The best camping near
New Ellenton, SOUTH CAROLINA

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Most Recent New Ellenton Camping Reviews
Great!

So many great campsites and so many of them waterfront! Well maintained. Excellent gatehouse staff. Good hiking and boat launch.
Highly recommend. Lots to do in the area. River walk, canal boat tour, great art museum.
Good food and shopping nearby.

Awesome lakeside state park

Nice spacing between sites, renovated comfort stations with private showers, good little camp office, great staff, miles of lake shore, and lots of beautiful hiking. The site shown is #49.

Stunning views

All campsites have nice views of the lake. Large boat ramp, kayak and paddleboard rentals, cabins, hiking trails, nature viewing spots, walk in sites…this one has it all. Many events throughout the year for all. Store in the park in case you forgot something. Ranger lives inside the campground as well.

Large sites

These sites are all good sized lots and not on top of each other. Amenities are clean, but could use another bath house or two. Beautiful views of the easily accessible lake, a boat ramp and a park all round out this nice little getaway spot. Highly recommended.

Surrounded by trees, water and nature.

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.

Everything you need, just not close to other things

Magnolia Springs State Park is a nice Georgia State Park. Located just north of Millen, GA, the park offers ample camping for both RVs and tents.

Spots are flat and easy to park campers and set up tents with enough room between each for a bit of privacy and a few walk-in tent sites for increased privacy. Cabin rentals are available as well as a group lodge. There is a bath house in the main campground that is well kept complete with flush toilets and showers, as well as a coin laundry machines.

Kayak, canoe, pedal boat and bike rentals are all available from the visitor center to explore the spring fed lake and mostly flat trails in the park.

This is a lovely park to camp and spend time in, but is a 2-3 hour drive to Atlanta or Savannah if you are interested in exploring GA. The town of Millen has fast food options, as well as ample opportunity to pick up essential goods.

Everything you need, just not close to other things

Magnolia Springs State Park is a nice Georgia State Park. Located just north of Millen, GA, the park offers ample camping for both RVs and tents.

Spots are flat and easy to park campers and set up tents with enough room between each for a bit of privacy and a few walk-in tent sites for increased privacy. Cabin rentals are available as well as a group lodge. There is a bath house in the main campground that is well kept complete with flush toilets and showers, as well as a coin laundry machines.

Kayak, canoe, pedal boat and bike rentals are all available from the visitor center to explore the spring fed lake and mostly flat trails in the park.

This is a lovely park to camp and spend time in, but is a 2-3 hour drive to Atlanta or Savannah if you are interested in exploring GA. The town of Millen has fast food options, as well as ample opportunity to pick up essential goods.

Nice

Nice campground. More private than state parks.

Water and land

The main feature is the lake. Fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming. Stayed at site #12. Waterfront excellent view of lake but sunny site. Sites had water, electric, concrete table, fire ring, and lantern hook. Not much barrier between sites but sites were good size just open. Everyone was very friendly. During week it was relatively empty but on Friday the campground started to fill up. Sites in the 60-90 loop looked the best with water views and shade and most were pull through. The bathrooms were ok and there is a laundry room. The bathrooms were quite far from some sites requiring a long walk or drive. Park had a great store selling souvenirs, ice, firewood, worms for fishing. Campground staff and host were very friendly. Not much around outside park. There was a dollar general about 12 miles away for supplies. You could pull your boat up to your waterfront campsite. They also have kayak rentals.

We LOVED Our Stay!!

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.

Outstanding

Great park, few pictures from the island.

Tiny Treasure

Had the opportunity to stop by for one night as we returned from Hunting Island State Park.  This is a hidden little gem that is on my list to spend a couple of nights at.  They coyotes howling at night were insane but to me that adds to the camping experience.

Deep forest, buggy backcountry!

This review is of the three backcountry hike-in sites at Mistletoe State Park along the Rock Dam Trail.  I didn't stay in any of these, but checked them out as I hiked the Rock Dam Trail.  This trail was supposed to involve several water crossings, but when I was here in September, the water level was extremely low and nothing was flowing beyond a trickle.  Water in the streams was mostly still and quite murky.   If you are filtering water (and you surely will be if you are camping back here), you'll need to pre-filter well to not clog your filter (at least when it is low and murky).

If you hike the trail from the Mistletoe parking lot counter-clockwise, site #1 is about 2.8 miles in, site #2 about 4.1 miles in, and site #3 about 4.8 miles in.  (So sites #2 & #3 would be closer going clockwise.)  Water sources: sites #1 & #2 are near the stream, and #3 is near a small lake.  If the water is low like it was when I was here, the lake water was not accessible -- you'd have to trudge through 50 fifty feet of mud to get to it and you'd probably get swallowed or it would really suck anyway.  So save #3 for the springtime only I think.  The other two water was there but murky as I said.  (Apparently when the water is high the streams are really flowing and possibly near waist level to hike through at some points.)

Site #1 was the best in the most interesting location, spacious, level, pretty nice site for tents or hammocks.  Site #2 was more boring, smaller and without really good ground for a tent, although workable.  No shortage of trees for hammocks though.  Site #3 was decent (and the closest to start if you hike the trail clockwise), but again only when the lake water is high or there won't be any water (see pic).

All of these sites are in the forest and I'm sure it is quite buggy almost always, so be prepared with thermacells, bug nets, etc.  All sites had a table and fire pit.  All trash must be packed out.  The trail itself was pretty good, moderately strenuous with a fair amount of ups & downs and parts where you are in a very narrow ravine.  If the water crossings really involved water (as they do in the spring apparently) it would be even more strenuous.

Nice!

This is a review of the four walk-in tent sites at Mistletoe State Park.  I personally stayed in #4 and had a look at the others. 

The best site is definitely #2 -- feet from the water, spacious, suitable for more than one tent or hammock (better for tents as it is mostly open, but there are places for hammocks along the edges). 

Site #4 is probably second best, better for a hammocks probably (which is what I had) as no great level ground. It is not right on the water but has it's own private path to the water(couple hundred feet to the water).

Sites #1 & #3 do not really have access to the water without climbing down something steeply dangerous or through thick trees.  (The water access from the other sites is right in the middle of those other sites so you couldn't really share that unless they are empty or occupied by friends.)  Still #1 is a pretty good site.  #3 is the least interesting and smallest, but still secluded -- I wouldn't call any of these bad.

None of these sites have groomed tent pads -- just gravelly ground.   They do each have a table, fire pit, and lantern pole.  #1 & #2 are best for tents.  There is good separation between all sites.  Sites #2 & #3 are within shouting distance of each other and you'd be able to see tents, etc at one from the other.  There is an outhouse between sites #1 & #2, and another another between sites #3 & #4.  It is a 5 minute (or so) walk to the real bathroom (which also has showers) back in the main campground.

Other than the lake itself at sites #2 & #4, I didn't see any dedicated water source for these sites.  (The lake is silty -- pre-filtering recommended if you are using a filter.)  So you'd have to bring in water or get it from the bathroom area or maybe from an empty RV site which all have spigots.  You'll have to pack out your trash, and there are definitely critters around that will get in your trash so it should be secured somehow.  (Hanging it from the lantern pole isn't good enough -- you'll wake up to find a hole in the bag and it strewn around, ask me how I know.)

Everything in the park was very clean and well-maintained, although when I was here in September (during the week), the whole place was basically deserted anyway.

The water access at sites #2 & #4 is nice but it is not a real beach -- it is all large rocks for the most part and they were very slippery even when dry so be careful.  The water level was also extremely low when I was there so some of those rocks are probably covered by water earlier in the year.

Easily accessible on Lake Murray, Columbia SC

Small camp site on Lake Murray near downtown Columbia SC. Tent sites, RV sites. Boat rentals nearby.

Very quiet

Raysville is a hidden gem at Clarks Hill Lake.  this campground is much quieter and more secluded than the others in the area.  they still offer decent bath houses with showers.  the only negative in my mind is the lack of a swimming area for kids.

Clean & Quiet

Winfield has a lot of really good sites, most with reasonable privacy.  The campground isn't too large as to overwhelm you.  they have several sites that work well as buddy sites too.

Very clean and very well maintained

Mistletoe takes very good care of their sites.  There are plenty of RV/tent sites to choose from as well as a few walk-in sites, a group site, and even a few back country sites.  The facilities are always extremely clean.  They also have laundry facilities available.

My favorite SC camp

Quiet, peaceful camp on beautiful Lake Murray. RV and tent sites. Clean bathhouses.

Favorite State Park

Sooooo many beautiful campsites to choose from! Lots of trees and spaced apart. We camp here almost every other weekend during the warm months and once a weekend during the cooler months.

First to Review
Weekend

Stayed here this past weekend and what a wonderful tent site! Slept in the hammock and woke up to a beautiful view!

Quiet!

Clean camp sites. Abundance of wildlife. The out houses & vault toilets are in good shape.  This park is always quiet and offers plenty of privacy

Clean

Very clean & several beaches to swim at

Wasn't for us

We are more of a state park kind of campers and these spots were very close together. Great for passing through but you won't see me there again. Internet was spotty at best.

Great campground with beautiful lake

Really great time at this campground. Sites are very large with plenty of room between sites. Some lake front, lake view and woods. Site 64 was huge with plenty of room for our two golden retrievers with lake view and woods. Kayaked around the area, water was nice and dogs loved swimming. It was in the high 90s so the shaded site helped. Bath houses were clean and centralized throughout the campground. Everyone was very friendly. Have a large beach area and playgrounds and picnic areas too. Great place to bike, will bring mine next time. Good hiking trails around the park.

Camping at its best

Gorgeous island and campground. This is by far a destination of choice. Waterfront sites, hiking trails, wildlife, boating and biking. The sites are spacious and so well maintained. The park is pristine. Will go again and again.

Island Time!!!

Easy drive into park. Most sites gravel with a blacktop driveway. They are all good size. Tent sites all have tent pads. Clean bath house. Boat ramp. Sites on the water make it great to keep your boat or kayak at your site. Fun, family park. Great fishing. The camper cabins are great. If you need a bed and air or heat, it’s the way to go.

Peaceful

We have stayed at this campground a couple times over the last 3 years. It is a fantastic place for families to go camping, you will see deer, you can go fishing, swimming hiking. It has a little something for everyone.

Geese, ducks, ROOSTER!

Beautiful place but the rooster! 4:30 in the morning! Maybe get far from the office.

Site 29 Very Nice!

Water access wasn’t very good but the site was big and private! It’s quiet and well kept.