Dreher Island State Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

Spanning three islands on 348 acres, Dreher Island State Park is one of South Carolina’s RV camping crown jewels. Nearly 100 campsites allow RV as well as tent campers to enjoy in their rigs or trailers the stellar views Dreher Island and Lake Murray have to offer. When you bring your camper, you will be spoiled with choices at Dreher Island State Park. This park, once also known as Dreher Island State Recreation Area, offers 12 out of 500 miles of Lake Murray shoreline. On the shores of this 50,000-acre lake, you will be able to find for yourself plenty of refreshment. You can try to bait some of the best striped and largemouth bass in South Carolina. The lake is also a swimmer’s delight. Or, if you are into scuba diving or boating, we bet you will be calling the lake your happy place.

Not just the water, the land of Dreher Island Recreation is also no less generous when it comes to offering recreation – there are hiking trails to explore, plenty of geocaches to discover, and purple martins to leave you in awe of their splendid skin color if you visit between June to August.

If you look for picnic options, you will be delighted to find ten picnic and three fishing tournament shelters that you can use for reunions, gatherings, and luncheons in spring, summer, and fall. Early spring to mid-fall is considered the ideal time to hit the park in a trailer. Camping continues throughout the year in its two campgrounds with standard RV campsites and a few tent sites as well as primitive group campsites. If you are looking for more comfort, you can book one of the 15 villas for your overnight stay.

RV Rentals in Dreher Island State Recreation Area

Transportation in Dreher Island State Recreation Area

Driving

The park sits on a fantastic location, around 30 miles from South Carolina’s capital and most populated city, Columbia, making it easier for a large number of SC residents to access the park in no time. If you are living in Columbia, you can easily reach the park in less than an hour in your trailer via I-26 W Highway. The roads, however, are narrow and winding which makes driving a little difficult and time-consuming.

There are a few driving rules you must follow when driving your rig inside the park. There are specified speed limits – driving in a reckless manner and above the speed limits is prohibited. You must only use the roads to get around the park. Tight turns and winding roads may become a problem for large RVs. Street parking is prohibited. You will find two parking areas inside the park. Other than the parking lots, you can park your vehicle in your campsite.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Dreher Island State Recreation Area

Campsites in Dreher Island State Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Islanders Camp Circle

Islanders Camp Circle offers sites from 31 to 97, all being standard campsites with 30-amp electric and water hookups. There are 15 additional campsites exclusively for tent-camping in this campground. A sewage dump, Wi-Fi, restrooms, and showers are offered.

Anglers Camp Circle

Dreher Island State Park offers RV camping facilities in two campgrounds. Anglers Camp Circle is made up of 30 campsites and sits near the shores of Lake Murray. All the campsites come with electric and water hookups. Restrooms and hot showers are offered. The availability of wireless internet is another great plus. A dumping facility is also provided. Reservations are accepted. Reservations can be made by calling the park’s toll-free number or online. Same day reservations must be made by calling the park.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Dreher Island State Recreation Area

In-Season

Hiking

Billy Dreher Nature Trail and Little Gap Trail offer you just the kind of pleasure you wish to experience on a hiking trail. Billy Dreher Nature Trail is about two miles long, which displays both sites of historical importance and natural features of the park. You will get to lay your eyes on the ruins of the former Billy Dreher Home which is a treat for the sore eyes. Another trail, Little Gap is more than two miles is for those who are looking for a more challenging hike. You will be walking through pine and hardwood forests and discovering the park’s wildlife.

If you are bringing your bike in the RV, the Bicycle Bypass Trail is for you. It is less than a mile-long trail that is extensively used by bike lovers coming to the park.

Scuba Diving and Swimming

You will find incredible opportunities for scuba diving and swimming at Dreher Island State Park. If you are planning to add scuba diving to your list of recreational activities at the park, don't forget to pack your equipment in the RV. The park does not rent any equipment whatsoever. So, make sure your diving mask, scuba tank, snorkel, and dry suit are not missed behind while you come to Dreher Island for your RV vacation. Though the park has no swimming beaches, the activity is allowed in Lake Murray.

Fishing

The multitude of species will keep you hooked to Lake Murray during your RV stay at Dreher Island State Park – varieties of bass like largemouth and stripers, yellow perch, bream, crappie, and catfish will spoil you for choices. Three boat ramps provide easy access to Lake Murray. If you visit during the seasonal fishing tournaments, you will be in great luck. And, three fishing picnic shelters come as a cherry on the top. The availability of these Wi-Fi-enabled shelters with live wells and catch and release tank will make fishing all the more worthwhile.

Off-Season

Geocaching

If the cold does not scare you, you can also set out on a modern-day treasure hunt if you visit during the winters. Several geocaches are hidden throughout the park. You can also hide some new ones if you want. All you need to do is simply register the cache at the park and then you are ready to hide it somewhere in the park where hundreds may come looking for it.

Remember to dress in accordance to the weather. Don’t forget to pack some snow-friendly boots in the campervan since you will be dealing with a lot of ice and snow. And, to add to the fun, you can snowshoe and find geocache at the same time.

Sightseeing the Park

The park is a nature lover’s dream with its lush sunset views, lovely island vistas, enjoyable wildlife viewing, and immense birding opportunities. The most beautiful of all its natural wonders is the bridge at sunset. The scenery of sun setting on the bridge is simply out of this world – hard to be described in an adjective or few. History lovers will love the park's Little Gap, a site of historical significance, as well as the ruins of ancient Billy Dreher Home.

Simply put, there is no shortage of sites of interest at Dreher Island State Park. Bring your RV and see for yourself. Take a trip down the park in your RV, stop by the bridge to view the sunset or the historical ruins of Billy Dreher Home or chase anticipated wildlife.

Birdwatching

Birding opportunities are immense in the park, especially at the trails. Don’t forget your binoculars at home – there is a wealth of birding opportunities waiting to be availed at Dreher Island State Park. The birds you may expect to catch a glimpse of include bald eagles, ducks, turtles, geese, purple martins and more. Be attentive to the sounds around you. Anytime you may hear a songbird whistling melodiously ready to take your breath away.

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