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On the edge of South Carolina’s Midlands is McCormick County, home of Hamilton Branch State Park. The neighboring town of Plum Branch, South Carolina, is roughly an hour and a half from the state capital, Columbia. The drive from Augusta, Georgia, is less than 45 minutes, as the park borders on the state line.
The state park RV campgrounds are the perfect spot for campers who enjoy spending time on the water. A unique feature of Hamilton Branch State Park is that it offers lakefront camping on J. Strom Thurmond Lake’s 1,200 miles of shoreline. The massive reservoir boasts a surface area of over 70,000 acres and is named after a famous United States senator. Be sure to book an RV in McCormick County so you can experience boating, fishing, and other water sports on one of the largest lakes east of the Mississippi.
Fishing is a popular activity among Hamilton Branch State Park campers. However, you must have a South Carolina fishing license to participate in this activity. If you forget to bring your fishing equipment, you can rent equipment, including rods, reels, and tackle boxes, from the park office as part of the Tackle Loaner Program. Bass, bream, catfish, crappie, and striper are among the species of fish commonly found in Strom Thurmond Lake. Shoreline fishing is made especially convenient by the park’s lakefront campsites. Guided fishing tours are available out of Clarks Hill, South Carolina. Campers also have access to two boat ramps from which private boats may be launched. If you’re in search of alternative water sports, there's a kayak and stand-up paddleboard rental service in nearby Modoc, South Carolina.
The park features a single mile-and-a-half-long hiking trail. The Paleo Hiking Trail is rated easy and provides Hamilton Branch campers with a short, scenic hike. As you walk through the forest, you'll have the chance to admire hardwoods and towering pines from which wisteria vines hang in the spring. Over time, heavy rainfall has shaped the landscape surrounding the trail to include interesting ravines. The area is home to wildlife such as the white-tail deer and fox squirrel. You might even spot a bald eagle!
If you’re interested in biking, you can access the 12-mile Stevens Creek Bike Trail from a short bike trail located within the park. If you forget to bring a bike with you on your RV camping trip, there’s no need to despair. You can rent a bike from the park office any day of the week.
The park features over 150 campsites with electricity and water, many of which are lakefront. Even if your rental RV is large, don’t worry; some campsites can accommodate RV rentals as long as 40 feet. The park contains eight comfort stations, which include hot showers, and two dump stations for your convenience. Three picnic shelters are available for use when they're not reserved.
If you plan on staying for at least two nights, you can make a reservation for a campsite online or over the phone. Same-day reservations can be made only through the park. Pets are welcome at campsites but must remain caged or leashed while there.
Before leaving McCormick County, fill up your RV rental at one of several gas stations scattered throughout the county. Make sure to stop in the county seat, McCormick, which is roughly 20 minutes from the park. You can peruse local art at the McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah (MACK). While there, you’ll also have the chance to admire the historic Hotel Keturah, in which the MACK is housed. At South Carolina Wild's Heritage Center of Plantation Quilts, you can discover a different form of art and learn about history through quilts.
Once you've enjoyed all of the activities that McCormick County has to offer, drive your motorhome rental roughly 40 minutes north to the town of Ninety Six, South Carolina. The town’s unusual name is the result of its rich historical past from colonial outpost to Revolutionary War battleground. The Ninety Six National Historic Site, also called “Star Fort,” marks the location of the Revolutionary War’s first Southern land battle, which was succeeded by a second battle at the Historic Site.
When you’re ready to cross the state line, drive approximately 40 minutes south to Augusta, Georgia. The city is famous for the Masters golf tournament. Downtown Augusta also houses a variety of museums and restaurants and serves as a cultural hub for the area.