In the heart of rural South Carolina, the Old 96 District is an unexpected treasure for campers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Offering multiple waterfront campgrounds with RV-friendly spaces or primitive tent sites, it’s perfect no matter your setup.
Have fun exploring these campgrounds in the Old 96 District and the nearby small towns full of southern charm and hospitality.
Calhoun Falls State Park
At Calhoun Falls State Park, you’ll find three different camping areas right on the shores of Lake Russell. Two of these areas have individual water and electric hookups for RV campers with a total of 86 standard sites.
The third camping area contains all rustic tent sites but central water is available. All areas have access to restrooms and hot showers.
Calhoun Falls State Park boasts some of the best camping in the state and kids love staying here because of the great day-use area. Here you’ll find a great beach for swimming, tennis and basketball courts, and picnic shelters.
Fishing in the lake is also popular and you can catch bass, crappie, bream, and more. There is even a tackle loaner program where you can borrow rods and reels, but note that a valid South Carolina fishing license is required to fish in the park.
The Cedar Bluff Nature Trail is also a nice place to walk and only 1.75 miles. It’s an easy trail and part of it follows the lake and then winds through the woods.
The park is located near the South Carolina/Georgia line about 25 minutes from the adorable town of Abbeville.
Lick Fork Lake Recreation Area
If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, then Lick Fork Lake would be the perfect campground in the Old 96 District for you.
There are only nine campsites here and none have electricity. Currently, there is no water at the campground, so be sure to come prepared. Restroom facilities are vault toilets only.
The sites are all first come-first serve and there is a self-serve fee station so you’ll want to bring cash. This is an awesome spot for tent campers looking for some peace and quiet.
There is an accessible fishing pier and a boat ramp for non-motorized boats so you can get out and explore this 12-acre lake.
You can also walk the two-mile Lick Fork Lake trail around the lake or do part of the Horn Creek Trail which also allows bikes.
Edgefield is the closest town, just under 20 minutes away.
Lake Greenwood State Park
With 125 paved sites, this is one of the largest campgrounds in the Old 96 District. All sites have electric and water hookups and work for RVs or tent campers.
There are two different campground loops plus a primitive group camping area and many of the sites offer lakefront views. Each area has restrooms and hot showers.
Many of the activities at Lake Greenwood center around the lake, from fishing and boating to swimming and picnicking. There are many picnic tables out on The Point where you can enjoy a nice meal and beautiful lake views.
Like Calhoun Falls, this state park is also part of the tackle loaner program if you need to borrow rods and reels for fishing.
Unique things you’ll find here are the Civilian Conservation Corp Museum at the Drummond Center and geocaching opportunities.
It’s located just 10 minutes outside the town of Ninety Six and about 25 minutes from the city of Greenwood. The Ninety Six National Historic Site is a very popular attraction nearby.
Gulches of Indian Mound
This unique opportunity for camping near Laurens offers a few RV sites and 15 primitive tent sites at an off-road vehicle park with over 50 trails.
There are four RV sites with water and electric hookups, but no dump station on site. Part of the 15 tent sites are along the Reedy River and part are spaced throughout the trail system.
There are restrooms by the front office and at the tent sites by the river, but if you’re staying at a central location in the trail system, then you’ll have to ride over to the restrooms.
The main draw here is the off-road park of course, and they have trails for all levels ranging from easy to “skull and cross bones.”
The owners have also built various obstacles on the trails to make things extra interesting.
People love bringing their off-road vehicles and 4×4’s for a weekend of off-roading and camping at this family-friendly park!
Hester’s Bottoms Family Campground
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to take your family vacation, then Hester’s Bottoms Family Campground is a great choice.
You’ll find 39 waterfront RV sites and five primitive waterfront tent sites, all offering stunning views of J. Strom Thurmond Lake. Each site also has a grill and picnic table.
Three different bathhouses are available with restrooms and private shower facilities plus laundry facilities if needed.
A private boat launch & dock are on-site for those who bring their own boats or you can fish from the banks. The private beach and large playground are perfect for kids and they even have a rental program for golf carts, kayaks, and paddleboards.
There is WiFi throughout the campground in case you need to work remotely while here as well. Throughout the year, the campground hosts various events, where you can socialize and make lasting memories with your family.
The campground is about 20 minutes outside of the town of McCormick but they do have a general store in case you forgot something.