Tucked away in the pines of Bennettsville lies Lake Paul Wallace, a 300-acre man-made lake used by locals for boating, swimming, fishing, and bird-watching. The Lake Wallace Wildlife Management Area consists of 52 acres and serves as a public dove field. These hunting grounds are managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which also owns nearly 750 additional acres on and surrounding the lake.
Lake Paul Wallace is divided into three sections designated for different uses. The eastern side of the lake is reserved for swimming and boating and includes a mile-long water-skiing channel. Across the lake is an area stocked with fish that welcomes boats with motors of 10 horsepower or less. Finally, the reservoir not only provides Bennettsville with its drinking water, but it also is a waterfowl refuge. Anything from geese, herons, ducks, and eagles can be viewed here.
Several trails encompass the area, including two-mile-long Crooked Creek Trail and a three-mile trail that circles the lake. Lake Paul Wallace is host to the annual Summer Beach Blast which draws around 2,000 people to its white sandy beach each year.
Reflections on Lake Paul Wallace
Sondra Walling who shared the beautiful photo above says: “My Mom is in her mid 90’s and it’s important to me that she feels a connection to the world around her so I came up with the idea of us going to a town in SC that we could be there in an hour, have lunch then return home and we called these “Town Trips”. On this day we chose Bennettsville. We toured the downtown, by slowly driving through it, I parked so Mom could see me as I photographed the courthouse, the Old McCalls building, and we made a stop at the beautiful Visitor’s Center. I noticed on the map this nearby lake, Paul Wallace Lake, so we turned left on Beauty Spot Rd and found the lake, just as we arrived it began to rain! So we waited out the rain in the van, and I snapped this photo from the window. A wonderful day!”
Artist Don Wayne Chavis II, who created the below oil painting of Lake Paul Wallace titled Wallace at Night, shares the following: “Lake Paul Wallace, a 300-acre man-made lake maintained by the SC Department of Natural Resources, has three sides and is a very special place to my entire family. I am one of three visual artists in my family. My three sisters and I grew up in Bennettsville and frequently would walk, fish, boat, swim and picnic at this lake, which has provided much artistic inspiration and recreation during all seasons.
“Lake Paul Wallace is unique in that it has many attributes: it is beautiful, a haven for American Eagle nesting sites, and provides multiple environments for wildlife, just to name a few. This is just one of the many paintings I’ve done of Lake Paul Wallace – and one of two at evening, so it only seems natural for me to want to create works that surround me and represent my favorite places in Marlboro County.”