Lake Russell in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, formed as the result of the construction of the Russell Dam in 1983 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Named for former governor and United States senator Richard Brevard Russell of Georgia – an advocate of the Savannah Rover dam system – the 30-mile lake is a popular spot for both camping and fishing.
The 210-feet-tall Lake Russell Dam is a half-mile up the Savannah River, which was impounded to create the lake. Together with Lake Hartwell and Lake Thurmond, the three man-made lakes have established a nearly 120-mile long stretch of reservoir habitat along the Savannah River.
The shoreline of the lake, which is owned and managed by the US Army Corp of Engineers, is federally protected against development. Lake Russell’s status as a conservation lake makes the reservoir one of South Carolina’s more beloved fishing destinations. The surrounding habitat creates prime wildlife viewing opportunities, which also contribute Lake Russell being one of the state’s favorite public lakes.
More Pictures of Lake Russell
Reflections on Lake Russell
Photographer James Jenkins shares this experience with us: “I was returning from a photo session in Union and Abbeville Counties. As I approached the bridge on Highway 72 when leaving Calhoun Falls, SC, I noticed the sun was setting. I stopped my truck while I could still see the full sun, but by the time I walked on to the bridge and set up the camera on my tripod, the sun was beginning to drop behind the trees. It was a marvelous sight to see in person, and I was lucky to get this shot.”
Contributor Mark Clark adds this about the Lake Russell Dam: “There are several picnic areas with tables in the overlook area. Unfortunately there are no restroom facilities at the overlook area, but there are two rather new large convenience stores ten minutes away in Calhoun Falls. Tours of the dam are offered, but the road to the office area is located on the Georgia side of the dam. You just have to take Hwy 72 across the lake and look for the signs. I took the tour a long time ago and it is well worth the trip.
“I used to ride my motorcycle over here on many a Sunday afternoon while I was attending Lander University way back when. It was nice to enjoy the sounds of the hum of the dam punctuating the natural peace and quiet of the remote area. It was, and still is, a good place to go and clear your head.”
Lake Russell Info
Address: Calhoun Falls, SC 29628
GPS Coordinates: 34.091762,-82.629976
Lake Russell Map
Take Me There
Will Bartum says
I wonder what the river valley looked like before it was dammed up. Seems like it was probably a really pretty place, with lots of wildlife. With a name like Calhoun Falls, it probably had lots of waterfalls around.
Margene Odom says