Clarks Hill Lake: An Exciting and Historic Destination

Georgia may be known for its peaches and Atlanta, but there are other areas worth exploring in the southern state. With a motto like “We feel good!”, Augusta is definitely a lively city in Georgia. Augusta is the second largest city in the state and home to The Master Tournament for golf. The city is flourishing, features a beautiful historic district and offers many scenic lakes worth viewing. Clarks Hill Lake is one lake with an interesting history and that is a great attraction.

It is officially Lake Strom Thurmond, but Georgians refer to the body of water as Clarks Hill. The artificial lake is actually a reservoir that was created by the Strom Thurmond Dam in 1951. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took a year to complete the project that was intended for navigation projects, hydropower and flood control. The lake is located upstream of Augusta and is the second largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi river. It borders Georgia and South Carolina and is 151,000 acres of land and water.

Calling the lake by its official name might make some Georgia residents angry. The lake was called Clarks Hill Lake until 1998 when a South Carolina Representative started a bill to rename the lake after Strom Thurmond. Elijah Clarke was a Revolutionary War hero who is buried near the shore of the lake in the Elijah Clark State Park. Georgia citizens did not want the name to be changed to reflect a senator from a different state. The bill passed, and Georgia legislators could not get the name changed. In response, they passed a bill in the state legislature to make Clarks Hill the state name of the lake.

The name discrepancies do not confuse anyone because Clarks Hill is still one of the most popular lakes in the Southeast. Millions of tourists and locals use the lake and grounds each year. The lake offers abundant fishing opportunities and is a great place for bass fishing. While the area is full of people, there are many secluded spots for fishermen. The state parks offer many outdoor opportunities like camping, hiking, golfing, off-roading, picnicking and exploring. The marina is also popular, and boating is a fond pastime of many who visit the lake. There are cottages and other real estate opportunities for those who want to temporarily or permanently live near the lake.

Atlanta may be many the first destination for many who visit Georgia, but others are aware of the opportunities available in Augusta. The Clarks Hill Lake and surrounding state parks have been housing and enchanting guests for years. The environment, activities and laid back atmosphere make the lake a pleasant stop for anyone.