MAY 20, 2021 UPDATE

With the recreation season beginning and COVID restrictions easing, we are getting inquiries on the status of the Hartwell and Thurmond Visitor Centers.  Here’s the latest:

Lake Hartwell: 

From the Corps May 17 press release: 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hartwell Project Office, will reopen the project’s visitor center May 24, after more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hartwell Project Visitor Center closed to the public in March 2020. As COVID-19 conditions improved and vaccines are more available, recent Corps of Engineers guidance allows for reopening visitor centers in compliance with existing requirements and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visitors must continue to follow CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 mitigation while inside the visitor center.

Starting May 24, visitor center hours are:

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday and federal holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day): 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
“The Hartwell Project looks forward to re-opening the Visitor Center to the public and re-engaging on a more personal level with our customers,” Kenneth Bedenbaugh, Natural Resources Program Manager at the Hartwell Project, said. The visitor center is located at 5625 Anderson Highway, Hartwell, Georgia.
For more information, please contact the Hartwell Project Office at 888-893-0678 or go to
Lake Thurmond:
We received the following from the Project Office:

A small fire in August of 2019 prompted the temporary closing of the Thurmond Visitor Center, the HVAC system is being replaced which has delayed the reopening significantly. Work is scheduled to be complete and the building reopened in the early fall.

Visitors to the area may want to visit the nearby Christopher D. Spiller Longleaf Pine and Pollinator Restoration Area. This area includes a 3 acre pollinator field that in early summer and fall is covered in a carpet of wildflowers that attract birds and butterflies. There is a short interpretive trail through the field and a slightly longer path that will take visitors to a bank overlooking the lake. The parking area is 500 yards before the Visitor Center entrance at 500 Clarks Hill Hwy when travelling from the South Carolina Side of the lake.

Friends of the Savannah River Basin
Barb and Harry Shelley