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It depends on what you want. Nobody else was there when I was there this past summer and so I was able to let my dogs roam freely. If that's what you want, there is plenty of space and since nobody else is there, there is privacy. However, the shower/bath houses that belonged to the camping area have been decommissioned and the only bathrooms, which are new, are therefore quite a distance because they're now in the day-use only area. I have pictures of the campsite somewhere I think. I did get chiggers from the whole experience.
Not a big rig friendly area. Our site was 30 amp, no sewer. I backed in the way I was told to and realized our water and electric were on the curb side. Had I known this ahead of time, I could have maybe pulled in another way. The service from another site was less than 3 feet from my power inlet to the camper. I called to make sure it would be ok to plug in there and they said no, even though no one used that site. The bathhouse was well below standards and really just unusable. I’ll pick another place if I’m ever in the area again.
My husband found Dreher Island on The Dyrt and said this is where he wanted to go for our November vacation. We looked at site photos online and found site 83. The drive in is a great way to see the whole park and campground. There were lots of picnic shelters, restrooms and trails.
Our site was great - we had an awesome view of the lake and our neighbors weren't too close. Our pad was level and we noticed that others were not or very bumpy as tree roots were growing underneath which would have made getting level a little tricky. We were surrounded by trees which brought in a lot of birds and squirrels, even a deer on our first morning. The fire ring is right off the pad, so don't back in to the very end of the pad which was fine because the pad was long for us.
The shower house was just a little walk past a few campsites. There were flush toilets, sinks and two showers. The showers did not have anywhere inside to leave your items, but there was a bench directly outside of your curtain. The camp host kept it nice and clean.
We stayed from Sunday-Saturday - some days we just sat around the fire and others we hiked around the island. There are a couple of designated areas for hiking and doable for any age. Every morning and evening we walked the campground which helped us check out some other sites. I'll acknowledge the good sites in our photos. The tent sites on the outside/shore side had tent pads then there were a few tent sites on the inside, but no tentpads - they all had electric.
We visited the marina store to pick up ice and wood and found that they also had some food items, condiments, fishing items, souvenirs and ice cream. We found that the Dollar General store in Chapin had cheaper wood, ice and anything else you may need…go there first.
We left Veterans weekend and it was just about full on Friday night. This might be our go to vacation spot - we lucked out with weather and one of the nicest stays at a state park.
We went camping at Hamilton Branch State Park in October 2019 for a week. There are so many wonderful things to say about this campground.
1) Almost ALL sites are lakefront- There are very few sites that are not right on the water. There are some sites that have a steep drop off to the water(mostly the tent sites around the sites 123-128 range). We found several sites that we thought were the best. Sites 77, 168, 98, 97, 103, 105, and a couple of others I can’t remember. Nice views and access to the water.
2) Sites are very spaced out- We were there during a quieter time, so we had several sites around us that were empty, but even if they had been full, we thought there was a lot of space between them, and most faced the water, so they all kind of faced away from each other. So, it seems to be very private.
3) Park is LARGE- This is a huge park, and even though there are 200 sites, those are all distributed over 9 different areas, each area consisting of at least 1 loop each. So, again, very spaced out and private.
4) Clean Bath Houses- Obviously we stuck to the bath house closest to our site, but it was extremely clean and appointed. Toilets cleaned every morning. Shower clean with good shower curtains! If you have camped before, you have likely encountered shower curtains that were hanging on by their last 2 or 3 loops. We even brought our own, in case that was the case here. Nope, it was very nice to have the bathroom so well taken care of.
5) Friendly Staff- We had originally booked a specific site, and when we got there, we wanted to change it(due to the steep drop to the water, that would be hard to do every day with kayaks). We looked around the park to see what else would be available and Amanda at the front office was very helpful in checking for availability and helping us change our site. In addition to the very helpful Amanda, we encountered several camp hosts. Since the park is so big, there are multiple camp hosts. Everyone we encountered was friendly, helpful and seemed to enjoy being there.
6) Beautiful Lake/Nature- Obviously the big attraction here is the lake. Thurmond Lake is ENORMOUS. And the park is on one small part of it. We kayaked a few days and saw a lot of fish, bald eagles, geese, blue herons, white egrets, etc. At our campsite we saw a couple of deer and a few raccoons. For a 6-night stay, we only saw the raccoons one night. We must not have had very good tidbits ad they gave up on us.
We stated several times that we will be coming back to this campground, and that it might be one of the best we have ever been to. I hope this gave you some info and insight into this park.
New phase 2 Area. Location on map is incorrect. CG is located east of Jenkinville on SC-215. Definitely for both long term and overnight RV. We have been here for a month. Aside from the commute to anywhere this is a good campground. The staff is what makes it a 5 star along with the awesome sunsets.