Abbeville County offers a wealth of recreational opportunities on Water and on Land.
Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake
4144 Russell Dam Drive
Elberton, GA 30635-9271
Phone Numbers 706-213-3400
Toll free at 1-800-944-7207
The Russell Project is located in the Piedmont region of Georgia and South Carolina on the upper Savannah River, 30 miles downstream from Hartwell Dam and 37 miles upstream from J. Strom Thurmond Dam. (Georgia counties – Hart and Elbert Counties; South Carolina counties – Anderson and Abbeville counties). Lake Russell contains 26,650 acres of water and 540 miles of shoreline. And 26,500 acres of public land surrounds the lake.
At Russell Lake, almost all recreation areas are leased to and operated and maintained by either Georgia or South Carolina. The project has two Corps-operated recreation areas. These are the two unique and informative visitor centers at the powerhouse and the Natural Resource Management Center, located 20 miles east of Elberton, Georgia and 8 miles west of Calhoun Falls, South Carolina off US 72. In addition the project has 21 state-operated recreation areas (8 in Georgia and 13 in South Carolina); 1 locally-operated recreation area; and 1 Marina lease. The project also includes about 600 prehistoric and historic sites ranging in age from the end of the last Ice Age to the early 20th century – some of which are now under water, but many of which can be visited. In all, the Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam has more than 1.1 million visitors per year enjoying a wide variety of recreational activities including water sports, hunting, hiking, picnicking, camping, and fishing. With a 300-foot collar of public land around Russell Lake, most development on adjacent private property is not visible on the lake. This coupled with the prohibition against private shoreline development, has resulted in Russell having a pristine shoreline that provides abundant wildlife habitat.
Sumter National Forest
Long Cane Ranger Station
810 Buncombe Street
Edgefield, SC 29824
The National Forest Reservation Commission purchased the land in 1928 which later was designated a national forest in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Previously, this land was significantly utilized for timber or was old farm land which had eroded. However under the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the land was reestablished as productive acreage. Today, the Sumter National Forest is managed by the USDA Forest Service and the land is utilized for a multitude of uses including watershed protection, habitat for wildlife and fish, outdoor recreation, timber production, and wilderness area management.
The Long Cane Ranger District offers a wide range of recreational opportunities in Abbeville County and the surrounding areas. Boat ramps, horse trails, hiking trails, and recreational areas are all available. Check out the brochures listed in the Online Forms section of the web site under Recreation.