McCormick County, SC
McCormick is one of the smallest counties in South Carolina, both in terms of population and land area. Still, it offers a remarkable array of recreation for the outdoor enthusiast. Most of the southwestern border of the county is covered by Thurmond Lake at Clarks Hill, which is one of the most easily accessible lakes in the state. Numerous recreation areas have been provided along Lake Thurmond's shores, and several of them are listed here. You can also find some hiking trails along Stevens Creek, which forms part of the county's southeastern border.
Parks and recreation areas
- Baker Creek State Park
Baker Creek State Park is located on Lake Thurmond, near the town of McCormick. It is a great place to escape and get away for a while. Amenities in the park include two campgrounds, a lakefront pavilion, boat ramps for access to the lake, and picnic shelters. The park is home to a nature trail where wildlife can be seen, plus several other trails. Mountain biking and hiking are popular activities on a ten-mile trail that winds through the park.
- Below Dam Site
This park has a viewing area where you can see the Lake Thurmond Dam in action, as water from the lake spills into the Savannah River. A boat ramp and fishing piers are also available. To the south, you will find a riverside picnic area with a short hiking trail in the surrounding woods.
- Clarks Hill Park
Located near the town of Clarks Hill, this park offers some great views of Thurmond Lake at Clarks Hill and Elijah Beach, not far from the dam. It also gives you the opportunity to wander around the lake's shoreline. There are plenty of trees here also. Two swimming areas are available, along with several lakeside picnic sites.
- Fork Area Trail System (FATS)
Located in the Sumter National Forest, this is a popular system of mountain bike trails consisting of several loops of varying difficulty. Some sections may be closed off after heavy rains.
- Furys Ferry Boat Ramp
This remote area in the Sumter National Forest is a popular fishing spot and boat ramp. Several picnic tables overlook Stevens Creek here also.
- Hamilton Branch State Park
Located on a peninsula on Thurmond Lake at Clarks Hill, between Modoc and Parksville, is this popular recreation area, which was formerly known as the “Hamilton Branch State Recreation Area”. It has many lakeside picnic tables and over two hundred campsites, many of which overlook the lake.
- Hickory Knob State Resort Park
Hicory Knob offers a wealth of activities along the shores of Strom Thurmond Lake. If you wish to stay overnight, you have the choice of staying in the lodge, a cabin, or the campground. During the day, you can enjoy golf, fishing, archery, hiking, mountain biking, skeet shooting, and more.
- Long Cane Creek Picnic Area
This secluded spot on Thurmond Lake in the Sumter National Forest has an elevated picnic area
containing four tables.
- Modoc Campground
Located about five miles from the Thurmond Visitor Information Center, this location has a large number of campsites overlooking Thurmond Lake at Clarks Hill.
- Modoc Trail
This hiking trail, which is also known as the “Stevens Creek Trail”, runs along the west side of Stevens Creek, with some good views of the creek and its tributaries. Off-road bicycles are permitted, but motorcycles are not.
- Parksville Recreation Area
This attractive lakeside recreation area is located along the South Carolina Heritage Corridor, and it is a nice place to walk and enjoy the lakeside views. It features several picnic areas, a swimming beach, a boat ramp, and a fish cleaning station.
- Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve
Several hiking trails with steep climbs will be found in this secluded preserve. You can also get some nice views of the creek here.
- Thurmond Lake Visitors' Center
This is the main information center for the Thurmond Lake at Clarks Hill project. From here, you can see some nice views of the lake and the dam. There is also a nice information center here.
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For more information about McCormick County, see http://www.sciway.net/cnty/mccormick.html.