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On Thurmond Lake





Thurmond Lake is a large, deep, clear,
beautiful lake that lies in the lush valley along the border between Georgia and South Carolina.  Running about 40 miles from its northern tip at the Russell Lake damn down to its entry into the Savannah River near Augusta, Thurmond Lake is an undiscovered paradise.  The 1,200 mile shoreline of Thurmond Lake runs through forests, rolling hills and fertile farm land on the Georgia side, while much of the South Carolina shoreline is bordered by the heavily wooded Sumter National Forest.




Thurmond Lake is actually a reservoir built on the Savannah, Broad and Little Rivers in the mid 1950s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and power production. It was formerly known as Clarks Hill Lake by Georgians, and is also sometimes (incorrectly) called Lake Thurmond.  At approximately 71,000 surface acres it is the largest such lake east of the Mississippi River.  By comparison, Lake Sydney Lanier (the other significant man-made lake near Atlanta) is only half the size at about 36,000 acres.  Thurmond Lake is also relatively deep, with an average depth of 36 feet which provides an excellent environment for wildlife and fisheries managment ... as well as recreation.

While Thurmond Lake continues to grow in popularity, it remains well known for its pristine shoreline and wide open water.  Recreation on both land and water can be found all around Thurmond Lake.  Sailing, powerboating, and waterskiing offer exhilaration on the big water channels, while canoeing, kayaking, swimming and fishing
are popular in the more quiet coves.  The state record striped bass of 55 lb and 12 ounces came from here in 1993 and anglers from all over the southeast include Thurmond Lake on their "must fish" list.

There are many recreation areas, state parks and campgrounds all around the shoreline of Thurmond Lake that you can enjoy throughout the year.  They offer an unlimited array of land-based recreation including hiking, biking, camping ... even hunting and horseback riding. Many recreation areas offer boat launch facilities, picnic sites as well as sandy beaches with swimming areas. 

The Thurmond Lake area is also surrounded by rich historyNative American archeological sites dot the perimeter of the shoreline and there are famous Revolutionary and Civil War sites in the towns and counties nearby.  The city of Washington, Georgia - founded in 1780 - is a few miles from where The Battle of Kettle Creek took  place during the American Revolution in 1779.  And, you will be carried back in time to the mid 19th century as you drive through this quaint, rural town with hundreds of beautifully restored antebellum and plantation homes that line the streets.  Other cities and towns like Lincolnton, Thompson, Danburg, Chennault, etc. offer additional historical treasures.

Thurmond Lake is not too far away from modern living either.  Easily accessible to interstate highways and state routes, Thurmond Lake is only two hours from Atlanta, an hour from Athens (home of the University of Georgia) and less than 30 minutes away from Augusta - Georgia's second largest city.  On the South Carolina side, Thurmond Lake is less than a half hour from Aiken and only one hour from the state capital of Columbia.  Wherever your visit may take you, there are a wide variety of excellent restaurants, fun and functional shopping, wonderful festivals and community events spread throughout the towns, cities and countryside all around Thurmond Lake.

The most recent development around Thurmond Lake has been the growth in resort communities and other real estate In 2003, the Savannah Bay community was the first to release property and sold all of their 58 luxury homesites generating over $10 million during one weekend.  Not to be out done, Stillwater Coves - with 954 acres on the lake near Danburg, GA in November 2005 - sold all 340 homesites totalling $43 million in real estate to homeowners and investers primarily from the Atlanta metropolitan area, the Carolinas and Florida.   There are currently 5 or 6 more resort communities planned for the Georgia side of Thurmond Lake which are expected to be developed over the coming years.
                                 
Additionally, as recently reported by the Augusta Chronicle, five Georgia counties closest to Thurmond Lake are forming a partnership to work together to promote the lake as a major force in the economy of the area.  Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie, Warren and Wilkes counties will embark on a mission to expand tourism, industry, trade, commerce and residential development surrounding Thurmond Lake that will lead to population growth and a reinvigorated local economy.


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