Exploring North of Modoc–Friday–July 6, 2012

J. Strom Thurmond Lake is a very large lake. With 13 COE campgrounds, 6 State Park campgrounds, 7 county parks, 6 marinas and a couple dozen day use areas… it certainly is worth exploring. Since the weather has been too hot to do much else, we took off early this morning by car to check things out.

We headed north from Modoc on Route 28. 
(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Just a couple miles north on Rt. 28 is Hamilton Branch State Park. (#7 on the map)  We road through the campground and let’s just say it does not measure up to what we like. 
The sites sit high above the lake.
Pretty much rustic, un-kept and un-level;o((

We continued north on Rt 28 through



Plum Branch  --  Gotta love that name;o)

When we got to McCormick,
we turned left on route 378.

Our next stop was Hawe Creek COE Campground. 
(# 12 on the map)

Campground Entrance

Lakefront Site 

Hawe Creek has 34 site, 24 with 50 amp service.  It was not nearly as nice as Modoc and much harder to get to.  If you had a bass boat, this would be your place.  Just before you get to the park, there is a huge Sports Fishing Facility called Dorn.  Has everything you need to get your boat in the water and keep it running.  Almost every site had a RV and a Bass Boat;o))

Next on our list, Baker Creek State Park (#14) was a campground we were really interested in.  It is on Little River, not Lake Thurmond and was mentioned as a good basecamp for kayaking the Little River Blueways

Well, let’s just say, it won’t be our basecamp!! We will drive to the kayak trails from Modoc.  It was like  “Deliverance” with trashy sites and stuff everywhere. Old beat up rigs, trucks and boats on top of each other. 

Check out the air conditioner ;o)) 

We could not get out fast enough;o))

We crossed the Savannah River into Georgia
to check out Elijah Clark State Park. (#30) 

Elijah Clark SP has 2 campgrounds. 
We drove through both.

There were plenty of sites we could get into, but nothing too exciting and at $28 per night, we can do better.  To be honest, visiting campgrounds over the 4th of July is probably not a good thing.  They are packed to overflowing and seem rather chaotic. 

We still were hopeful we could find a campsite relatively close to the Little River Blueway kayaking trails.  We saved what we thought would be the best for last.  Hickory Knob State Resort Park (#16), the only “Resort” State Park in South Carolina!!

As we drove into Hickory Knob,
I really thought we had found a WINNER!! 

It had great roads, a skeet and archery range, tennis courts, an 18 hole championship golf course, a hotel and cabins.  First, we stopped at the Park Office where we found a lounge, pool, gift shop and restaurant. 


On our way to see the campground,
we stopped at the Golf Pro shop.
It only costs $28 (green fees and cart) to play. 

 I turned to Nancy and said, “OK, this is it!!”

No sooner had I got those words out of my mouth,
when we arrived at the campground. 

What a disappointment;o((  Half of the sites were overgrown and unusable.  Except for a couple sites at the entrance, the rest were so un-level and un-kept we would be afraid to bring Baby here.  (Sorry, no site shots, the photographer was in shock!!) The good vibes I had just minutes before turned to moans and groans.  How could the rest of the park be so good and the campground so bad?!?!?  Beats me!!

Bottom line…  The campground we are in, Modoc, is head and shoulders over everything else we saw today.  We pay $12 per night (senior discount) for a beautiful site with 50 amp service. The SC state parks are $19 per night for 30 amp service and the GA state park is $28 per night for 30 amp. We would rather drive 30 minutes to kayak or play golf than stay in any of the campgrounds we visited today.  We had a good morning out and learned a lot about the area.  We have more exploring to do so stay tuned.....


  1. You two are smart cookies. A great way to use a hot day and terrific information for anyone interested in that area. So sorry to hear none of the campgrounds was up to snuff. But it is really hard to beat $12 for a nice spot.

  2. I had such high hopes, too! Thanks for the tour.

  3. Liked that air conditioner set up. Must be really interesting to see how they travel down the road!

  4. I'm going to keep this post for future reference! Thanks for doing the legwork for all the rest of us!
    If the hot weather continues, that A/C setup might work for an additional unit! :) LOL!

  5. The folks with the A/C get points for ingenuity. At least you checked it all out before moving "baby" to a spot she would not like.

  6. Oh my...Hickory Knob has changed! I guess that's what 5-7 years will do! What a disappointment about the campgrounds. At least you have the prime real estate!

  7. You can't beat Modoc for the price. Thanks for the scouting on the other campgrounds. Helps the rest of us!

    Bruce and Laura