point Recreation Area: Double branch route
  • Elijah Clark State Park: 2959 McCormick Highway
  • Gills Point Recreation Area: Gills Point Road

Martinez

  • Savannah Rapids Pavilion: 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez (on the Augusta Canal and Savannah River)

McCormick, SC

  • Clarks Hill Park: just off Georgia State Highway 221 near the dam, McCormick (on Lake Thurmond)
  • Long Cane Creek Picnic Area: Hwy. 28, McCormick County, SC; (803) 637-5396 (on Lake Thurmond)

North Augusta

  • Brick Pond Park: 88 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta

Thomson

  • Big Hart Campground: 5258 Washington Road, Thomson (on Lake Thurmond)

After:Georgia program rewards fishermen for making exceptional catches

Sunbathing and swimming

Friends spend an afternoon at the beach at Wildwood Park in Thurmond Lake.

If you’re looking for a day of sun and swim, Thurmond Lake has beach options from Lincolnton to McCormick.

Appling

  • Lake Springs Recreation Area: 3900 Lake Springs Road
  • Mistletoe State Park: 3725 Mistletoe Road
  • Petersburg Campground: 3998 Petersburg Road
  • Ridge Road Campground: Ridge Road
  • West dam recreation area: Sparrow lane
  • Wildwood Park: 3780 Dogwood Lane

Lincolnton

  • Amity Recreation Area: 5782 Thomson Highway
  • Chamberlain Ferry Ramp: 4567 Chamberlain Road S Ferry
  • Eddie Fletcher Park: 1972 Rowland-York Drive
  • Elijah Clark State Park: 2959 McCormick Highway
  • Gills Point Recreation Area: Gills Point Road
  • Murray Creek Ramp: Savannah Scenic Way S.

McCormick, SC

  • Clarks Hill Park: just off Georgia State Highway 221, near the dam
  • Hickory Knob State Park and Resort: 1591 Resort Drive

Parksville, South Carolina

  • Parksville Recreation Area: Located on US 221 / SC 28 in Parksville, approximately ten miles south of McCormick

Thomson

  • Big Hart Campground: 5258 Washington Road

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